Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Loving Home Care Services is a proud supporter of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., a trusted source of up-to-date information and resources for people who are affected by dementia. The Society was formed in 1981 by a group of caregivers of people living with dementia and has since become a critical source of programs and services across the province. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is one of 10 provincial organizations that comprise the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the leading national health organization for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

About Dementia

Dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. A person living with dementia may also experience changes in mood or behavior. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually worsen as more brain cells become damaged and eventually die.

Dementia is not a specific disease. Many diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia (due to strokes), Lewy Body disease, head trauma, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. These conditions can have similar and overlapping symptoms.

Some treatable conditions can produce symptoms similar to dementia, for example, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders or mental illness. It is therefore important to arrange for a full medical assessment as early as possible.

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging but age is the strongest known risk factor. This does not mean that most people develop the disease as they age. Most do not.

As of 2016, an estimated 564,000 Canadians were living with dementia, a figure expected to rise to 937,000 by 2031. Through committed staff and volunteers at resource centers across B.C., the generosity of donors and the support of the provincial government for First Link® dementia support, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. continues to provide free programs and services for British Columbians affected by dementia.

Living with Dementia

People with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and their caregivers benefit from receiving information as soon as possible. The journey with dementia poses many challenges, and reliable information about the types of help available will make a difference. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. offers educational programs throughout the province to educate, empower and support people living with dementia, their families, and friends. Below is a description of some of the resources available.

Education, Information, and More

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is your connection to a variety of resources and information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and to helpful information for family members and care-aides.

Individuals who are facing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias benefit from receiving information as soon as possible. The journey with dementia poses many challenges and having an understanding of what you are facing, and reliable information about the types of help available to you will make a difference.

Family care-aides caring for a person living with dementia can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. Solving problems and becoming confident in knowing how to care for a person with dementia can provide the person with a great sense of satisfaction.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. offers educational programs throughout the province to educate and empower people with dementia, their families, and friends. Below is a description of some of these programs.

Continuing Resources

First Link® Dementia Helpline

If you are living with dementia or have questions about the disease, call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. A trained, caring team of staff and volunteers will answer your call and can provide information and support.

First Link® Formal Referral

First Link® referrals help physicians and other health-care providers connect people affected by dementia to Alzheimer Society of B.C. services and support the journey with dementia. Once a referral has been made, you don’t have to contact the Alzheimer Society of B.C. — they will follow up with you to provide information and support as well as links to community supports and services. The more you know about Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, the better you may be able to cope with your situation.

Minds In Motion ®

Minds in Motion® is a fitness and social program for people experiencing early symptoms of dementia and a friend, family member or care partner. A 45-minute fitness program is led by a certified fitness instructor, followed by an hour of socializing, refreshments and activities such as board games, trivia games, word games, bingo or other activities.

Dementia Education

Family Caregiver Series

The Family Caregiver Series is a five-session education series for family members who are caring for a person living with dementia. Participants will learn about dementia, practical coping strategies, and early planning. Shaping the Journey: living with dementia® is an educational program designed specifically for people experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, as well as a care partner, family member or friend. It is for people who want to explore the journey ahead in a positive and supportive environment.

Shaping The Journey

Shaping the Journey: living with dementia® is an educational program designed specifically for people experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, as well as a care partner, family member, or friend. It is for people who want to explore the journey ahead in a positive and supportive environment.

Support Groups

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. offers support groups for family caregivers and people experiencing the early stages of dementia. These groups are there for people who want to inform themselves about current information that will help improve quality of life with the disease. They offer safe environments to learn, laugh and help each other through mutual understanding.

Contact a local Alzheimer Resource Centre to find a support group in your community or see the First Link Bulletin for a list of support groups and upcoming dementia education in your community.

For more information, please visit the Alzheimer Society of B.C. online at alzheimerbc.org or call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033.

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