Alzheimer sufferers benefit from educational program

A new educational program will help Nanaimo families and caregivers who are coping with the impact of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Shaping the Journey: Living with Dementia starts May 18 and is designed specifically for people experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, or who have had a recent diagnosis. It also is intended for care partners, family members, or friends.

“It is for people who want to explore the journey ahead in a positive and supportive environment,” said Tina Biello, First Link coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in Nanaimo. “Educating yourself will allow you to gain an understanding of what you and your family members are faced with, giving you the skills and confidence to maintain quality of life, both now and in the future.”

The program runs Wednesdays from May 18 through June 22, 1:30-4 p.m. in Nanaimo.

Residents interested in participating must contact Biello as soon as possible. She will conduct a brief interview to determine whether the program will be able to meet your current needs.

She can be reached at 250-734-4171 or

In six 2.5-hour sessions, the program covers the effects of dementia, dealing with the diagnosis and life after diagnosis, maintaining general health, planning ahead and maintaining spirit.

Another benefit of the program is participants meet others going through similar experiences.

“They will learn strategies to cope with changes and maximize quality of life,” said Biello. “They’ll also review information needed to plan for the future.”

Nanaimo residents can also visit the society’s website at


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