September is World Alzheimer’s Month and Nanaimo residents can take footsteps to help the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
The Climb for Alzheimer’s, benefiting the society, will take place until Sept. 21, World Alzheimer’s Day. People are invited to plan their own hike, with Sugarloaf Mountain Park a suggested local site. The society suggests starting with a beginning hike and working up to an advanced hike by the end of the challenge.
As World Alzheimer’s Month takes place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Nanaimo should also be mindful that people with dementia and their caregivers have seen more challenges than most, says the society.
The pandemic has brought about provincial health restrictions that have limited visiting and that has led to people in Nanaimo affected by dementia to experiencing “isolation and uncertainty, along with the loss of many of the services that they depend on,” the society said in a press release.
Throughout the month, Alzheimer Society of B.C. will work to continue the conversation about dementia with educational webinars every week and an upcoming virtual event where provincial politicians will have a chance to “hear first-hand about the experiences of people living with dementia during the pandemic,” according to the press release.
At the centre of the society’s message is “people living with dementia must have a role in shaping policies that will affect them, to ensure those policies are reflective of their changing needs in an uncertain world,” the release noted.
Jim Mann, a dementia awareness advocate, himself suffering with dementia, hopes awareness and issues remain top of mind for people in the province.
“The more that we talk about issues associated with dementia, the more people will become aware of and accepting towards people in their communities who are living with it,” Mann said in the press release.