A diagnosis of dementia affects an entire family

New communication strategies help families live with dementia

A diagnosis of dementia affects an entire family.  And more and more Barriere families are being affected. Already, one in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and the rate of incidence is growing.

That’s why the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. is offering a free education session next month in Barriere for family members who are caring for a person with dementia.

Understanding Dementia, Communication and Behaviour will cover the types of dementia and provide practical coping strategies. It takes place on Monday, September 29.

“Changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia often appear to us as changes in the person’s behaviour,” explains Tara Hildebrand, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Support and Education Coordinator for Barriere and Central Interior.

The workshop will outline how communication is affected by the disease, and will share effective ways of facilitating communication and providing support to persons with dementia.

It will also teach caregivers how to understand behaviour as a form of communication. The workshop will explore strategies for determining what the person with dementia might be trying to communicate, finding ways to decrease the occurrence of behaviours that concern them, and responding in supportive ways.

The workshop runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the multi-purpose room at the Ridge, 4936 Barriere Town Road. Pre-registration is required. For information and to register contact Joanne at 250-318-1674 or Tara Hildebrand at 1-250-377-8200 (toll-free 1-800-886-6946) or thildebrand@alzheimerbc.org.

The workshop is free thanks to partial funding by the Province of BC, Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, RBC Foundation, Seacliff Foundation, Pfizer Canada Inc., Merck Canada Inc., Mott Electric GP, Lohn Foundation, Al Roadburg Foundation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Frank and Yvonne McCracken Foundation and through the generous contributions of individual donors.

More information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as resources for living with their impact, are available by visiting www.alzheimerbc.org.