January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is recognizing this month to encourage organizations and people across the country to learn more about dementia and its stark impact on Canadians.
The Society is inviting everyone to listen to the voices of people across B.C. who are unable to avoid the realities of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – from people living with dementia, to their families, to their caregivers, to their health-care providers and more.
British Columbians are sharing their experiences and thoughts on the value of staying connected to the people in their lives who are affected by the disease – whether they’re living with dementia or caring for someone who is.
Stigma about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can result in people making assumptions about someone’s abilities or pulling away from friends or family supporting someone living with dementia. People may feel unsure how to include or communicate with someone living with dementia. However, sustaining these relationships is essential for the well-being of people facing the disease, whether they live in the community or in long-term care.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, people living with dementia and their caregivers have faced greater isolation and upheaval than ever before. The best thing we can do to support people affected by the disease is not change, even if they do.
Throughout January, the Society is asking the public to visit for more information: www.dontchange.ca.
Also, as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, people living with dementia are invited to attend, “Opening the door: Why families are essential to care,” a free virtual event on Jan. 27, from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m., featuring CEO Jen Lyle in conversation with BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie. Community members will also share some of their experiences to spark a conversation about approaches to dementia care that reflect the essential role families play, both in community and long-term care. Too register for the event go to: https://alzheimerbc.akaraisin.com/ui/aam2022openingthedoor
The event will also be recorded and shared after January.
Learn more about dementia, learn more about the disease, and about the journey at the following upcoming online sessions:
• We all have a part to play. Becoming a dementia friend: Small, everyday actions can help build a community that is inclusive, supportive of and safe for people living with dementia. (Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. PT)
• An introduction to brain health: It’s never too soon or too late to make changes. Learn strategies to maintain your brain health. (Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. PT)
• Engaging people living with dementia in decision making: People living with dementia are often excluded from the decision-making process. Join Krista James and Jess Fehrenbacher from the Canadian Centre for Elder Law alongside Myrna Norman as they discuss legal rights relating to decision-making for people living with dementia, compare supported and substitute decision-making, and provide insights gathered from the “Engaging people living with dementia in decision making” project. They will also share how you can get involved with the project and discuss the tools they will be creating to support decision-making for people living with dementia. (Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
For more information go to : https://alzheimer.ca/bc/en
Source: Alzheimer Society of B.C.
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