eNewsletter January 2014


January is Alzheimer Awareness Month

Jan AwarenessThis January, during Alzheimer Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society is launching a nation-wide campaign to promote the benefits of early diagnosis. Earlier diagnosis opens the door to important information, resources and support and helps people with dementia remain independent in their homes and communities longer. Click here to learn the 10 benefits of early diagnosis.

With early diagnosis, Manitobans can access medications which, although may not work for everyone, are most effective when taken early. On a practical level, an early diagnosis gives someone the chance to explain the changes happening in their life to family and friends and allows families to plan ahead.

“We want to make sure that families are getting the help they need at every stage of the disease,” says Wendy Schettler, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. “Early diagnosis can bring relief to families and gives the person diagnosed an opportunity to be involved in important decisions about their future medical, financial and legal needs.”

One in every three Manitobans has a family member or close personal friend with dementia. Last year alone, there were over 4,500 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia in Manitoba. Within one generation (by the year 2038), this number threatens to rise dramatically to over 9,350 a year.

Throughout January, Manitobans are encouraged to visit the Alzheimer Society’s website, alzheimer.mb.ca, to learn how to spot the signs of dementia, understand the benefits of a diagnosis and prepare for a doctor’s visit.

“The sooner that someone knows they have dementia, the sooner they can find the help they need to move forward,” says Schettler. “Since one in three people are affected, it’s vital that people understand more about Alzheimer’s disease and how they can find help.”

A free public education seminar titled, Dementia…Answers You Need, will be held on Wednesday, January 29 from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium located in the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.  Join an expert panel as they discuss memory changes and dementia, the benefits of early diagnosis, how to reduce your risk factors and treatment options.

Click here to find out ways you can get involved during Alzheimer Awareness Month!


Where Do I begin: Family Education

Family EdThe Alzheimer Society of Manitoba offers Family Education throughout the province to educate and empower people with dementia, their families and friends. Learning new skills can help you face the daily realities of living with and caring for a person with dementia and it may help you better understand your own feelings.

Elly Degraff’s husband, Derek, was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012. Elly has attended a number of the Alzheimer Society’s Family Education sessions since Derek’s diagnosis, including a Living With Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias workshop, the Care4U Family Conference and several of the free family education sessions.

Elly says she started attending the sessions because she wanted to learn more about Derek’s disease.

“I wanted to learn more about dementia. I wanted to know what to expect and how to cope with things,” Elly says. Elly says the sessions she’s attended have been extremely beneficial and she’s been able to learn about different supports and resources that are available for people with dementia and their caregivers.

“The sessions have helped me learn the ins and outs of Derek’s disease, and what to expect in the future,” she says.

Maria Mathews, Manager of Family Education at the Alzheimer Society, says one of the great things about the Society’s Family Education sessions is that they cover a wide variety of topics and allow family members to choose sessions that are most appropriate for where they are in their dementia journey.

“The sessions are a wonderful mix of community professionals and Alzheimer Society staff, covering a range of topics relevant to those experiencing dementia,” Maria says. “Many of our clients come to multiple sessions as they continue through their dementia journey.”

Maria says she hopes those attending the Family Education sessions will take away one new piece of information they didn’t have before attending.

“I hope attendees can learn something new they can implement, gain confidence to advocate for help in their journey and increase their knowledge about how to navigate the next steps on their own,” Maria says.

“I want clients to take away information they feel is practical, useful and adaptable.”

Free Family Education sessions are held throughout the year.  For more information about Family Education Sessions, click here, or call 204-943-6622 (Winnipeg) or 1-800-378-6699 (outside of Winnipeg).

This is part three of a four part series highlighting some of the programs and services offered by the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. Watch the February eNewsletter for an article on Public Education.


The Alzheimer Society Helps Prepare for the Future

Dave BirdDave Moore was in his late 50s when his wife Audrey began noticing that his memory was getting progressively worse. They wasted no time talking to their family doctor and in February 2013, at the age of 61, Dave was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dave says that while his diagnosis was a shock for him, he’s trying not to let it hold him back. “I’m a positive person and I enjoy my life. I don’t think of myself as old yet, and so the disease is just something I have to deal with,” he says.

Dave and his wife Audrey were in contact with the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba almost immediately after Dave’s diagnosis.

“I was relieved to speak with someone from the Alzheimer Society to talk further about Dave’s diagnosis and what to do next,” says Audrey, who was referred to the Society by her family doctor through First Link®, a program in which health care professionals help connect people who are newly diagnosed to the Alzheimer Society for assistance. “It was wonderful to speak with someone who knew where I was coming from.”

While Dave and Audrey have accessed many of the Alzheimer Society’s supports, Audrey says the Experiencing Dementia program that she and Dave attended together shortly after his diagnosis was especially helpful.

“It gave us a better understanding of what was happening with Dave and how the disease progresses. It also gave me some insight into ways to cope with different situations that would be coming up or had come up already.”

Experiencing Dementia is an eight-week program designed to support family caregivers and people with early stage dementia.

Early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia is critical to ensuring proper support, care and treatment. It is also important because it allows the person with dementia and their families to make key financial and care decisions while they are still functioning at the highest possible level.

With Dave’s diagnosis, Audrey says she’s been able to plan for the future as Dave’s disease progresses. “We’ve done up our wills and have arranged for Power of Attorney,” Audrey says. “Having these things organized gives you a feeling of satisfaction and allows you the time to think about and prepare for what’s to come.”

If you or someone you know is affected by dementia, the Alzheimer Society can help you figure out your next steps.

“We look on the Alzheimer Society as a type of cushion, or a place to fall. It’s nice to know that there is someone you can call to talk things through,” says Audrey.

For more information on receiving a diagnosis, click here.


Dementia…Answers You Need

question mark We frequently see, hear or read stories about dementia in the media. Sometimes, it’s hard to know if the information is from a reliable source and whether or not we should be paying attention to it. Often it raises questions you may have about dementia.

On Wednesday, January 29, the Society is hosting a January Awareness Month event called Dementia… Answers You Need. The free public education event takes place from 7 to 8:30 pm in the Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium at St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, 351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg.

Norma Kirkby, Program Director at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, says this event is an opportunity for people to learn more about dementia and ask questions about what they are hearing regularly in the news.

“When a story about dementia is reported in the news, the Alzheimer Society sometimes receives a flood of phone calls,” says Norma. “This education seminar will address many of the concerns that arise from media coverage of various topics about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.”

Four panelists will discuss subjects frequently covered in the media, including memory issues, the process of diagnosis, cardiovascular risk factors that impact brain health and practical guidelines you can use to evaluate what you see, hear or read in the media.

“People continually express concerns about their memory. One of the topics of the evening will be early diagnosis. If you notice changes in your memory that affect daily living, it’s important to take them seriously and talk to your doctor. If you do have dementia, you want to make sure you have time to plan for the future,” says Norma.

Norma points out how we visit the doctor regularly to take care of our physical health. This evening will increase people’s understanding of the need to discuss brain health with their family physician and to take steps toward what Norma calls a personal “wellness plan”.

Dementia…Answers You Need will provide insight, advice and answers about dementia. Those interested can register online here or call 204-943-6622.


Caregiving Tips

tipslogoHelping children and teens understand dementia

When someone in the family has dementia everyone is affected, including the children. By helping them understand more about dementia they are enabled to maintain their relationship with the person, feel more at ease when sharing activities and take supportive roles in caring for the person.

Here are some ways to help children and teens understand more about dementia:

• Provide them with resources including books, websites and information from your Alzheimer Society.

• Explain things using words that they will understand.

• Let them know how things may change and reassure them the changes are not anyone’s fault.

• Listen to their concerns – they may be feeling sad, afraid, guilty, embarrassed or angry. Let them know their feelings are normal and offer comfort and support.

• Help them understand your feelings and reassure them that they do not have to feel the same way.

• Let them know that the time you spend supporting your family member with dementia does not mean that you care for them less.

When young people have a greater understanding of what is happening, they are more comfortable sharing time and activities with the family member who is diagnosed. Whether they revisit past activities or do new things together, they can continue their relationship in ways that are satisfying to them both. For more information on helping children and teens when someone in your family has dementia, click here.


Upcoming Education


Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Workshop (LWAD)

Saturday, January 25 & Saturday, February 1 – Winnipeg
9 am – 2 pm Seine River Retirement Residence 1015 St. Anne’s Rd (map)
Click here to register
Click here for poster


Saturday, January 25 & Saturday, February 1 – Winkler
9 am – 2 pm
Boundary Trails Health Centre in the Multi-Purpose Room (map) Winkler, Manitoba
Click here to register
Click here for poster


Saturday, February 22 – Selkirk
9 am – 4 pm
Gordon Howard Senior Centre 384 Eveline Ave Selkirk, MB
Click here for poster


Saturday, April 5 – Brandon
9 am – 4 pm 4th Floor Assiniboine Centre 150 McTavish Ave Brandon, MB
Click here for poster
Click here to register



Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: A Medical Perspective
Tuesday, February 4
6:30 pm – 8 pm (please arrive by 6:15 pm)
Click here for a complete list of Telehealth locations
Click here to register


Communication: The Right Approach Tuesday, February 11
6:30 pm – 8 pm (please arrive by 6:15 pm)
Click here for a complete list of Telehealth locations
Click here to register


Experiencing Dementia Program

Thursdays beginning February 20
8-week classroom program
10 am – 11:30 am
Click here for poster


Other Family Education

Options in Community Care: Home Care vs. Family Managed Care
Wednesday, February 19
7 pm – 8:30 pm
River Ridge Retirement Residence, 50 Ridgecrest Ave (map)
Click here for poster
Click here to register


Driving and Dementia
Thursday, March 13
7 pm -8:30 pm
St. George’s Anglican Church, 168 Wilton St. (map)
*Only 25 spots available
Click here for poster
Click here to register




Crestview United Event

Crestview United Church invites people with dementia and their caregivers to Memory Café. The Memory Café is a place where people affected by dementia can socialize and have fun with other people going through similar experiences.

Please join Crestview United Church (316 Hamilton Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba) for the first Memory Café on January 15, 2014 from 10:30 am to 12 pm. Memory Café meetings will continue to take place the third Wednesday of every month.

For more information, contact Crestview United Church at 204-832-0475 or Susan Gustafson at 204-831-7665 or s.gust@shaw.ca.


Dementia…Answers You Need

Wednesday, January 29
7 pm – 8:30 pm
Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium at St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, 351 Tache Ave (map)
Click here for poster
Click here to register




Dementia Care 2014

The Dementia Care conference is a two day learning opportunity for healthcare professionals caring for people with dementia. Join us March 10 & 11, 2014 at Canad Inns Polo Park for Dementia Care 2014!

Click here to view Dementia Care 2014 website
Click here to register online

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Upcoming Events

Door to Door Campaign

canvass groupDuring Alzheimer Awareness Month this January, volunteer canvassers will knock on doors and request donations to support the work of the Alzheimer Society.

Please give generously when a canvasser knocks on your door.

Click here for more information.


Altona Bake Sale

South Central Region’s Annual Bake Sale takes place Saturday, January 18 at 9 am at Altona Mall. Enjoy delicious baking with all proceeds supporting the work of the Alzheimer Society.

Click here for more information.


Carman Alzheimer Awareness Ukrainian Dinner

This year’s annual dinner takes place Friday, February 28 at 5 pm at the Active Living Centre in Carman, Manitoba. Purchase a $30 ticket to enjoy Ukrainian food and entertainment.

Click here for more information.


A Night to Remember in Ireland Gala

galaJoin us on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the RBC Convention Centre for A Night to Remember in Ireland Gala! Featuring a trip for two to Ireland! Join us for a gourmet meal, live and silent auctions and entertainment. Sponsor a table for 10 for $2000 with sponsorship benefits, or purchase tickets for $200 each. Click here for more information.