Journey with dementia poses challenges

NANAIMO: Alzheimer journey discussed during five-week workshop.

The journey with dementia poses many challenges.

For Nanaimo families and caregivers on the journey, having an understanding of what they face can make all the difference.

That’s why the Alzheimer Society of B.C. brings its educational program, Shaping the Journey: Living with Dementia, to Nanaimo later this month.

“It helps families build the knowledge, skills and confidence to live well with dementia,” said Tina Biello, local First Link coordinator for the society.

The program is designed specifically for people experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

It is also intended for care partners, family members, or friends. That includes many people in Nanaimo, since an estimated one in three Canadians knows someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

“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,” said Biello.

In five Thursday sessions – 12:30-3 p.m. Sept. 20 through Oct. 18 – the program will covers:

* The brain and dementia

* Hearing the diagnosis

* Maintaining your general health

* Life after diagnosis

* Planning ahead

* Maintaining your spirit

Participants not only learn about the disease, but meet others going through similar experiences and learn strategies to cope with changes and maximize quality of life.

Registration is required to participate in Shaping the Journey. To sign up, please contact Biello at 250-734-4171 or e-mail tbiello@alzheimerbc.org.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please go to www.alzheimerbc.org.