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Editorial: Those living with dementia can still be full of life

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. (Stock photo)

A dementia diagnosis can bring despair, but a goal of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is to remind families that there is reason to be hopeful and positive.

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. issued a press release asking central Island residents to recognize the occasion by challenging stigma surrounding dementia. The society noted that one out of two British Columbians believe that a dementia diagnosis “means the end of a meaningful life,” and stresses that’s not the case. This month, the society is taking the opportunity to spotlight people living with dementia who continue to find joy and purpose.

“Local research reveals the overwhelming sense of hopelessness faced by people with dementia and their caregivers,” the release noted. “The organization aims to break down that stigma, showcasing the myriad of ways someone can lead a fulfilling life even with dementia.”

The society aims to offer programs that emphasize living well and help people with dementia and loved ones forge new community connections and discover empowerment through self-advocacy.

People living with dementia have a better chance to live full lives of joy, peace and happiness with the support of their community, the society notes. That might mean charitable support, but it might also mean setting aside stigma and setting out to learn more and understand.

The society’s Nanaimo resource centre serves people north of the Malahat and offers early-stage support groups, family/caregiver support groups, teleconference support groups, education workshops and more. For more information about support services, education and information, visit

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About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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