Program puts minds in motion

Volunteers are urgently needed for a new program to help Nanaimo residents get their minds and bodies active.

Volunteers are urgently needed for a new program to help Nanaimo residents get their minds and bodies active.

The Minds in Motion program, offered by the Alzheimer Society of B.C., is a fitness and social program for people dealing with early-stage memory loss.

It is designed for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, who can be accompanied by a friend, family member or caregiver.

Early symptoms may include memory loss, confusion, communication difficulties and changes in mood and behaviour.

The weekly sessions start with light exercise conducted by a certified fitness instructor. Volunteers are needed to then help with activities or games and social time in a relaxed atmosphere.

For more information on volunteering, please call  Tina Biello at the Alzheimer Resource Centre at 250-734-4171.

The program begins Tuesday (Sept. 13)  and runs to Oct. 25 from 1-3 p.m. at Beban Park Social Centre.

Fee is $42 per couple for the seven weeks. Please call 250-756-5200 to register.

Meanwhile,  Nanaimo caregivers can make great strides in improving their lives through a free family caregiver series offered by the Alzheimer Society starting Sept. 17.

Running over four Saturdays, the series explains and demonstrates effective ways to care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

“For family caregivers, the commitment can last many years, and can bring with it high stress levels and illness,” said Jane Hope, regional support and education coordinator for the society .

The series, designed for family members who are caring for a person with dementia, runs until Oct. 15 (no session Oct. 8) at Nanaimo Seniors Village’s Dover Room, 6089 Uplands Dr. Each session is 1-3:30 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to attend all four sessions as they form a structured series. Topics include:

* Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

* Effective and creative ways of facilitating communication with a person with dementia.

* Problem solving for responsive behaviours.

* Planning ahead and understanding the health care system.

* Self-care for the caregiver.

Space is limited so pre-registration is required. For information and to register, please contact Hope at 250-734-4170 or jhope@alzheimerbc.org.