eNewsletter June 2015

In This Issue

2015 Annual General Meeting  
Tree of Memories Ceremony
Dr. Gordon Glazner in Second Year of ASRP Funding
Graduate Student Fellowships Awarded
Father’s Day Gift Idea: Forget About the Socks and Ties
Reducing the Risk of Financial Abuse
Caregiving Tips
Spotlight on Current Research: Healthy Food Choices
Study Participants Needed: Are You Caring for a Family Member with Dementia?
MedicAlert® Safely Home®
Volunteers Needed for Minds in Motion® Program
Upcoming Education and Support Groups
Upcoming Events


You Are Invited

Please join us as we celebrate a year of accomplishments, recognize our dedicated volunteers
and honour those who have lost their lives to dementia.

Wednesday, June 24
Alzheimer Society – Provincial Office 
10-120 Donald Street, Winnipeg, MB

5:15 pm – Reception
5:45 pm – Volunteer Recognition & Tree of Memories Ceremony
7:00 pm – Annual General Meeting

RSVP to Trudy Mattey by Friday, June 19 at tmattey@alzheimer.mb.ca
or 204-943-6622 ext 214.


Tree of Memories Ceremony

Honour the memory of your loved one by adding a commemorative leaf to our Tree of Memories
at the Annual General Meeting.


For a gift of $250 to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, you will receive an engraved brass leaf with the name of your loved one. If you wish, you will have the opportunity to say a few words as you personally place your leaf on the Tree.

To purchase a leaf or to participate in this ceremony, contact Trudy Mattey by
Friday, June 5 at tmattey@alzheimer.mb.ca or 204-943-6622 ext 214.


Dr. Gordon Glazner Embarks on Second Year of ASRP Funding

GordonWinnipeg neurobiologist Dr. Gordon Glazner is the Principal Investigator for the Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders at the St. Boniface Research Centre in Winnipeg, MB, and Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. Last year, his ongoing research into Alzheimer’s disease earned him the top funding award from the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) for 2014.


This two-year grant is helping Dr. Glazner and his team to continue their research into Alzheimer’s disease. If successful, the particular project they are currently working on will be the basis for the development of a treatment for the disease, bringing us one step closer to the goal of a cure.

The current focus of Dr. Glazner’s research is the recently discovered connection between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. In people with Alzheimer’s disease, the insulin receptors in the brain, but not in other parts of the body, act as though they are diabetic. This has led researchers to further investigate insulin in the brain to see if there is some connection to Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information on Dr. Glazner’s research, click here.

About the Alzheimer Society Research Program
The ASRP is supported by Alzheimer Societies across Canada and their generous donors. It funds emerging and established investigators working in the biomedical and quality-of-life fields. The program was established in 1989 and has, to date, invested over $43 million in research. This research is needed to keep pace with the increasing prevalence and impact of dementia. Currently, 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and by 2031, that number will reach 1.4 million.


Graduate Student Fellowships Awarded

Green Test TubeThe Alzheimer Society of Manitoba is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015-16 Graduate Student Fellowship Research Program. The purpose of these awards is to enhance knowledge about the cause, treatment, cure and effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in the biomedical and psychosocial domain by encouraging and stimulating graduate student research activity in these areas.

One of the recipients is Brent Aulston, a Ph.D student in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Brent’s area of study is Direct brain delivery of secreted amyloid precursor protein alpha, via genetically modified neural stem cell implantation in an Alzheimer’s disease model.

Farnaz Farshidfar is the second recipient. She is a Master’s student in the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Her area of study is Effects of creatine supplementation on muscle metabolism in an Alzheimer mouse model.

Congratulations to Brent and Farnaz  for their accomplishments! Watch for the July and August issues of this eNewsletter for more detailed descriptions of the work of these graduate students.


Are You Tired of Giving Ties and Socks on Father’s Day?

3 tiesWhy not do something a little different for your father this year on his special day? You can help the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba to assist people with dementia and their families by making a donation in honour of your father. Your father will be proud of your generosity on his behalf, and families all over Manitoba will appreciate this kind gesture!

To make a donation, click here.

Thank you!


Reducing the Risk of Financial Abuse

shaking hands

It is a reality that people with dementia may experience financial abuse perpetrated by a stranger, an acquaintance or even a family member. However, there are ways to prevent or minimize the possibility of such abuse, ensuring that the person is at a lower risk of being exploited for their funds and resources.

Advice to the Person with Dementia
If you are a person with dementia, you can take action to protect yourself while you are still able. Norma Kirkby, Program Director at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, says that an important first step is selecting and appointing a power of attorney (P of A) whom you trust to act on your behalf when you are no longer able to make decisions. You should take the time to apprise that person, as well as your family members, about your values and the way you would like your resources to be managed.

“Another important step is to give your financial institutions and any businesses you are associated with a copy of the power of attorney document,” says Norma. “These organizations need to know, through discussion with you and as outlined in the instructions to your power of attorney, how you want things to be taken care of when you are unable to do so for yourself.”

You can take the lead in addressing other financial details by setting up automatic deposits of income and preauthorizing payment of bills. It is also advisable to reposition resources; such a move would limit the amount of assets that are at risk should your judgement decline.

Advice to the Power of Attorney
If you are a P of A, you are in a key position to keep the person with dementia involved in their own financial affairs. All it takes is a little thought and the willingness to adjust your methods to the ability of the person.

For example, rather than making all decisions related to a matter in one sitting, break the tasks into manageable segments. Likewise, when discussing financial matters, use language that is easy to understand and select a time of day when the person is most alert and able.

“Another way to streamline decisions and engage the person is to provide only the good options for consideration rather than presenting less advantageous ideas,” says Norma. “This makes it easier for the person to make their selection.”

It’s also a good idea to keep the discussion of details to a minimum and, instead, emphasize the principles the person would want to use in a situation. A good example is a person’s desire to give to charitable causes; you may not need to specifically identify a cause with the person because the spirit of giving is the main consideration. Or, you could look at the person’s past giving history to make a decision on their behalf regarding charitable donations.

A P of A also needs to help the person to identify what financial independence means to them. Is it having enough money in their pocket to buy a coffee at the café? Is it setting up a tab system at the café so that purchases are paid for monthly?

“It’s important for the power of attorney to remember that it’s their responsibility to protect the person’s resources and to assure that these resources are used for the person’s wellbeing,” says Norma. “If the person with dementia is making unwise decisions and placing their assets at risk, the power of attorney must take action.”


Caregiving Tips

tipslogoCelebrating Fathers as Caregivers
Is your father caring for a spouse or partner, a parent or another relative? To celebrate the role fathers have in our lives, consider showing your appreciation by giving gifts of time or shared activity. Here are a few ideas:

  • It’s June! The weather is ideal for a barbecue. Gather the family for your father’s favourite grilled dishes. Give him a break from grilling and have someone else do it. Let him relax while the grill is on.
  • Organize an activity that you can do as a group with your dad and the person that he’s caring for. Go for a nice breakfast, a walk in the park or enjoy quiet time on the patio.
  • Have you noticed yard work that’s yet to be done? Volunteer to do it for him.

Another key way to show thanks for your father’s efforts is to arrange for someone else to stay with the person he cares for. That way, your dad will get a break to pursue his own interests. Here are some ideas:

  • Take your father for a round of golf or to a baseball game, or pick him up as you head out to your child’s soccer game.
  • Invite your father for dinner. He may want to check out a new restaurant or stop at a favourite café that he has not visited for a while.
  • Set up a fishing trip with his old buddies.
  • Offer a relaxation day. Schedule a haircut, a massage or time that lets him attend a favourite activity, such as a musical event or a church service.

If you’re not sure what your father might like to do, don’t be afraid to ask him and let him decide.

Men who are providing care to a family member or friend with dementia are special. They appreciate your support. This month, plan to thank them for all they do!


Spotlight on Current Research:
Healthy Food Choices May Lower the Risk of Cognitive Decline

fruit and veggiesA study published in the journal Neurology analyzed the impact of the quality of diet on the risk of cognitive decline among individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease. The research included 27,860 participants aged 55 years and older from 40 countries.

For this study, high risks for cardiovascular disease included a history of one or more of coronary, cerebral artery or peripheral artery disease, or high risk diabetes mellitus. Cognitive decline was defined as a decrease of three or more points in cognitive scores (Mini Mental State Examination) at any time during follow up. Diet quality was measured using an index that looked at consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and soy proteins, whole grain, deep-fried foods, ratio of fish to meat and eggs, and alcohol. A higher score indicated more frequent intake of healthy food choices (e.g., fruits, vegetables, nuts and soy proteins).

Cognitive decline occurred in 4,699 participants (16.8%) during the course of the study. It was observed that cognitive decline was lowest among those who reported the healthiest diets (highest scores in diet quality index). Results showed a 24% lower likelihood of cognitive decline among people with a high quality diet.

Most people are aware that healthy eating is a good practice that can reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This study indicates that healthy food choices not only improve general health, but they are also beneficial to brain health. Making long-term healthy dietary choices, along with adopting other healthy behaviours, may help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

To read an article about the study, click here.

For tips in taking action on healthy food choices, click here.


Study Participants Needed:
Are You Caring for a Family Member with Dementia?

Mom and SonIf so, you are invited to participate in a research study about caregiving experiences and wellbeing. The study requires primary family caregivers of a loved one with dementia who is 60+ years and not living in a hospital or long-term care facility. Participation will take about 10 minutes and your answers will be anonymous.

The results of this survey will contribute to better understanding the experiences of familial caregivers and their overall wellbeing and will provide information to help make caregiver support services better.

Click here for more information.

To complete the survey online, please click here.


Medic Alert for eNews


Volunteers Needed for Minds in Motion® Program

Minds In MotionThe Alzheimer Society needs 10 to 12 volunteers for the Minds in Motion® program. This program focuses on promoting physical activity, socialization and mental stimulation for people with dementia and their care partners. Click here to find out more about the program.

As a Minds in Motion® program volunteer, you will:

  • help with the set up and clean up of refreshments, games and activities for the social part of the program
  • assist the program facilitator to ensure activity participation and socialization
  • under the direction of the fitness instructor, provide one-to-one guidance assisting participants during the fitness part of the program

Click here to fill out a volunteer application form. Send completed form to Trudy Mattey – Manager, Events and Volunteers.


Upcoming Education

The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba offers educational programs throughout the province to educate and empower people with dementia, their families and friends.

Surviving Ambiguous Loss and Grief:
Tips for Caregivers and Those That They Care For

Wednesday, June 17
7 to 8:30 pm
River Ridge Retirement Residence, 50 Ridgecrest Avenue, Winnipeg (map)
Click here to register or call 204-943-6622.


Upcoming Support Groups

Click here for information on Support Groups for People with Dementia

Click here for information on Support Groups for Family and Friends

Upcoming Events

Touch Quilt Presentations

touch quiltsThe Alzheimer Society will be presenting 100 Touch Quilts to the residents of Misericordia Place on Tuesday, June 2. Beacon Hill Lodge and Concordia place will also be receiving Touch Quilts for each of their residents this spring.

Touch Quilts are crafted by many caring community volunteers. The hope is to provide a Touch Quilt to every person residing in a personal care home in Manitoba and to create a sense of community giving. To date, over 4,700 Touch Quilts have been made and distributed. For more information, click here.


Canada 5000 Rally Against Alzheimer’s

Canada 5000 rallyDave Myers (left) and Dave Clark (right) are doing a 5000-mile drive across Canada in a vintage Volvo 122S to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society. They will arrive in Winnipeg on Monday, June 15 at approximately 7 pm!

Come to the parking lot of Nature’s Playground in Assiniboine Park for an informal gathering and mingle with other supporters. When the two Daves arrive, you can cheer them on!

Click here to donate online.
Click here for more information.

(Photo: Karlie Marrazzo)



Memory Walk
Mom and Daughter walkersDuring the month of June, thousands of walkers throughout Manitoba will raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. The money raised helps support programs and services for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, as well as the search for a cure.

The Winnipeg Memory Walk will take place Tuesday, June 9 at The Forks!

Click here for more information or to find a Walk in your area.
Click here to register online.



20th Annual Motorcycle Poker Derby
Motorcycles 3x3Get your motors running! Join motorcycle enthusiasts and Alzheimer Society of Manitoba supporters at the 20th Annual Motorcycle Poker Derby in Brandon, Manitoba, on Saturday, August 15, 2015.

Click here for more information. Click here to register online, or contact Jodee Webster at alzwm@alzheimer.mb.ca





CB 2014 Quicklink

Have you thought about how you will host your Coffee Break® event this fall?
Hosting a Coffee Break® event during September and October is an easy and fun way to show your support for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia in your community. There are all sorts of ways to host a Coffee Break® event: you can invite neighbours to your home for morning coffee, your office can can host an event in a common area, or your organization can invite friends and clients to your facility for coffee and treats. Participants at these events make a donation to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba in exchange for a cup of coffee.


Stay Tuned for Information on Fall Program and Events!

Keep an eye out for our July and August eNewsletters for listings of upcoming programs, such as Minds in Motion®, Living With Alzheimer’s or other Dementias, the eight-week Experiencing Dementia program, as well as information on support groups, educational sessions and more!