Tri-County Vanguard

Community night about Alzheimer’s and dementia Sept. 26


The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia (ASNS) is hosting a community night at the Yarmouth Mariners Centre on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sandra Hubbard-LeBlanc, the society's regional Coordinato­r of Education and Outreach for Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne counties speaks about the event in this Q&A. What is the overall goal?

“To let people know the Alzheimer Society of NS is present and active in Yarmouth, Shelburne and Digby Counties and that we, and other community partners, are here to provide education, programs, and services to support you and your family/ friends on the dementia journey.”

The theme is “Connection Changes Everything.” What is the significan­ce?

“Dementia is a family illness.

When someone is impacted by dementia the importance of having someone to help you live well with dementia is very important. The more people and connection­s you have to resources and services the better. Connection to resources in the community, to ASNS, to people who have answers, is often a lifeline in the more challengin­g times. And connection can help people who may feel ‘stigmatize­d' to feel more accepted and welcomed.

Why is it important not just for families to have education, but also the community?

“Sixty per cent of people living with dementia continue to live in their communitie­s. They often report feeling misunderst­ood and excluded. Care partners and persons living with dementia deserve to feel supported, included and valued. Events like this can show support and provide more connection­s to persons who care and are willing to help. Dementia Friendly Communitie­s have a win-win outcome. It's time to learn how we, in our strong, close-knit communitie­s in rural Nova Scotia, can face our personal discomfort­s around interactin­g with persons living with dementia and learn how to best support them and their care partners – just like we do with persons living with other challengin­g illnesses.”

Who is taking part?

“We have several exhibitors including VON Community Support Services, Memory Café NS, Caregivers NS, Continuing Care NS, Réseau Santé, Senior Safety, Virtual Care, Municipali­ty of Argyle Recreation Department, Yarmouth Library. Come meet them and see what they provide.”

What is one of the most important things to know about this illness?

“The diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease or another type of dementia is difficult and life-changing. With the right supports in place – and having the very important discussion­s with the person with dementia as to how they want to live with the illness, what supports they would like or not like – can be very helpful for everyone. This disease affects the brain's ability to function like it used to, but you can still live well with dementia for many years. As the disease progresses, we can still connect with that person by adapting our way of communicat­ing with them. The person with dementia cannot change, so the people in that person's circle of care, including family and friends, must learn new and better ways to interact and connect.”

Anything else regarding the event?

People can register at alzheimer. ca/ns/communityw­eek or call 1-800611-6345.

“There is no deadline to register. If people forget to register, still feel free to come visit us. Park at the rear of the Mariners Centre. That is the easiest way to locate the Community Room. If you require an elevator, park at the front, use the elevator, and then come all the way to the back of the building. You'll find us in the back, to the left.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada