Letters, April 6: Specialized care is available for younger dementia patients

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In 2010, my husband was diagnosed with young-onset dementia. At the time, he was a physician and only 50 years old. We were devastated to receive the diagnosis and quickly learned there is a significant gap in supports and services for people and families affected by this type of dementia.

My husband briefly attended a support group, but the participants were mostly 75 to 85 years old and less active. My husband did not fit in at all and, understandably, did not want to continue going. My husband continued to be physically active, running 10 kilometres each day. He needed a program that supports individuals who are still physically active and want to remain connected to the broader community.

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Fortunately, we learned about YouQuest Young Onset Dementia Association via social media. Based in Calgary, YouQuest offers service days led by licensed recreation therapists in community-based settings. YouQuest offers a unique and innovative program that serves as a form of early intervention and support for individuals at one end of the spectrum of dementia care, by creating opportunities for community connections and physical, social and cognitive engagement.

Many individuals have been diagnosed with young-onset and similar types of dementia who are not aware of this program. Dementia affects the entire family and life can become incredibly difficult to navigate. YouQuest also offers respite for care partners and provides important resources for family.

My husband has been living with the disease for 14 years. His ongoing participation at YouQuest is part of the reason I have been able to keep him out of long-term care. I hope more families will learn about YouQuest and benefit from the programs and services they offer: https://youquest.ca

Patricia Dehaeck, Calgary

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Cheers for our health-care heroes

Re: Praise for our health workers, March 25

It was heartening to read this recognition of the amazing health-care workers at Peter Lougheed Centre. I could not agree more. All too often we hear of the challenges in the system, so it’s always refreshing to be reminded of everything that is going well due to the dedication of doctors and nurses.

There are other unsung heroes who should also be recognized. They are the incredibly generous donors in the Calgary community, whose gifts fund innovation and build capacity in the hospitals. The Emergency Response Centre at Peter Lougheed is the result of a generous donation by the Sprung family, and much of the equipment, space and clinical programs through the hospital system is funded by other generous donors.

Thank you to them all, as their contributions improve facilities, drive innovation and, ultimately, make life better for us Calgarians.

Paul Rossmann, Calgary

Calgarians have means to care for animals

Re: Wildlife rehab centre feeling financial bite; Soaring prices, drop in donations leave facility struggling to maintain services, April 2

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It is an embarrassment for this city to have this issue. Calgary is the third-richest city in Canada and has the fourth-highest concentration of millionaires in Canada. Why can people not open their wallets? Why can governments (municipal and provincial) not stop wasting money and instead put some toward non-profit organizations trying to help hurt animals in need?

We all love admiring birds in the city and wildlife visitors. With our proximity to the mountains, it’s inevitable these creatures make their way to urban areas, so let’s start to ensure their well-being when they are in need.

People are not in tough times in this city. We live in a society of immediate want and satisfaction. When will connections start to be made to help those who cannot help themselves, versus those who choose not to help themselves by the choices they make?

Shauna Hansen, Calgary

Carbon taxes aren’t helping climate

Re: Dozens gather on highway to protest carbon tax hike, April 2

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a carbon tax hike is needed to keep global temperatures from exceeding 1.5 C above the pre-industrial level.

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When Trudeau increased the carbon tax from $50 to $65 per tonne of CO2 emissions last April 1, the global temperature was 0.84 C above pre-industrial level. Thanks to the current extraordinary El Niño in place for the past seven months, March 2024’s temperature of 1.59 C above the pre-industrial level has now exceeded this 1.5 C threshold.

Between April 1, 2023, and April 1, 2024, Canadians paid more than $7 billion in carbon tax, which failed to prevent this 0.75 C rise in global temperature, because only 0.008 C of this rise possibly resulted from more than 35 gigatonnes of CO2 emitted by the entire world, so reducing Canada’s emissions slightly is no justification for crippling the Canadian economy.

Norm Kalmanovitch, Calgary

Governments at all levels are failing Canadians

I believe that probably 80 to 90 per cent of Canadians disapprove of all three levels of government: federal, provincial and municipal. None of them listen to taxpayers.

The federal government imposed a new carbon tax. Provincially, they question the feds but then increase the tax at the pump, so they are hypocrites. Our civic government is ruling on rezoning the city and telling us we can’t cut down a tree on our own property.

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All three levels should try listening to the people who elected them. Most Canadians feel as I do. Politicians are there for their own benefit.

Ralph Logullo, Calgary

Canada has role in global health care

The World Bank may be a political football as the U.S. and China vie for global influence, but its International Development Association is still the world’s largest development fund and the No. 1 funding source for health and nutrition in low-income countries.

This is important because tuberculosis still infects 1.3 million kids every year, more than half of their cases go undetected or unreported, and mortality rates are high.

That is why Canada’s contribution to the IDA is so critical, and why we should ensure IDA prioritizes investments such as health, education and nutrition.

Randy Rudolph, Calgary

Critics lack solutions to housing crisis

I have lost count of the number of letters published in the Herald that criticize the way Calgary’s housing crisis is being handled, but not a single one has presented a practical, workable alternative. They have all accepted that there is a problem but say the solution cannot be found in their neighbourhood.

Well, where then? The houses built in new neighbourhoods are just as expensive because land is expensive.

Canada has been forced to allow high levels of immigration because our birth rates have been low and we need young workers to replace retired baby boomers. And they need homes.

Is it not logical that a problem we created should require some sacrifice on our part to remedy?

The alternative is more homeless people and the problems that go along with it. Why can we not accept that we all have to do our share?

Peter Mannistu, Calgary

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