Workshops educate patients, families on dementia

NANAIMO – Alzheimer Society of B.C. hosts education seminars in November.

“You have dementia.”

It’s a phrase no one wants to hear from their doctor – Alzheimer’s disease is the second most-feared disease for Canadians as they age – yet it’s a reality for an ever-increasing number of Nanaimo residents.

To help them understand this pressing health issue, the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. brings two free workshops to the city in the coming weeks.

The first, Getting to Know Dementia, provides basic information on dementia and the impact it has on individuals, their caregivers and their support networks, explains Jane Hope, the society’s support and education coordinator for central and North Island.

“Participants will learn about the different types of support available throughout the dementia journey, how to begin planning for the future, and strategies for living well,” she says.

The 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. It runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 21.

The other session, the two-part Family Caregiver Series, provides practical techniques and strategies that caregivers can begin using immediately.

Topics to be covered include understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; effective and creative ways of facilitating communication with a person with dementia; understanding behaviour as a form of communication; self-care for the caregiver; planning for the future.

The series runs Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, from 12:30-4:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops, which take place at the Alzheimer Resource Centre, 200 – 1585 Bowen Rd.

For information, please call Jane Hope at 250-734-4170 or e-mail