Dealing with dementia in Alberta

Health Tips presented by Tellier Guardian Pharmacy: May 24th, 2017

Dementia is a syndrome which affects things like memory and judgment. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. 

If you or someone you love is living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, a new service is available to answer your questions and provide advice. It’s easy:

  1. Call Health Link 24/7 by dialing 811.
  2. Staff will assess your needs and provide advice immediately for your concerns.
  3. When needed, you will be referred to a specialized dementia nurse for additional advice.

How does the new service work? By dialing 811 24/7, callers will reach Health Link staff who will discuss their needs and can refer them to a specialized dementia nurse when needed.  The dementia nurse can do an in-depth assessment and provide advice. The service will also connect callers to the resources and supports available in their community.

ALL Albertans can access the dementia advice service and will help reduce the number of avoidable Emergency Department visits for dementia-related concerns. This is better for patient and families and will help free up space in Emergency Departments.

Alberta Health Services feels providing dementia advice is an important health service both now and looking into the future. The rate of dementia is expected to more than double in Alberta as the baby boom generation moves into older age. By 2038, it is estimated that about one in ten Albertans over the age of 65 and nearly half over age 90 will be living with dementia.

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Take Care of Your Skin – What Causes Skin Cancer 

With the sun shining people need to be more careful than ever to avoid skin cancer!   Melanoma is most often caused by too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Examples include:

  • Having had blistering sunburns at any time of life.
  • Getting intense sun exposure every now and then.

Things that make getting melanoma more likely include your skin type, the colour of your hair, and the colour of your eyes.  Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer. It isn’t as common as other types of skin cancer, but it is the most serious.

Melanoma usually looks like a flat mole with uneven edges and a shape that is not the same on both sides. It may be black, brown, or more than one colour. Most melanomas show up as a new spot or skin growth. But they can form in an existing mole or other mark on the skin.  Melanoma can affect your skin only, or it may spread to your organs and bones. As with other cancers, treatment for melanoma works best when the cancer is found early.


The best way to prevent all kinds of skin cancer, including melanoma, is to protect yourself whenever you are out in the sun.

  • Try to stay out of the sun during the middle of the day (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
  • Wear sun-protective clothes when you are outside, such as a hat that shades your face, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.
  • Use sunscreen every day. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of least 30. Look for a sunscreen that protects against both types of UV radiation in the sun’s rays—UVA and UVB. When you are outdoors for long periods of time, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Take extra care to protect your skin when you’re near water, at higher elevations, or in tropical climates.
  • Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons.

Check your skin every month for odd marks, moles, or sores that will not heal. Check all of your skin, but pay extra attention to areas that get a lot of sun, such as your hands, arms, and back. Ask your doctor to check your skin during regular physical examinations or at least once a year.

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Playground Safety 

Playgrounds are fun places for young children. Each year, many children in Alberta are badly hurt from falls from playground equipment.

To help keep your child safe on a playground:

  • always be within an arms reach of your child while he or she is climbing
  • make sure your child is actively supervised by a responsible adult. Actively supervised means you are close enough to take action, paying close attention, and watching for hazards when your child is playing or exploring. You need to be close so you can take action if needed. Supervise your child the whole time on the playground.
  • choose a playground with a safe surface (e.g., sand, pea gravel, wood mulch, rubber) under the equipment. Grass and dirt are NOT safe playground surfaces.
  • keep your child under 5 off equipment that is higher than 1.5 metres (5 feet)
  • make sure your child uses equipment that is right for his or her age and stage of development. If your child can’t reach equipment without help, don’t let him or her play on it.
  • don’t let your child go on any equipment that is broken or damaged

Feeling Better Starts Here