Do I have Alzheimer’s disease?

Memory impairment is common in people aged 65 and above. In fact, 40% of this age group experience memory impairment in some form or another!

When not caused by a medical condition, this is known as “age-associated memory impairment.”

Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, however, do not fall under this category.

Normal Aging or Dementia?

Here are a few differences between dementia and age-associated memory impairment.

Age-Associated Memory Impairment

Dementia Warning Signs

Forgetting a past conversation or event (a year or more ago)Forgetting a recent conversation or event
Forgetting the name of an acquaintanceForgetting the name of a family member
Difficulty finding words from time to timeDifficulty finding words frequently and making substitutions
You are concerned about your memory, but your friends and family are notYour friends and family are concerned about your memory but you are not
 N.B. The table above is not a diagnostic tool.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease causes an irreversible degeneration of brain cells, affecting memory, emotions, mood, concentration, and communication.

Alzheimer’s disease is progressive and is not part of a typical aging process.

Related forms of dementia

The term “dementia” is used to describe symptoms produced by physical changes in the brain that are caused by a disease or other factors. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

Other forms of dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease in that they are progressive and cause the irreversible degeneration of brain cells. They are often grouped together under the terms “related forms of dementia” or “related disorders.” There are many “related forms of dementia” and you may know some of them, e.g. frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, etc.


The Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia are progressive and lead to the degeneration of brain cells. In general, the disease progresses slowly, however, the speed of its progression varies from person to person. The following is is an overview of each stage of the disease to help you better prepare for the journey ahead. Please note that symptoms may not appear in the order summarized below, and that the duration of each stage is, in itself, variable.

Early Stage

At the early stage of the disease, people living with dementia may experience memory loss, as well as changes in their behaviour, ways of communicating, mood, and concentration. At this stage, they will often have a good level of autonomy and, if diagnosed early, can participate in decision-making in regard to future care.

Middle Stage

During the middle stage of the disease, the functional and cognitive capacities of people living with dementia experience further decline. Many everyday tasks— e.g. shopping, dressing, bathing, etc.— require more and more assistance.  At this stage, some people with dementia retain a level of awareness of their condition and caregivers help them maintain their autonomy by focusing their efforts on preserving their current abilities.

Late Stage

During the late (or “advanced”) stage of the disease, people living with dementia may no longer be able to care for themselves, and may communicate more through gestures than speech.

At this stage, full-time care may be required to ensure optimal quality of life for the person living with the disease.

End of Life

At the end of life stage of the disease, full-time care is required to ensure that the person living with dementia is as comfortable as possible in their final months. 

At this stage, the care provided aims to fulfil the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of the person with dementia, whose cognitive and physical capacities will be greatly reduced.

Services for People Living with Dementia

Individual Consultations
Have you been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia? Would you like to talk about your situation and the challenges you are facing?

We are here to support you.

A counsellor dedicated to people living with neurodegenerative disorders is now available to meet you and offer you professional and confidential support and advice that is adapted to your needs.

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.10)

Art Therapy
Through this activity, people living with dementia have the opportunity to express themselves and enhance their well-being.

The workshops provide meaning to the present moment and allow participants to maintain their dignity.

No previous artistic experience is required!

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.10)

Weekly Meet-Ups
Every Monday and Friday afternoon, you are invited to join this social program for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia.

Come and share in discussions, participate in physical activities, and stimulate your brain through cognitive exercises and other creative activities.

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.11)

Information and Support Groups
At these groups, you will learn about Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia, as well as strategies for autonomous living.

You will also learn how to navigate the health care network and find the resources available in the community.

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.11)

Social Group
Join a brand new social group for people living with dementia! Participate in stimulating activities that will spark your interest and allow you to meet new people.

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.11)

Art Links
The Art Links program is a partnership between the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Sharing the Museum program and the Alzheimer Society of Montreal.

People living with dementia and their caregivers are invited each month to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for a guided tour followed by a creative workshop.

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.13)

Tales and Travels
Participants in the Tales and Travels program and their caregivers explore different countries by using books and objects, reading aloud, listening to music, and other similar activities.

The aim of the Tales and Travels program is to encourage interaction, conversation, and expression through travel-oriented discussions.

Caregivers are invited to accompany the person they support.

For more information and to register:

Download the program above (p.13)

Spring-Summer Program 2020

The Alzheimer Society of Montreal advocates a person-centred approach to care. Reflective of Montreal’s culturally diversity, all our services are offered in English and French.

To participate in one of our programs, contact us or

Looking after yourself

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and, even though it is not possible to stop its progression, you can still lead a balanced and happy life by following a few simple steps.

e.g. Eating well, staying active, resting, taking the medication prescribed for you by a doctor, socializing, etc.


The progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia means that your decision-making abilities may change over time.

As such, it is essentiel to make decisions that reflect your wishes and their needs.

Making an Appointment with a Doctor

A doctor’s appointment can be an intimidating experience, both for you and your friends and family. There are, however, a number of actions you can take before and after the appointment to alleviate any potential problems.

e.g. Make an appointment at a time convenient both for you and the person who may have dementia, rest beforehand; etc.

Testimonial from a person living with dementia!

“I really enjoy the activities and being part of the group. We meet people there who are like us. We realize we are not the only ones going through this and we don’t feel so alone. It’s encouraging to spend time with other people who have dementia because beforehand we had no point of reference. The support groups are also beneficial for our partners: I have noticed a difference in both of us. When we leave the Society, we have the courage to keep going. My children are also happy that I attend the group. Thank you for everything, you give us hope.” Nina Roy

Participant in the Alzheimer Society of Montreal's activities for people with dementia

Other ways to contribute:


Volunteers play a key role at the Alzheimer Society of Montreal. They help us to enhance the lives of Montrealers living with dementia and those of their families.

Volunteers are people who, like you, want to make a difference!

Organize a Fundraiser!

Your fundraising activity, whether it is sponsored or not, does not have to be complicated.

It is always possible to organize a fundraising event, whatever your age and level of physical fitness.

Participate in an Event!

Whether as a sponsor, partner, benefactor, spokesperson, or participant, your involvement in fundraising events is important! By supporting these events, you become a source of inspiration and hope for thousands of families living with dementia.
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Write to us: we are here to help!

COIVD-19 : les activités de la Société Alzheimer de Montréal sont suspendues en cette période d'urgence sanitaire.Lisez le dernier communiqué ici
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