Alzheimer’s awareness month has arrived in Hope

The month of January has been set aside to help educate the community about the disease

January marks Alzheimer Awareness month, and Hope residents are on board to demonstrate their support for the important and highly stigmatized health issue by becoming Dementia Friends.

Dementia Friends are committed to learning about dementia, so they’re better able to be supportive and inclusive when dealing with the illness, which has rapidly become one of Canada’s most urgent health concerns.

“People affected by dementia continue to live in and be part of our communities, and we can support them by helping them stay connected in ways that are meaningful to them,” said Cyndi McLeoad, support and education coordinator for the non-profit organization Alzheimer Society of B.C. Chilliwack-Hope.

According to statistics, three out of four area residents, know someone living with the debilitating disease.

“Through individual action we can raise awareness of dementia and reduce the stigma attached to it,” said McLeod. Better coping mechanisms with the illness have been a positive result of the Society’s advocacy to city councils and local businesses, which help inform people about the symptoms of  Alzheimers.

Through proactive engagement with the community and education, stigma surrounding the illness is becoming less of a concern in the lives of family members and those coping with the disease. Having an outreach program that addresses social isolation while encouraging patients to reach out to others, is part of a success strategy to manage the disease.

“It’s important that people have an understanding, and that we dispel some of the myths surrounding the illness, so they know that a diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of life — we do our best to support individuals on their own journey,” said McLeod.

Care groups are also offered to help sufferers cope with memory loss and disorientation. “Each case is different — we judge the individual as one incident, and we don’t lump them into a group,” said McLeod.

There are many aspects to the illness that can be a detriment to communication, thinking patterns and the completion of everyday activities, but it is possible to live well with the disease.  The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Chilliwack-Hope branch aims  to help residents navigate the terrain of the illness together with their care-givers.

“Knowledge can easily translate into action at home and work,” said McLeod.

Since it’s inception in 1981, the Society has supported people living with dementia and one of its successful programs called First Link, connects people affected by dementia with the information they need. The Society also has a host of support services and programs such as Minds in Motion (which helps to keep people engaged mentally and physically, while experiencing symptoms.) There are also dementia education sessions to help with the different stages of the illness.

Hope residents can find out about upcoming education sessions by contacting Cyndi McLeod at 604-702-4603, cmcleod@alzheimerbc.org, and visiting www.alzheimerbc.org.

Just Posted

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Cover of the 32-page Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers, created and compiled by Jeska Slater.
New ‘Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers’ seeks to ‘uplift and amplify’ voices

32-page guide launched Tuesday by Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)

Most Read