Alzheimer's Society hosts free dementia education workshops

Living well with dementia

Kelowna families and caregivers of people living with dementia will have the opportunity this December to learn more about what to expect on the journey, in the lead up to Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. 

Three free education sessions are being hosted by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. on Dec. 4, 9 and 16 to educate residents living with or caring for a person with dementia on how best to support their loved ones. 

In British Columbia, approximately 70,000 people are currently living with dementia. The diagnosis can come as a shock and be a difficult transition for families, says Sherry Wezner, a society support and education co-ordinator for Kelowna and the rest of the North and Central Okanagan region.

She knows the impact an education session or two can have on families and caregivers trying to cope with the change.

“The first thing we hear from people when they attend workshops like this is just an overwhelming sense of relief. They’re so relieved to know they’re not alone and there’s other people experiencing the same things they are.” 

The monthly education sessions provide families and caregivers with coping strategies, a supportive community and the assistance they need but may not be able to easily access. 

One of the most important aspects of learning how to care for people with dementia is understanding how communication styles can be significantly impacted, says Wezner.

“Learning how to facilitate communication is really important, because that can be the biggest barrier people face when looking after someone with dementia. Communication completely changes for that person and can become quite limited, so for caregivers and families to know and understand those changes is really helpful.”

All three workshops take place at the Alzheimer Resource Centre at 307-1664 Richter Street. Pre-registration is required by contacting 250-860-0305 or emailing [email protected]

  • Wednesday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Understanding Communication: Provides an understanding of how communication is affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Participants will explore effective ways of facilitating communication and providing support to the person living with dementia.
  • Monday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Life in Long-term Care: How to care for a family member living with dementia in long-term care. Participants will also leave with tips for enhancing visits, working with a care team and acting as an advocate.
  • Monday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Long Distance Caregiving: Covers the issues of caring for someone from a distance and offer strategies to better cope with the challenges.

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