Alzheimer Society of B.C. is campaigning to reduce stigma around dementia. (Alzheimer Society of B.C./twitter)

Alzheimer’s Awareness Campaign hopes to reduce stigma around dementia

Alzheimer’s Society of B.C. is hosting a series of educational workshops

A national month-long Alzheimer’s Awareness Campaign aims to reduce stigma for Langley residents affected by dementia.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is hosting several workshops in the coming months to help people better understand the disease.

Dementia is a term that describes a general group of brain disorders, according to the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.

“We want to make sure that people who are diagnosed with dementia, and living with dementia, don’t feel excluded from the community, that they feel included and welcome in their community and that family and friends realize that people can still live well with their dementia for quite some period of time,” said Avalon Tournier, a support and education coordinator with the society.

READ MORE: 6 myths people still believe about dementia

A 2017 online survey done by Leger on behalf of Alzheimer Societies asked 1,500 Canadians about their perceptions and attitudes towards dementia and found 46 per cent of respondents would feel embarrassed if they had dementia, while 61 per cent of those surveyed said they would face discrimination, according to numbers provided by Tournier.

“We’re hoping that people will understand that people who have dementia are unique individuals… we also want to make sure we reduce the stigma,” said Tournier.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is offering support groups to help families live well with dementia.

“As with a lot of other illnesses that people are diagnosed with they can still live with a really good quality of life… and they can do that with supports from the community and with education as well from the Alzheimer Society,” explained Tournier.

READ MORE: Dementia villages offer secured freedom to aging B.C. patients

For more information on resources about dementia or to register for a workshop call 604-449-5000.

“Staff in those resource centres are often busy talking to other caregivers or we can be out presenting education, so we can’t always get back to people right away and of course we are crisis centre, but we always leave on our voice mail the Dementia Helpline,” Tournier said.

The helpline number is 1-800-936-6033.

Here is a list of upcoming workshops:

• Getting to know dementia

Feb. 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the City of Langley Library (20399 Douglas Cres.)

• Transitioning to Care & Life in Long term Care

Feb. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Langley Gardens (8888 202nd St.)

• Family caregiver series

Feb. 22, 29 and Mar. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Guildford Seniors Village (14568 104a Ave., Surrey)


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

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