August 2016 eNewsletter

In This Issue

Care4u is Coming: Don’t Miss It!
Two Volunteers Give 25 Years of Dedication to the Society
Attention All Minds in Motion Program® Past and New Participants!
Early Detection Focus of Graduate Student’s Work
Give Guests Something to Remember at Your Coffee Break® Event
Survey Deadline Extended! Have Your Say in Setting Dementia Research Priorities in Canada
Spotlight on Current Research: Damage to Blood Vessels in the Brain May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
Caregiver Tips: Understanding Loss of Initiative
Upcoming Education
Upcoming Support Groups
Upcoming Events
Anything for Alzheimer’s

Care4u is Coming: Don’t Miss It!

Care4u Ad-SHORT with Reg Mark2Are you a family member or friend of someone with dementia? Would you like an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to help you in your quest to be the best caregiver you can be while also considering your own needs?

Then don’t miss the 2016 Care4u family conference on Saturday, October 29 at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg. Coordinated by the Alzheimer Society, this event is designed for family and friends who are impacted by dementia. It features provincial and national professionals who are experts in caregiving practices and other topics that will help you in your journey.

“Our focus for 2016 is to provide information on health and community resources that will guide people through the continuum of the disease,” says Jennifer Licardo, Education Manager at the Society. “We want to empower participants with the information they need so they can become capable, creative caregivers.”

Two key-note speakers are scheduled to share their knowledge in their areas of expertise. Belinda Parke, a clinical nurse specialist from the University of Alberta, will help participants to understand the characteristics of dementia-friendly hospital care. David Falk, a mediator and conflict management specialist from Winnipeg, will provide insight on how to engage in successful conversations through the management of one’s own internal dialogue.

There is a lot more in store for conference-goers. They can choose from a variety of break-out sessions covering topics such as an exploration of community programs, food and nutrition, vascular dementia, advance care planning and understanding changing behaviours in people with dementia.

Click here to register and to obtain more information on the Care4u speakers and the array of helpful topics that will be discussed at this informative conference.

See you there!


Two Volunteers Give 25 Years of Dedication to the Society

Barry Campbell and Leona Nickel, two volunteers at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, are the embodiment of the word, “commitment.” These two individuals are the first volunteers ever to receive a 25 Year Pin for giving two and a half decades of their time and effort to assist with the work of the Society. Both are also recipients of the Society’s Distinguished Member Award, which acknowledges exceptional active service to the Society – Barry in 2006 and Leona in 2004. Their profiles are below. Congratulations, and thank you for your endless support!

Barry amd Donald3x3-2Barry Campbell
Dr. Barry Campbell is a long-time volunteer and friend of the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. He shows no sign of letting up on his commitment as he continues to be an advocate for people impacted by dementia.

Barry is the Medical Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at St. Boniface General Hospital and is on the medical staff with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He has acted as principal investigator in multiple research studies and is a current member and past president of the Alzheimer Society’s Board.

“Some of my best memories come from hosting talks over the years,” says Barry. “I truly enjoy being able to help families who are living with Alzheimer’s.”

Barry’s work continues to have a positive impact on the quality of life of hundreds of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. His support and hard work in the field is immeasurable.


Leona Nickel 3x3Leona Nickel
For a quarter of a century Leona Nickel has been an active, hardworking and passionate volunteer for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

Leona’s journey began back in 1993 after her mother, Anne Hildebrand, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her mother would unfortunately pass away in 1997, but that didn’t stop Leona from staying involved with the Society.

As a support group leader in Altona, Leona is a trusted confidante for the members. She is part of the committee that plans for the Altona Walk in June and the bake sale each January, and she continues to assist new Regional Coordinators in the South Central Region by sharing her perspectives on the Region.

In 2010 Leona was recognized by her community for her contributions when she was nominated for (and subsequently received) the Premier’s Volunteer Service Award.

“The years have gone by so very quickly, but I feel honoured to be recognized,” she says. “It is a privilege to be working with the Alzheimer Society  ̶  I have rubbed shoulders with many good people.”


Attention All Minds in Motion® Program Past and New Participants!

MiM-3x3-2Demand has increased substantially for the Minds in Motion® program. This is a one-of-a-kind offering in Manitoba – it is the only program currently available in the community for people with early to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia to attend with a family member or community friend.

The program consists of a two-hour class held once a week for eight weeks. Each weekly class has a fitness component, a socialization and refreshment break, and a session involving brain stimulating recreational games and activities.

The Minds in Motion program has been offered at six Winnipeg locations for the past two years, with fall, winter and spring sessions available. Current statistics reflect that over 50 percent of participant pairs register for two or more sessions. With so much interest, as well as the increase in demand, the program was expanded to Gimli this past spring and will be offered in Portage la Prairie starting October 2016.

“The great thing about Minds in Motion is my husband and I can participate together,” says Lucy Beckta of Winnipeg. Lucy attends regularly with her husband, George, who has vascular dementia. “We were starting to feel isolated because activities we can do as a couple are few and far between.”

Registration Starts in September –
Check Out Times and Locations Now!

As space is limited, now is the time to think about signing up for a fall session. Registration will be available right after the September long weekend. Click here to check out our listing of community locations for dates, times and registration information.


Early Detection Focus of Graduate Student’s Work

Audrey 3x3-3Over the last year, student researcher Audrey Katako has been helping to create a new and more advanced method of detecting Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. She hopes that her research will eventually allow diagnosticians to use a simple Positron Emission Tomography (PET) brain scan to detect dementia much sooner and with much more certainty. (A PET scan is capable of revealing cellular level metabolic changes in the tissue.)

“The reality is that if we’re able to detect Alzheimer’s or other dementias earlier using PET, we can potentially get patients into some form of treatment sooner,” says Audrey, who is one of two recipients of the 2016-17 Alzheimer Society of Manitoba’s Graduate Student Fellowship award.

There are benefits when people receive treatment for early symptoms of dementia. For example, they may receive medication that could help, and they can obtain early access to psychosocial education. Another positive point is that they’ll have time to plan for their futures.

At this time, getting a diagnosis is a complicated process, and results are not always clear. Audrey says that the only real way to diagnose Alzheimer’s definitively is post mortem  ̶  by actually looking inside the brain.

Audrey’s experience volunteering at St. Boniface Hospital on the weekends has emboldened her spirit and passion for her research. “As so many of us who are involved in Alzheimer’s research or care know,  one of the worst things about the disease is that it robs you and you don’t even know you’ve been robbed,” she says.

Currently in the second year of her Master’s degree in the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science at the University of Manitoba, Audrey’s work is a combination of excitement and frustration. She explains that there is a pressure and responsibility to her research that can be overwhelming, but she uses that as energy to push herself forward.

“At the end of the day I see people challenged by this disease and I just feel compelled to help them. It takes a lot of patience because we’re not going to get this done overnight.”

Looking forward, Audrey is excited that her research is already yielding positive results. There are 103 participants in the study currently; some have Alzheimer’s disease and others have varying degrees of memory complaints and cognitive decline. Results indicate an increase in detection of a spatial metabolic Alzheimer’s disease progression-related pattern (ADPRP).

Audrey says that, along with the benefits to people with Alzheimer’s and caregivers, the research will be extremely useful for clinical trials, as well as disease modifying and protective therapies.


Give Guests Something to Remember at Your Coffee® Break Event

Coffee Break Girl 3x3“Let’s go for a coffee!”

In September and October, saying “yes!” to this invitation from a friend, co-worker or customer can help raise money for the Alzheimer Society. Across the country, individuals, organizations and businesses are hosting Coffee Break® events to support programs and services for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Coffee Break® events can be held in your office, at home, in a local mall, at your church or community centre, at your garage sale or anywhere you can set up a table and serve coffee – and/or tea, juice, smoothies, hot chocolate and lemonade. You can even add some baked goods and snacks if you wish.

When guests attend a Coffee Break® event, they make a donation to the Society in exchange for their coffee and treat. Any donation is appreciated and your guests can be assured that the money raised stays in Manitoba.

An Added Bonus

The Alzheimer Society can help you to attract people (meaning more donations!) to your event by sending speakers. They can discuss the 10 warning signs of dementia, risk factors and preventative measures – as well as many other topics related to the disease. This addition to your event will help to provide valuable information about dementia to the many who are facing the disease themselves or as a caregiver.

How to Get Started

Hosting a Coffee Break® is simple!  To register, click here or call us for more information at 204-943-6622 or 1-800-378-6699.

We’ll send you a kit with posters, a donation box, stickers, coffee cup cut outs and more to help you have an enjoyable and successful event. We can also help by advertising the place and time of your Coffee Break® event on our website’s Calendar of Events.

See you at a Coffee Break® event this September and October!


Survey Deadline Extended!
Have Your Say in Setting Dementia Research Priorities in Canada

Tick Yes on Survey-3x2Manitobans want to have their say when it comes to dementia research. Of the replies to a cross-Canada survey called Canadian Dementia Priority Setting Partnership, 78 online responses have been received from our province. Manitoba has also been proactive by providing responses from more than 10 focus groups. A sincere thank you if you are someone who has taken part in the survey.

This survey, which aims to identify priority areas for Canadian dementia researchers and research funding organizations, became available to the public in May 2016. The deadline for online responses has recently been extended to Monday, August 8. By letting your voice be heard you will be helping researchers address what matters most to Canadians who are affected by dementia.

The survey wants to hear from:

  • People with dementia.
  • Friends, family and caregivers of people with dementia.
  • Health and social care providers (e.g., doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, personal support workers, pharmacists, social workers, etc.) who work with people with dementia and/or can advocate for them.
  • People with no direct experience of dementia, but who are interested in the issue.
  • Alzheimer Society board members, volunteers and staff across Canada.

Here’s how to participate:

Complete the questionnaire and submit the questions that you would like to see answered through research. The questionnaire is available online here or you can download a paper format here. Paper copies of the completed form should be placed in the mail or emailed to the address provided by August 8.

Don’t be left out! Raise your voice today!

This study is being funded by the Alzheimer Society of Canada and is being led by Dr. Katherine McGilton, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network.


Spotlight on Current Research

Blood Vessels looking right3x3Damage to Blood Vessels in the Brain May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

In a study by researchers from Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Centre, results show that disease of large and small blood vessels in the brain (separate from stroke) may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Damage to the blood vessels was also found to be associated with lower levels of thinking and memory abilities in persons with and without dementia.

Researchers analyzed data from 1,143 individuals who were part of two cohort studies, the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging project. Clinical and pathologic data recorded between 1994 and 2015 were used in the study. In the study group, almost 40 per cent of individuals had moderate to severe atherosclerosis (large blood vessel disease), 35 per cent had moderate to severe arteriosclerosis (small blood vessel disease) and 19 per cent had a moderate to severe grade of both vessel diseases.

Results show that increased severity of large and small vessel disease was associated with approximately a 20 to 30 per cent increased risk for Alzheimer’s type dementia. This increased risk was said to be independent of strokes or Alzheimer’s disease pathology (i.e. the density of plaques and tangles in the brain). Both large and small blood vessel diseases in the brain are also associated with low scores on cognitive functions, such as episodic memory and perceptual speed, regardless of presence or absence of dementia.

The study does not establish causation between the factors identified and Alzheimer’s disease, but it gives sufficient reason to consider measures that could potentially prevent blood vessel diseases. Certain conditions, vascular risk factors and lifestyle choices may increase risk for blood vessel diseases; these include hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, obesity and smoking.

To prevent initial or further damage to blood vessels in the brain, it is wise to see your doctor regularly, keep track of your health numbers, be physically active and avoid harmful habits. These steps can help keep your brain as healthy as possible.

An article about the study may be found at this link


Understanding Loss of Initiative

tipslogoLoss of initiative is a symptom that may be present in a person prior to being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. This warning sign generally becomes more pronounced as the disease progresses. A person may show less interest in day-to-day tasks and activities. They may seem uninterested in present events and in the lives of the people around them. Some lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed. The person might also pay less attention to personal care tasks, such as bathing or their choice of clothing.

Following are strategies that may be helpful when supporting a person who is experiencing loss of initiative:

Be understanding and stay calm. Understand that the person is not simply being lazy or uncooperative. The ups and downs you are seeing in their behaviour may have many potential causes, including changes due to dementia, medical or psychological conditions or medication side effects.

Encourage participation in meaningful activities. Individuals with dementia may feel energized when they take part in activities based on their interests; however, they may not have the ability to organize these activities on their own. Suggest familiar activities and use sensory stimulation i.e. visually appealing objects, familiar sounds, fragrant items, food and things with a variety of textures to rouse their interest.

Modify activities to fit the person’s current abilities. Look for ways to simplify activities or tasks rather than give them up entirely. Try to reduce the number of steps that it takes to complete a favorite hobby or discover an alternative activity that they find easier, therefore avoiding frustration.

Trade the television for teamwork. Invite family and friends over instead of turning to passive activities, such as watching television. Social interaction or doing an activity together can provide the person with the reassurance and stimulation that they need to be active.

It is important to note that loss of initiative could also be a sign of depression. Talk to your doctor if there are changes in mood and behaviour or if other symptoms arise, such as sadness, trouble concentrating or change in sleep patterns.

Click here to check out the factsheet, “Selecting Activities,” for suggestions on activities for the person with dementia.


Upcoming Education

2016 Fall Provincial Education Calendar
Click here for an overview of upcoming education and weekly programs happening this fall! 

Virtual Dementia Tour
Join us to participate in a Virtual Dementia Tour, a hands-on activity that attempts to simulate a few of the physical and cognitive changes in people with dementia.

Wednesday, August 24, 10 am to 3:30 pm
Benito Health Care Centre, 200 – 1st St. E. (map)
Please wear closed-toe shoes.
To register, contact Wanda Sime at 204-638-4483 or

Family Education: Next Steps
Learn new skills and obtain information and resources that will help you face the daily realities of living with and caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Upcoming sessions include:

Strategies in Managing Personal Care Safely and with Dignity
This session will provide caregivers with ideas to help with personal care techniques that are safe and enable independence for the person living with dementia. Strategies will focus on assisting with areas such as daily hygiene, bathing, toileting and dressing.

Wednesday, September 14, 7 to 8:30 pm
St. Joseph’s Residence, 1149 Leila Ave., Winnipeg (map)
Click here for more information and to register.

Understanding Pain in People with Dementia
Recognizing pain in a person living with dementia can be challenging when there are issues with communication. This session will help caregivers understand changing behaviours and communication patterns in people with dementia and how pain may often be expressed behaviourally.

Wednesday, October 12, 7 to 8:30 pm
Riverside Lions Estates, 188 Worthington Ave., Winnipeg (map)
Click here for more information and to register.

Enhancing Communication with Dementia
An information session that will highlight the changes that can occur throughout the journey of dementia. Challenges and strategies to enhance communication will be discussed.

Thursday, November 17, 7 to 8:30 pm
The Wellington, 3161 Grant Ave., Winnipeg (map)
Click here for more information and to register.

Minds in Motion® Program
Dates and times for the fall Minds in Motion® program sessions, which will take place at six Winnipeg locations, in Gimli and in Portage la Prairie, are now set. This popular eight-week program combines physical activity, socialization and mental stimulation for people living with early to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia to enjoy with a family member or community friend. Click here to check out our listing of community locations for dates, times and registration information. Registration will be available in early September by calling the location of your choice.

We are currently recruiting Minds in Motion® program volunteers for the upcoming fall sessions. Click here to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a Minds in Motion® volunteer.

Upcoming Information Sessions for Volunteers
Alzheimer Society of Manitoba’s Provincial Office, 10-120 Donald St. (map)

Tuesday, August 30 from 2-3 pm
Thursday, September 8
from 2-3 pm
Wednesday, September 14
from 2-3 pm

Here is what you will learn:

  • How the program is structured
  • Benefits for participants and the community
  • Roles, responsibilites and benefits for Minds in Motion® volunteers

Click here to register for one of the three volunteer information sessions.

Experiencing Dementia
This is an eight-week program for the person with dementia and their care partner to learn about the progression of dementia, effective communication skills, changing behaviours, coping strategies, options in community living and community resources.

Eight Wednesdays, October 5 to November 23, 10 to 11:30 am
Click here for more information or contact the Client Support Coordinator at 204-943-6622 or

Living with Dementia: First Steps
Join us for an informational and experiential workshop for people supporting a person recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia on: September 17, October 15 and December 3, 9 am to 12 pm.
Location: Riverwood Square, 1778 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg (map)
Cost: $10 per Saturday. Includes refreshments and resources.

Click here for more information or to register for Saturday, September 17.
Click here for more information or to register for Saturday, October 15.
Click here for more information or to register for Saturday, December 3.

Living with Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias (Workshop)
This one-day workshop provides valuable information for those who are caring for a person with dementia.

Saturday, September 24, 9 am – 4 pm
Basement Boardroom, Russell Health Centre
426 Alexandria Ave. S., Russell, MB
Cost: $20. Includes resources and lunch.
To register, contact Julie Hockley at or 204-729-8320.

Saturday, October 22, 9 am to 4 pm
Lecture Theatre, 2nd floor, Nurses Residence, Brandon Hospital
150 McTavish Avenue E., Brandon, MB (map)
Cost: $10. Includes resources, coffee and refreshments.
To register, contact Julie Hockley at or 204-729-8320 or Tanis Horkey at 204-578-4572.


Care4u Logo
Care4u® is a conference for family and friends caring for a person with dementia.
Saturday, October 29, 9 am to 3:30 pm
Canadian Mennonite University, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg (Map)

Click here for more information or to register online.
Many thanks to our Care4u Event Sponsor, All Seniors Care.


Upcoming Support Groups

Check with your group facilitator or the regional office nearest you to learn more about the date and time of the next group meeting. The Alzheimer Society’s family support staff are here to help – contact us at, 204-943-6622 (in Winnipeg) or 1-800-378-6699 (in Manitoba).
Click here for information on Support Groups for People with Dementia
Click here for information on Support Groups for Family and Friends


Upcoming Events

Get Your Motors Running!
Motorcycles 3x3Join motorcycle enthusiasts and Alzheimer Society of Manitoba supporters at the 21st Annual Motorcycle Poker Derby in Brandon, Manitoba, on Saturday, August 20, 2016. The event starts at 9 am with a hearty pancake breakfast at the Alzheimer Society office at 457 9th Street in Brandon (map).
Click here for more information. Click here to register online, or contact Larissa Lockerby at
 or by calling 204-729-8320.


Have you thought about how you will host your Coffee Break® event this fall?
coffee cupHosting 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 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. Click here for more information.
Trivia Challenge 2014 with ASM Logo

The Alzheimer Society’s annual Trivia Challenge is a great way for trivia lovers to raise money for a worthy cause. Get a team together today and accept the challenge! The fun takes place at the Club Regent Casino and Event Centre on Tuesday, October 18 from 6:30 to 10:30 pm. Register online at or call 204-943-6622.


Anything for Alzheimer’s

People can plan their own fundraising activities to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. Below are four Anything for Alzheimer’s activities currently underway or in the planning stages:

Winnipeg 10 & 10: Run or Walk in Support of the Alzheimer Society!
10&10 run-3x3Run or walk 30 km, 10 mile, 10 km or 5 km events that start and finish in downtown Winnipeg during Manyfest on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 7:30 am. The Running Room is partnering with the Alzheimer Society for this event.
Click here to register.
For more information, contact Chris Walton at


First Annual Falcon West Fall Fest Golf Tournament
Golf Bag 3x3Come out and try for par in honour of all those who know someone with dementia. This tournament is capped at 100 golfers at a cost of $99 each, which includes green fee, cart, a meal and prizes. Net proceeds go to support programs and services at the Alzheimer Society. See you on Saturday, September 17 at the Falcon West Golf Course (formerly Fantasy Lake Golf Club) at 24068 Settlers Rd., Springfield, MB (map). For information or to register, contact Anne Sullivan at 204-777-7273 or


Shift Pop Up Yoga and Meditation
Yoga-3x3Join these uniquely designed classes for groups of two or more people and help raise money for the Alzheimer Society. Sessions take place at various pop up locations in and around Winnipeg. Two dollars from the registration fee of each participant for all classes taking place in 2016 will be donated to the Society.
Click here for more information.


The Posy Project
Post Project 3x3Two young women from Winnipeg have initiated The Posy Project to raise awareness and support for the Alzheimer Society. They are delivering flowers, donated by local florists, to personal care homes throughout the city. If you would like to support this project, click here to make a donation to the Alzheimer Society. For more information, contact Heather or Sydney at