(Black Press file)

Workshop fills increasing need in Cowichan for help in living well with dementia

“We offer practical techniques and strategies that they can begin using immediately”

National statistics suggest as many as 20 per cent of Cowichan Valley residents may have experience caring for someone living with dementia.

That means there’s a tremendous need locally for information to help people live well with dementia.

The free Family Caregiver Series, offered by the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C., helps fill that need. Coming to Duncan starting on Oct. 4 for five consecutive Fridays, it provides basic information about the disease for family members who are caring for a person living with dementia.

“We offer practical techniques and strategies that they can begin using immediately,” says Jane Hope, an Alzheimer Society of B.C. Support & Education coordinator for the Valley and the rest of the Central & North Island region.

The series helps caregivers understand changes in communication and behaviour caused by dementia. Sessions also offer insight into planning for the future and self-care for caregivers.

“The physical and psychological impact on family caregivers is considerable,” says Hope.

Dementia is the medical term for a set of symptoms that are caused by illnesses affecting the brain. A survey done for the Alzheimer Society of Canada shows that one in five Canadians has experience caring for someone living with a form of dementia.

The Family Caregiver Series runs for five Fridays from Oct. 4 through Nov. 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Rd. Pre-registration is required by contacting 1-800-462-2833.

If you are living with dementia or have questions about the disease, visit www.alzheimerbc.org and call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 (English), 1-833-674-5007 (Cantonese and Mandarin) or 1-833-674-5003 (Punjabi).

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