The Minds in Motion program is for seniors with early symptoms of dementia and their care partners. (Colleen Flanagan/Black Press)

Cowichan Valley fitness, social program needs volunteers to keep Minds in Motion

“I go to Minds in Motion and meet support and acceptance,” says one caregiver participant.

Looking to make a difference in your community? The non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. needs volunteers in Cowichan Valley on an ongoing basis to help facilitate its upcoming sessions of its Minds in Motion program.

The fitness and social program was developed in response to a need for opportunities for people living with early stage dementia and their care partners to stay active and engaged in their communities. Dementia can be a very isolating condition for the person living with the disease and their care partners. Minds in Motion provides the opportunity for people living with dementia to connect with others, make new friends and have fun while staying physically active. It also allows care partners to connect and form new social support networks that often extend outside of the group. Benefits of the exercise component include improved balance, mobility and flexibility, as well as increased comfort and confidence in living well with dementia.

“I go to Minds in Motion and meet support and acceptance,” says one caregiver participant.

“It’s very rewarding work,” says Shanan St. Louis, the Society’s Minds in Motion coordinator for Duncan and the North and Central Vancouver Island. “You’re enriching the lives of others.”

A certified fitness instructor conducts the fitness portion of the program. A facilitator ensures participants are involved in activities or just enjoying social time and light refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere.

In addition to helping others, volunteers have the opportunity to spend rewarding one-to-one time with participants and see first-hand how people’s lives are impacted by this program. Some experience working with older adults and basic knowledge of, or experience with, dementia would also be helpful. Volunteers are needed for three hours each week.

For information on volunteering in Duncan, contact Stacy Ashton, provincial program coordinator of Volunteer Resources at sashton@alzheimerbc.org or 604-742-4937.

To register as a participant in Minds in Motion, contact Shanan St. Louis, at 250-734-4170. If you have other questions about the other services offered through First Link dementia support, or for more information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please call the First Link Dementia Helpline (1-800-936-6033) or visit www.alzheimerbc.org.

Minds in Motion is made possible through a partnership between the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and the B.C. Ministry of Health.

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