Many Cowichan seniors are getting a diagnosis of dementia. (submitted)

Many Cowichan seniors are getting a diagnosis of dementia. (submitted)

Workshop helps Cowichan residents understand basic of dementia journey

Free Getting to Know Dementia workshop to Duncan on Thursday, May 2.

When Cowichan Valley residents face Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, they benefit from receiving information as soon as possible.

“The journey with dementia poses many challenges, and having an understanding of what you are facing, and reliable information about the types of help available to you, will make a difference,” says Jane Hope, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Support & Education coordinator for the Valley and the rest of the North and Central Island.

An increasing number of area residents now live with dementia, an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. To help them better understand this pressing health issue, the non-profit Society brings its free Getting to Know Dementia workshop to Duncan on Thursday, May 2.

“It’s an introductory session so we provide basic information on dementia and the impact it has on individuals, their caregivers and their support networks,” explains Hope.

Participants will learn about the support available to them, how to begin planning for the future, and strategies for living well.

This session is intended for people experiencing early symptoms of dementia, as well as family members or friends who are currently supporting a person with a recent dementia diagnosis. The workshop is not intended for the general public or health-care providers.

The workshop runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Duncan United Church, 246 Ingram St. Pre-registration is required by calling 250-746-6043.

More than half a million Canadians live with dementia. With 25,000 new cases diagnosed every year, that number is expected to rise to 937,000 by 2031 — an increase of 66 per cent.

The workshop is free thanks to partial funding from the Brian & Beverley de La Mothe Foundation, the Rix Family Foundation, the Phyliss & Irving Snider Foundation, Seacliff Foundation, the 1988 Foundation, St. Mary’s Health Foundation of New Westminster, Margaret Rothweiler Charitable Foundation, Wheeler Family Foundation, Paul Lee Family Foundation, the Highbury Foundation, Jack Brown & Family Alzheimer Research Foundation, the Clark Family Foundation, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation, the Kapler-Carter Foundation, the Belmont Foundation, the Legion Foundation, the Lecky Foundation, Provincial Employees Community Services Fund and by the generous contributions of individual donors.

The Society acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

If you are living with dementia or have questions about the disease, visit www.alzheimerbc.org and call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033.