New online dementia education workshops for Nanaimo

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. will launch a new online education workshop initiative for caregivers and people living with dementia in October. These free virtual workshops are a smaller format, which allows more opportunities for in-depth discussions on a variety of topics related to dementia. Anyone in Nanaimo who is affected by dementia can benefit from the more interactive setting, which provides more opportunities for participants to be heard and connect with others. 

“We want to ensure all participants have a good understanding about the topic, share what they think and encourage meaningful discussions,” says Lori Kelly, provincial coordinator, program operations at Alzheimer Society of B.C. “This allows us to engage caregivers and people living with dementia in deeper conversations about topics on living with dementia and caregiving compared to our regular weekly webinars.”

Facilitated by experienced Alzheimer Society of B.C. staff, the workshops are an additional offering to ensure caregivers and people living with dementia have the resources and support they need.

The next online education workshop will be “Focus on behaviour: Delusions, hallucinations and visual mistakes.” The session explores practical strategies for responding to these behaviours caused by dementia. The workshop, which is for caregivers, takes place on Thursday, October 7, at 7 p.m. PT. 

To register for the online education workshop, call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 or visit alzbc.org/focus-on-behaviour

Another workshop, “Living safely with dementia”, will discuss how people living with dementia and their families can live safely in the community. This session takes place on Thursday, October 28, at 10 a.m. PT.

You can learn more about upcoming sessions at: alzbc.org/online-education

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn about connection between hearing lost and dementia

Kate Dupuis
clinical neuropsychologist

21-09-13 - During September’s World Alzheimer’s Month, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is raising awareness in Nanaimo and around the province of many aspects of dementia, including brain health and risk reduction.

According to a national public opinion survey by the Public Health Agency of Canada conducted last year, 89 per cent of Canadians can identify at least one risk factor for developing dementia yet only 16 per cent are aware that hearing loss is a factor. 

Mild levels of hearing loss may increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Though it is still unclear how exactly it affects cognitive decline, hearing loss can lead to social isolation, loss of independence, and problems with everyday activities.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. has invited clinical neuropsychologist Kate Dupuis to explain the connections between hearing loss and dementia at a September 22 webinar. Nanaimo residents who watch will hear about potential treatment options and strategies for individuals experiencing hearing loss. They’ll also learn how care partners can advocate for and support people living with dementia in accessing hearing care.

What can you do to reduce the risk of developing dementia?

  • Have annual hearing evaluations.
  • Avoid listening to music too loudly.
  • Avoid being continually exposed to loud sounds.
  • Ask your doctor to check for earwax buildup. If you have buildup, your doctor will be able to help you remove it.
  • Make sure you use hearing aids if hearing becomes a problem.
  • Check batteries and fit of hearing aids regularly.

The “Understanding the connections between hearing loss and dementia” webinar is on Wednesday, September 22 at 2 p.m. PT. To register visit alzbc.org/webinars.

The Society’s “Lived experience” webinar series is back this month. Join two creative people who are living with dementia for an exploration of the role of art and creativity in living well. The session takes place on Wednesday, September 29 at 2 p.m PT. Register here: alzbc.org/webinars.

To learn about other topics related to dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites you to sign up for one of its free webinars. Upcoming webinars include:

  • Question café: Responding to questions about dementia (Wednesday, October 6, 2 p.m. PT): Grab a coffee and join the panel discussion to answer some of the frequently asked questions.
  • Long-distance caregiving (Wednesday, October 13, 2 p.m. PT): This session will go through practical tips on providing meaningful caregiving support from a distance.

To register for any of these webinars, please visit alzbc.org/webinars.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Long-term care for people with dementia

When a Nanaimo resident living with dementia requires full-time support due to complex needs, moving to a long-term care home may be the next step for caregivers or family. 

Researching long-term care can be an overwhelming process. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to provide support for area residents by offering free weekly webinars, including “Considering the transition to long-term care.” It’s for caregivers considering arranging a move and finding out how to access long-term care and what other factors need to be taken into account. 

The hour-long webinar is on Wednesday, August 25 at 2 p.m. PT.

Tips on finding the right long-term care home

* Consider what your priorities and expectations are in a long-term care home. 

* Contact your local community health centres for information about the long-term care application process in your area. Some communities have a number of homes to choose from. Make a list of long-term care home options and narrow the list down to ones you would like to visit.

* Visit each home on your list to see firsthand what each one has to offer. Bring your list of priorities, expectations, and any questions you may have so you don’t leave out anything important. Some long-term care homes allow the person living with dementia to visit the home and become familiar with it through day programs or respite services.

* Try to be flexible and consider whether you could work with the staff to meet the needs of the person living with dementia. Even after an extensive search, you may not find everything you want in a single home.

To learn more about transitioning to long-term care, register for the webinar at alzbc.org/webinars.

A follow-up webinar, “Adjusting to long-term care,” continues discussing the experience of transitioning into long-term care and explores different ways to ease the transition. 

The session includes how-to’s on preparing for a move, adjusting to the move for both caregivers and people living with dementia, and working with the care team. The session is on Wednesday, September 1 at 2 p.m. PT.

To learn about other topics related to the dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites you to sign up for one of its free webinars. Upcoming webinars in August include:

* Planning for health-care, legal and financial decisions (Wednesday, August 11, 2 p.m. PT): Plan now, before dementia affects the ability to communicate. Learn how to begin early legal, health-care and financial planning to prepare for your future.

* Community changes (Wednesday, August 18, 2 p.m. PT): Explore how communication is affected by dementia and learn effective communication strategies.

To register for any of these webinars, please visit alzbc.org/webinars.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Society’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Dementia webinars explore links between music and the brain

Guest speaker Chelsea Mackinnon

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. continues to provide Nanaimo residents affected by dementia with practical tips and information through its regular webinar series.

Upcoming June events include sessions on music and dementia, as well as the opportunity to hear directly from people living with dementia as they reflect on what they have learned through their experience of the disease. 

“Music and the brain: Key considerations for dementia” takes place on Wednesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. Guest speaker Chelsea Mackinnon will talk about how music may contribute to decreasing the risk of developing dementia, and the links it has with connection and communication. 

An instructor at McMaster University, she educates students, health-care providers and family members about how they can use music within their own caring practices.

The next offering in the Society’s “Lived experience” webinar series is on Thursday, June 24 at 10 a.m. In this session, Jim Mann, Myrna Norman and Craig Burns – advocates and community members who are living with dementia – will share tips and strategies on how to learn to live well with the disease and will touch on topics including problems with telling time, lack of initiative, resistance to hygiene, loss of abilities and more. 

The “Lived experience” webinar series is a valuable opportunity to hear directly from people with lived experience and gain a deeper understanding of the issues they face.

Weekly information, tips and discussions

The full list of webinars offered by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. this month includes:

* Targeted strategies for challenging behaviours (Wednesday, May 26, 2 p.m. PT): Learn specific strategies for responding to behaviours that dementia caregivers most commonly ask us about, including wanting to go home and asking about deceased relatives.

* Living safely with dementia (Wednesday, June 2, 2 p.m. PT): Explore how people living with dementia and their families can live safely in the community.

* Music and the brain: Key considerations for dementia (Wednesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. PT): Guest speaker Chelsea Mackinnon explores the links between music, connection and communication and to discuss musical strategies for dementia and how music may contribute to decreased risk of developing dementia. You will come away with numerous practical tools that you can use.

* Driving and dementia (Wednesday, June 16 at 2 p.m. PT): Learn how dementia may affect a person’s driving abilities and strategies to ease the transition for driving cessation. 

* Lived experience: Strategies I wish I’d known (Thursday, June 24 at 10 a.m. PT): Continue the discussion with people living with dementia who share some tips and strategies for living well with dementia.

To register for any of these webinars, or to access free recorded webinars, visit alzbc.org/webinars.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

ABOUT DEMENTIA 

Dementia is a term that describes a general group of brain disorders. Symptoms include the loss of memory, impaired judgment, and changes in behaviour and personality. Dementia is progressive, degenerative and eventually terminal. 

ABOUT THE ALZHEIMER SOCIETY OF B.C. 

Families across British Columbia are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s vision is a world without dementia; that vision begins with a world where people living with the disease are welcomed, acknowledged and included. Working in communities throughout the province, the Society supports, educates and advocates for people living with dementia, as well as enabling research into the disease. As part of a national federation, the Society is a leading authority on the disease in Canada.

IG Wealth Management walk for Alzheimer's

It’s not too late for Nanaimo residents to join the thousands of British Columbians walking their own way for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Participants simply set themselves a walking or fitness challenge throughout May, while fundraising to support Alzheimer Society of B.C. programs and services. Participants are encouraged to get creative and ensure their plans to participate adhere to current provincial health guidelines. 

An online celebration on the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Facebook account at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 30 will end the month of activity.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has registered for the Walk so far, and are impressed by the adaptability and innovation they have displayed when it comes to supporting British Columbians on the dementia journey,” says Cathryn France, director of resource development at the Alzheimer Society of B.C. 

“The funds they raise are instrumental to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the tools to live their best life possible. With dementia numbers rising, more supports are needed, and we urge all Nanaimo residents to consider taking part in this event.”

The Society is currently running a promotion to recognize the work of fundraisers. For every $100 they raise between the time they register and 11:59 p.m. on May 30, they will receive one entry in a draw to win a $1,000 VISA gift card.

Residents who are unable to take part in the month of activity can register for an online auction in support of the event at alzbc.org/auction. Running until noon on Monday, May 31, its items include a hockey stick signed by Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat, hotel stays, winery tours and more. 

To learn more about the event, or to register and start fundraising, visit walkforalzheimers.ca

Walk for Alzheimer’s online honors Sharon Speevak

 

0418 - The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is encouraging Nanaimo residents to show people affected by dementia their support by registering and fundraising for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

The event is the Society’s largest fundraiser. This year, participants are encouraged to walk their own way throughout May, before joining together for an online celebration on Sunday, May 30. While participants are encouraged to participate in honor of people in their own lives who have been affected by dementia, they can also walk for the event’s dedicated honoree in Nanaimo: Sharon Speevak.

When her father was diagnosed with dementia, Sharon and her siblings began learning all they could for him. Years after, Sharon chose to turn her own experience as a long-distance caregiver into an opportunity to help educate and support others who were embarking on their own dementia journeys.

Sharon connected with the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Nanaimo Resource Centre and trained to provide dementia education sessions, as well as facilitate caregiver support groups.

“I’m continually amazed at the resilience, strength and love of caregivers,” she says of the caregiver support group participants she spends time with. “They make incredible sacrifices for their loved ones. It’s a wonderful feeling to feel like you’ve made someone’s life a little more bearable, both for themselves and for the person experiencing dementia, by helping to facilitate a support group or deliver an educational workshop.”

Funds raised for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s help support the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s programs and services. To register for the Walk, participants can visitwalkforalzheimers.ca, choose their local community and create a fundraising page to share with friends and family.

No matter where or when they walk (in accordance with current public health orders), participants will make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia and their caregivers.  

'Walk your own way' to support those affected by dementia

A global campaign is encouraging Nanaimo residents to consider their brain health to mark Brain Awareness Week. 

While the causes of and cure for dementia are still being researched, we know there are things we can do to reduce our risk of developing the disease. This includes being physically active. People who exercise regularly are less likely to develop heart disease, stroke and diabetes – all risks associated with dementia. 

In support of Brain Awareness Week, which runs through March 21, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is encouraging residents to register in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s. The online fundraiser takes place throughout May.

The 2021 event will be a “Walk your own way” initiative, meaning that anyone anywhere in the province can take part. “This past year has been full of unprecedented challenges, particularly for people living with dementia and their care partners,” says Barbara Lindsay, interim CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., “Fundraisers like the Walk help enable the Society to continue providing support and resources, which are needed more than ever.”

Getting involved is easy. Throughout May area residents can set themselves a challenge – like walking, running or dancing – while fundraising to support people living with the disease and their care partners. Participants are encouraged to get creative and do what works for them – and ensure their plans to participate adhere to current provincial health guidelines. 

An online celebration on Sunday, May 30 will end the month of activity.

“As well as raising funds, participants also help raise critical awareness of the impact of dementia in their community. While the 2021 event is different than in past years, it continues to be a way to celebrate and remember people in our lives who have been affected by dementia,” says Lindsay.

In past, the Walk typically took place in-person in more than 20 communities across the province.

Funds raised during the event help fund the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s online programs, education and services for people in communities across the province. People who support the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s today will double their impact, as a generous supporter has committed $35,000 to match all donations made between March 22 and April 11.

Visit walkforalzheimers.ca to donate, register and set up a personal fundraising page to start planning how you are going to walk your own way.

While the causes of and cure for dementia are still being researched, we know there are things we can do to reduce our risk of developing the disease. This includes being physically active. People who exercise regularly are less likely to develop heart disease, stroke and diabetes – all risks associated with dementia. 

In support of Brain Awareness Week, which runs through March 21, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is encouraging residents to register in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s. The online fundraiser takes place throughout May.

The 2021 event will be a “Walk your own way” initiative, meaning that anyone anywhere in the province can take part. “This past year has been full of unprecedented challenges, particularly for people living with dementia and their care partners,” says Barbara Lindsay, interim CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., “Fundraisers like the Walk help enable the Society to continue providing support and resources, which are needed more than ever.”

Getting involved is easy. Throughout May area residents can set themselves a challenge – like walking, running or dancing – while fundraising to support people living with the disease and their care partners. Participants are encouraged to get creative and do what works for them – and ensure their plans to participate adhere to current provincial health guidelines. 

An online celebration on Sunday, May 30 will end the month of activity.

“As well as raising funds, participants also help raise critical awareness of the impact of dementia in their community. While the 2021 event is different than in past years, it continues to be a way to celebrate and remember people in our lives who have been affected by dementia,” says Lindsay.

In past, the Walk typically took place in-person in more than 20 communities across the province.

Funds raised during the event help fund the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s online programs, education and services for people in communities across the province. People who support the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s today will double their impact, as a generous supporter has committed $35,000 to match all donations made between March 22 and April 11.

Visit walkforalzheimers.ca to donate, register and set up a personal fundraising page to start planning how you are going to walk your own way.

Learn more about legal and health-care decisions while living with dementia

02/26 – A diagnosis of dementia can bring on worry and anxiety about the changes one is going to experience. Preparing for legal, health-care and financial decisions can help ease transitions and soothe anxieties as dementia progresses. 

It can be difficult to know where to start, but the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help.

Nanaimo residents are invited to learn more in the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s free webinar, “Planning ahead: Do it now!” with guest speaker and lawyer, Emily Clough. The hour-long session is on March 10 at 2 p.m.  

As dementia progresses, it can become increasingly difficult to make choices about your care, finances and other important decisions. However, there are several things you can do now to ensure your wishes are communicated, heard and respected later on. 

Clough, a partner at Clark Wilson LLP, is a strong voice for clients facing incapacity issues and has experience assisting clients in all aspects of estates law including drafting wills and trusts, pre-incapacity planning and administering estates through probate. 

During the webinar on March 10, she will discuss useful strategies to begin legal, health-care and financial planning now, before dementia affects your ability to communicate.

Tips for making an advance care plan

Planning ahead is important and can bring a lot of comfort during times of change and uncertainty. It can mean the difference between the care you want and the care you might receive.

1. Think about what’s important to you. Take time to reflect on your values and wishes. What makes your life meaningful? What situations would you find difficult as your dementia progresses and what path forward would make you most comfortable?

2. Learn about different medical procedures and what they can or can’t do. Take time to consult health-care professionals or other Alzheimer Society of B.C resources to learn more.

3. Decide on a substitute decision-maker – someone who is willing and able to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself. By talking to your decision-maker now about how you want to be cared for later on, you will make those choices easier for them. You will also have the comfort of knowing that your future care will be in trusted hands.

4. Talk about your wishes with those closest to you. Open communication is important to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

5. Record your wishes. There are legal documents regarding planning for future health care. Contact the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to learn more.

 

Attend a webinar

To learn more about caregiving dynamics or other topics related to the disease, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites you to sign up for one of our free webinars. Upcoming webinars include:

* Focus on behaviour: Dressing (Wednesday, March 3, 2 p.m. PT)

Learn how dementia affects dressing and explore strategies for managing these changes.

* Planning ahead: Do it now! with Emily Clough (Wednesday, March 10, 2 p.m. PT)

Join Emily Clough, partner at Clark Wilson LLP and strong voice for clients facing incapacity issues and learn how to begin legal, health-care and financial planning now, before dementia affects the ability to communicate. 

* Considering the transition to long-term care (Wednesday, March 17, 2 p.m. PT)

Factors to consider when considering a move into long-term care and ways to ease the transition. 

* Building caregiver resiliency: Staying healthy (Wednesday, March 24, 2 p.m. PT)         Strategies to positively manage caregiver stress and improve your caregiving skills. For caregivers.

To register for any of these webinars, or to access free recorded webinars, please visit alzbc.org/webinars.

 

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.