January is Alzheimer Awareness Month. The aim is to help people live well with dementia. (submitted)

Alzheimer awareness campaign aims to build support, understanding

January is national Alzheimer Awareness Month.

Cowichan Valley residents are being asked to join a national awareness campaign to challenge public perceptions of what it means to live with dementia.

January is national Alzheimer Awareness Month. The 2018 campaign aims to convert judgment into compassion and assumptions into understanding so that people with dementia feel supported in the local community.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is releasing findings of a new survey to help kick off its new social awareness campaign — I live with dementia. Let me help you understand — to spark conversations and encourage the Cowichan Valley residents to see dementia differently.

“Stigma significantly affects the well-being of people living with dementia,” says Jane Hope, support and education coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for the Cowichan Valley and North/Central Vancouver Island. “In order to build a dementia-friendly society, we need to move away from fear and denial of the disease, towards awareness and understanding.”

To tackle stigma, the Alzheimer Society is letting the experts — people affected by dementia — do the talking. One of these experts is Cindy Player of Victoria. Cindy has experienced stigma from people when they’ve learned about her diagnosis.

“I feel better when I’m honest,” Cindy said. “In spite of the risks, there’s a benefit for me in being open about living with dementia.”

Cindy and others invite the Cowichan Valley residents to hear their inspiring stories and take a few pointers from them on how to be open and accepting towards people living with dementia.

Their stories are featured on a dedicated campaign website, where visitors will also find tips on how to be more dementia friendly, activities to test their knowledge, and other resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to affect every single one of us.

To help stop stigma and read the full survey, visit ilivewithdementia.ca – and use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.

Dementia is one of the country’s most pressing health issues. The Society offers a variety of assistance to area families and other caregivers, such as the First Link Dementia Helpline. It can be reached at 1-800-936-6033.

The regional Alzheimer Resource Centre can connect residents to support groups, including ones that can be accessed by telephone, educational seminars and workshops, and programs that help people live well with dementia.

The Society also provides useful resources for health care professionals.

For more information visit www.alzheimerbc.org.

Just Posted

City of Duncan considers transgender washrooms

Issue to be discussed at council meeting on March 19

South Island travel book a best seller

Areas of the Cowichan Valley covered

Elders Gathering in Cowichan Valley needs volunteers

Upwards of 5,000 participants expended to attend

Cowichan school district takes prize for trades training

The award includes $5,000 in additional funding

VIDEO: Colin James Blues Trio will play to a sold out house in Duncan

He’s always popular when he comes to the Cowichan Valley.

UPDATED: Brake failure sees plane crash into gate; nobody injured

Rescue crews headed to the scene at Stamps and Henderson Roads.

Coming up in Cowichan: Public speaking, water, food preservation

The Justice for the Peace Island tour is stopping in Duncan on Wednesday, March 21.

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

Most Read