Alzheimer's Awareness

The journey continues: Dementia awareness in Campbell River

Second in a series

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s disease is just one of many forms of dementia.

If you read Jocelyn Reekie’s article in the Mirror newspaper you would realize that no one expects to deal with dementia.

RELATED: Alzheimer’s – the Unplanned Journey

However, the fact is that there are 70,000 people currently living with dementia in British Columbia and 1 in 5 of us will have some experience of caring for someone with dementia. What do you want the future to look like in Campbell River for people living with dementia, for caregivers, for our community?

The current pandemic has highlighted everyone’s need for social interaction, the need to check in on vulnerable people, the need to support others all in the new socially distanced manner. Imagine the effect this current crisis is having on people who are already experiencing isolation as a result of living with dementia or caring for someone with the condition.

“The loss of many recreation opportunities due to Covid 19 has resulted in even more social isolation for people with dementia and their caregivers,” said Debra Wilson, Rehabilitation and Fitness Coordinator at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. “Exercise, social interaction and human touch are so important for quality of life and that is what people are now missing due to the pandemic.”

The City of Campbell River and the Seniors Network received a grant from Plan H (BC Healthy Communities) to build the foundation for a community dementia awareness project. The aim will be to develop a plan for a community-wide dementia education initiative.

It is hoped that this will be the important first step towards creating a sense of belonging for people living with dementia in Campbell River. A community where persons with dementia are acknowledged, supported and included in everyday life.

The start of this journey is to assess community awareness with a short survey. You can help by answering the survey. It will take less than five minutes to complete. You can also find the survey on the Volunteer Campbell River Facebook site (facebook.com/volunteercr).

If you do not have access to the internet or would like more information about this project, please contact Linda Nagle, Sportsplex 250-923-7911 or Cheryl Stinson, Volunteer Centre 250-287-8111.

With thanks to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC for information in this article https://alzheimer.ca/bc/

– Linda Nagle, B.Sc., Community Dementia project: Building the Foundation, Campbell River Seniors Network

Correction: The article by Jocelyn Reekie on Alzheimer’s in the January 20, 2020 Mirror, included a phone number for the Home and Community Care Services Intake. The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link® Dementia Helpline is for anyone affected by dementia, whether professionally or personally. Helpline staff and volunteers give people the support they need, when they need it: 1-800-936-6033 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

Alzheimer's DiseaseCampbell River