The Alzheimer Society of B.C. sells items like this twiddle muff to support programs through the society. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

End stigma to celebrate Alzheimer Awareness Month

Provincial society offers resources for those living with dementia

I Live With Dementia, Let Me Help You Understand, kicks off for Alzheimer Awareness Month.

The campaign is all about putting forth faces and voices of those living with various forms and stages of dementia such as Victoria’s Cindy Player. She discovered the Alzheimer Society and the resources available after her mother was diagnosed and she burst into the Saanich office crying. She continues to use the programs.

“I take part in some of the programs here and stuff and I think it’s really quality service,” Player said.

The support is broad and varied, said Meriel Randerson, support and education coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.. There are 15 different courses available by donation so no one is excluded by cost.

“We also have many different support groups that run throughout Greater Victoria,” Randerson said.

Minds in Motion, for example, is a fitness and social program for people experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and a friend, family member or care partner.

“That is great for people in early stages to middle stages of dementia and their care partner,” Randerson said. “Half of it is fitness and half of it is more socializing and doing brain stimulation games as a group. It’s an excellent program that has research behind it to show that it does actually improve and extend the quality of life of somebody with dementia by participating in those kind of exercises.”

Often after diagnosis, the relationship between caregiver – whether spouse, child or peer – revolves suddenly around the illness.

“What we want to do is something that is focused around healthy living and healthy living with dementia,” Randerson said. “It almost creates an informal support group in that way.”

Minds in Motion is available at the Monterey Recreation Centre in Oak Bay for of $40 for five weeks. Call at 250-370-7300 or drop by, 1442 Monterey Ave.

One way they fund programs, is through the sale of twiddle muffs crafted by volunteer knitters and sewers.

The muffs, also available in other forms such as the fiddle quilt that goes across the lap, are available for suggested donation of $40 at the resource centre on Burnside Road West. For more information call the Alzheimer Resource Centre at 250-382-2052.

Minds in Motion across Greater Victoria

Gordon Head Recreation Centre

4100 Lambrick Way, Saanich, B.C.

Mondays from 10-11:30 a.m.

Monterey Centre (Monday Program)

1442 Monterey Avenue, Victoria, B.C.

Mondays from 1:30-3 p.m.

Pearkes Recreation Centre

3100 Tillicum Road, Victoria, B.C.

Tuesdays from 1:30-3 p.m.

Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre

1767 Island Highway, Victoria, B.C.

Wednesdays from 10-11:30 a.m.

Esquimalt Recreation Centre

527 Fraser Street, Esquimalt, B.C.

Wednesdays from 1:30-3 p.m.

SHOAL Centre

10030 Resthaven Drive, Sidney, B.C.

Thursdays from 1:30-3 p.m.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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