The Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of Salmon Arm and the entire Shuswap region for their encouraging response to January’s annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and to our campaign intended to challenge stigma surrounding the disease: “Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.”
Recently, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences released a report by a panel of dementia experts highlighting priorities for a national dementia strategy, work undertaken by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2018. The authors emphasized the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles that might prevent or delay dementia, as well as overcoming stigma and fear of living with dementia. They stressed that it’s possible to live well with the disease.
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With over half a million Canadians currently living with dementia – a number that will only grow as the population ages – it has never been so important to be open to having a conversation about dementia. It’s never been so important to change the conversation.
Though Awareness Month is now over, you can still visit ilivewithdementia.ca. Find tips on how to be more dementia friendly, as well as resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to affect every single one of us. You can also use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.
If your family lives with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please contact our regional Alzheimer Resource Centre at 250-860-0305 (toll-free 250-860-0305) for information on support groups and the many other services we offer to assist you. You can also call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 and visit www.alzheimerbc.org.
Support/education co-ordinator, First Link®
Alzheimer Society of B.C.