October 2016 eNewsletter

In This Issue

Navigating Life with Optimism: Learn How at the Care4u Family Conference
Looking for Ideas on Communicating with Someone with Dementia? Check Out This Video!
Becoming Dementia Friendly – One Business at a Time!
Home Sweet Home…But is it Safe?
The Forum Art Centre Leads by Example When it Comes to Hosting Coffee Break® Events!
Sign Up Now for a Minds in Motion® Session Near You!
Building Dementia Friendly Communities
Spotlight on Research: The Importance of Music for People with Dementia
Be Part of the Solution: Get Involved as a Research Participant
Caregiver Tips: How Do You Help Someone Who Hoards?
Upcoming Education
Upcoming Support Groups
Upcoming Events
Anything for Alzheimer’s


Navigating Life with Optimism:
Learn How at the Care4u Family Conference

care4u-with-allsencarelogoDid you ever notice how some people navigate life’s demands and conflicts with optimism and elasticity, while others become stuck and overwhelmed? Wouldn’t you like to be someone who bounces back with optimism?

People caring for a family member or friend with dementia know that there are many ups and downs along the journey. A goal worth striving for is to begin each day with a positive outlook so that the daily demands of caregiving can be more achievable.

David Falk: Tools for Successful Conversations

Participants at this year’s Care4u Family Conference (Saturday, October 29 at the Canadian Mennonite University) will have the chance to learn skills that will lead them towards an optimistic outlook on life. Keynote speaker David Falk, of Facilitated Solutions in Winnipeg, is a seasoned conflict management specialist who will talk about the importance of managing our own self-talk. Based on his personal and professional experience as a mediator, trainer, facilitator and workplace consultant, David is a proponent of the idea that successful conversations result from our ability to regulate our internal dialogue. His presentation is called Tools for Successful Conversations.

david-falk-3x3Care4u is designed especially for those who are caring for a person with dementia. As well as David’s presentation, the conference offers sessions on a wide variety of topics ranging from food and nutrition to preparing for a trip to the emergency department. Booths hosted by community and business organizations, along with the Alzheimer Society, will be available to provide information about their services and resources. The conference has something for anyone needing support on their caregiver journey.

If you would like more information about the speakers at this year’s conference, click here. To register, click here.

See you there!


Looking For Ideas on Communicating with Someone with Dementia? Check Out This Video!

video-3x3Maintaining the Connection is an animation video providing excellent strategies for communicating with a family member with dementia. The creator is Dr. Susan Lane, who needed a solution to her own struggle to communicate effectively with a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. The research-based strategies included in the video are rooted in a concept called TRACED (Training and Communication Enhancement for Dementia). Click here to view the video.


Becoming Dementia Friendly – One Business at a Time!

veggies-helpAre the businesses that you visit regularly dementia friendly? How about the company that you or your family members work for?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you are not alone; in fact, many businesses probably give this little thought. But with the incidence of dementia on the rise, it is important that these questions become part of a bigger conversation.

The Alzheimer Society is working on an initiative to inform and educate businesses to become dementia friendly. Currently, we are running a direct mail campaign aimed specifically at Winnipeg businesses. We are asking business owners and managers to consider:

– hosting a dementia information session for their staff


– providing financial support so that the Alzheimer Society can continue educating businesses and community groups.

Ideally, we are hoping that businesses do both.

With the incidence of dementia on the rise, we need to work together to build a community that is inclusive…one that is willing to provide assistance for a person with dementia in a helpful, supportive manner. Information and education pave the way to reducing stigma and fostering inclusiveness and compassion.

“Business is a big part of this equation,” says Kim Mardero, the Alzheimer Society’s Director of Development. “With 43% of Manitobans having a family member or close friend with dementia, just think of how many workplaces this affects. Now just think of how many more people can be helped if we simply educate people right in the workplace.”

A dementia friendly business is equipped to provide service to people with all types of cognitive and physical challenges, and it supports employees who may be caring for someone with the disease or experiencing early symptoms themselves.

If your company would like to host a dementia information session or would like to learn more about ways to financially support the Alzheimer Society, please call Kim at 204-943-6622 or email kmardero@alzheimer.mb.ca

ken-and-nick-3x3Our company has supported the Alzheimer Society for many years and looks forward to offering our continued support in the future. We understand the impact of this disease and we admire the Society’s efforts to improve the quality of life of those who care for and suffer from this disease.” – Ken and Nick Giesbrecht of City Press.



Click here to read about communication with people with dementia in our new regular feature, Building Dementia Friendly Communities!



Home Sweet Home…But is it Safe?

safety-week-3x3We think of our homes as the safest place we can be, but ironically, they are often where accidents happen. This can be especially true for people with dementia. For these individuals, falls are common mishaps.

“Changes that dementia bring in a person can contribute to the risk of falls,” says Marilyn Maartense, Alzheimer Society staff member. “As dementia progresses, the person’s inability to recognize hazards can grow.”

People with dementia often lose the ability to perceive depth, leading them to be unsure about their footing. They may also misunderstand where their body is positioned in space, contributing to uncoordinated movement and loss of balance.

Compounding this situation are other factors that can add up to increased falls. The person may be taking medications that cause dizziness. Their eyesight may be declining, or they may forget to put on their glasses. Objects in traffic paths, such as shoes and stools, can cause someone to trip, as can simply being in a hurry.

“Protecting a person from falls is not about placing them in cotton batting,” Marilyn remarks. She adds that life needs to go forward with as much familiarity as possible because that, in itself, helps a person with dementia to live safely. The important thing is to minimize risk factors.


Having adequate, natural lighting in the living area is an important strategy. This will eliminate shadows that, for a person with dementia, can mimic a change of plane or level. Avoid pools of light or areas of glare; these can divert a person’s attention from careful movement. Increase light in hallways and in the bathroom at night so pathways are visible.

Floor Coverings

Floor coverings should also be carefully thought out. Carpets or flooring of an even colour and with subdued patterns ease distractions during movement. Consider removing area rugs that blend in with the colour of the surrounding floor, as they can cause tripping. Rugs that are dark in colour can be interpreted as a hole, causing the person with dementia to try to step round them, which can lead to an unstable gait.


Footwear is another important consideration in fall prevention. “Slippers are cozy, but they are not particularly safe because they often lack structure,” Marilyn comments. The safest footwear, she suggests, is a well-fitting shoe with a stable sole that is closed with either lacing, a zipper or Velcro.

Marilyn also recommends checking the person’s feet to ensure they are healthy and that toenails are trimmed. “Also, check the inside of shoes for wear – uncomfortable shoes can contribute to a person attempting to walk in manner that reduces discomfort.”

Taking steps to reduce risk of falls involves looking at the environment differently and spotting possible hazards. The actions you take will not only protect the person with dementia, but they will also make the home safer for family members, care partners and friends.

Want to learn more?

Marilyn Maartense will discuss fall prevention strategies at the following Telehealth Education session:
Steps to Safety: Falls Prevention
Tuesday, October 25
6:30 to 8 pm
Click here for more information and to register.


The Forum Art Centre Leads by Example
When it Comes to Hosting Coffee Break® Events!

coffee-and-painting3x3The students at the Forum Art Centre don’t just appreciate art – they also appreciate a good cup of coffee while raising money for a good cause!

For 16 years, this organization has held Coffee Break events, and they are doing so again this year. Executive Director Daryl Dumanski says that the donations add up and they are happy to contribute to the Alzheimer Society.

The people at Forum know first-hand about the effects of dementia: nine former students had the disease. “They all painted until they could no longer remember what to do with the paint once it was on their brush,” says Daryl. “But they were comfortable here and in good hands with their friends and instructors.”

To date, the group has raised $3,000 through its Coffee Break events.

The Alzheimer Society is thrilled to know that they are supported so enthusiastically by The Forum Art Centre and by other individuals and organizations who host Coffee Break events. There is still lots of time to pick a day and invite friends, co-workers and customers to drop in for coffee and a treat. Donations are used to help support local programs, services and the search for a cure.

CB logo JPG 2016To host a Coffee Break event during October, you can register online here. For more information, call the Society at 204-943-6622 or 1-800-378-6699. We will 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.

Mmmm! The coffee smells good!


Sign Up Now for a Minds in Motion® Session Near You!

MiM-3x3-2For those who wish to participate in the Minds in Motion program this fall, contact the centre nearest you now! Space is limited and sessions are filling up fast.

Minds in Motion 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. It is offered in six Winnipeg locations, in Gimli and in Portage la Prairie.

Click here to check out our listing of community locations for dates, times and registration information for sessions running during October, November and early December.


Building Dementia Friendly Communities

demfriendly-group-3x3Welcome to our new regular feature, Building Dementia Friendly Communities. In each edition of the Alzheimer Society’s eNewsetter, we will present information on topics that will help you to work towards making your community dementia friendly. This month, we cover communication with people with dementia.

In a dementia friendly community, people with dementia feel supported by their community whether they are at the post office, retail outlets, using transportation or attending a faith group. Here are some communication strategies for creating a dementia friendly environment that will help everyone:

Show Kindness
We all know what it is like when someone shows us that they care. People with dementia are no different and flourish when they are shown kindness. Always think what it might be like for the person with dementia, and put yourself in their place.    

People with dementia sometimes find it difficult to express themselves but have important things they want to share. Give your undivided attention and listen closely to what they are saying. It will help them feel valued and respected and will promote their sense of well-being.

Be Inclusive in Conversations
People with dementia are still able to understand what is being said around them. Provide opportunities for them to participate in conversations. Allow plenty of time for them to process the information and to respond.

Use Non-verbal Communication
People with dementia often communicate through body language and facial expressions. By closely observing the person’s non-verbal expressions you will gain a better understanding of their message. Consider using gestures to support your messages when conversing with people impacted by dementia.

People with dementia are counting on you to make daily communication a positive and successful experience.

Everyone has a role to play in promoting independence, value and inclusion of people impacted by dementia in the community. To learn about how your community group can become more inclusive and to arrange for a dementia friendly community presentation contact:

Catherine Kaufmann at 204-943-6622 ext. 217 or at dementiafriendly@alzheimer.mb.ca


Spotlight on Current Research

lady-with-headphones3x3The Importance of Music for People with Dementia

The results of a study published in Aging & Mental Health highlight the value and meaning of music for people with dementia and those who support them.

The study analyzed the musical experience of 53 participants comprised of: care home residents with dementia; day hospital clients with dementia; family carers; care home staff; and music therapists. Participants either attended a focus group or were interviewed individually. Focus groups and interviews were audio recorded whenever possible allowing the researchers to retrieve reoccurring themes and identify key comments that were used in data analysis.

Responses from participants identified the following themes:

1. Music is a readily accessible, mentally stimulating medium that elicits an immediate and emotionally meaningful experience.

2. Music is closely related to personal history and cultural identity.

3. Music helps build and sustain relationships.

4. Music can immediately help improve mood.

5. Music has positive effects on family members who are visiting people with dementia and staff working in the care home.

The study confirmed that, aside from reducing behavioural symptoms, music can help maintain self-awareness and connectedness. Caregivers can enhance the quality of life of people with dementia by engaging them in listening to music or playing instruments.


Be Part of the Solution:
Get Involved as a Research Participant!

grown-daughter-and-mom-3x3Are You Caring for a Family Member with Dementia?

If so, you are invited to participate in a research study about caregiving experiences and well-being. We are looking for family caregivers of a person with dementia who is 60+ years of age and is either living in the community or a long-term care facility, such as a hospital or personal care home.

Participation will take about 10 minutes and your answers will be anonymous. The results of this survey will contribute to a better understanding of the experiences of familial caregivers and their overall well-being. It will also provide information to help make caregiver support services better.

The researcher conducting this study is Nicole Haverstock under the supervision of Dr. Joelle Ruthig. Nicole is originally from Brandon, Manitoba, where she completed her B.A. at Brandon University. She is currently studying clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. This research is for her Master’s thesis.

Click here for more information.

Click here to complete the survey online.


How Do You Help Someone Who Hoards?

tipslogoSome people keep items because they have meaning in their lives, while others keep them because the items evoke comfort and security. People with dementia may hoard  ̶  or excessively keep items  ̶  in response to the changes they are experiencing related to their dementia. Hoarding may be triggered by a fear of having items stolen and as a means of keeping possessions “safe.” When hoarding places the person at risk, it is important to find ways to keep the person safe while respecting their wishes.


Here are some tips to ensure the safety of someone who is hoarding:

Focus on the Person

  • Keep the person engaged with activities they previously enjoyed. Draw their attention to meaningful activities rather than the excessive collecting of items. Take the person out of their home  ̶  to the park, community centre, coffee shop or grocery store  ̶  to encourage other interests.

Focus on Preventing Fires

  • Keep potentially flammable items (e.g., paper, clothing) away from appliances that generate heat, including stoves, microwaves or space heaters.
  • Install smoke detectors and test them once a month to ensure that they are working properly.

Focus on Preventing Falls

  • Keep pathways throughout the home clear of clutter or excessive furnishings.
  • Ensure proper lighting, especially in areas that the person often visits or where most items are stored.

Focus on the Person’s Hiding Places

  • Lock unused closets, cupboards and drawers  ̶  particularly those that contain hazardous materials and objects such as knives and cleaning supplies.
  • Regularly check the refrigerator for spoiled food and mark food containers with dates to keep track of the expiry date.

Focus on the Details

  • Check under area rugs or mattresses, the insides of shoes or drawers or in jacket pockets and handbags to assist with locating important items.
  • Have contact information available for the physician treating the person if you need to have a duplicate prescription filled.
  • Keep spares of essential items, such as eyeglasses, hearing devices and keys, in case these items are misplaced; check wastebaskets for misplaced items before you empty them.

When hoarding is impacting the person’s health and safety, consult the person’s doctor for strategies and therapeutic options that might help the person live well.

Click here to view the “Creating a Safe Home for People with Dementia” factsheet to learn more about how to create a secure home environment.


Upcoming Education

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


The Alzheimer Journey:
Navigating the Road Ahead (Video Series)
Join us to view this video series at the following times and locations:

Three Tuesdays, October 4, 11 and 18, 7 to 8:30 pm
Niverville Friendship Centre, 118 2nd Ave., Niverville (map)

Three Wednesdays, October 5, 12 and 19, 7 to 8:30 pm
Pat Porter Active Living Centre, 10 Chrysler Gate, Steinbach (map)

For more information, contact: Leona Doerksen at 204-326-5771 or alzse@alzheimer.mb.ca

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 alzmb@alzheimer.mb.ca.

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:

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
This informative session 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
Revera – The Wellington, 3161 Grant Ave., Winnipeg (map)
Click here for more information and to register.

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

Saturdays, October 15 and December 3, 9 am to 12 pm
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, October 15.
Click here for more information or to register for Saturday, December 3.

Saturdays, November 5 and 19, 9 am to 12 pm
Lac du Bonnet Health Centre, 75 McIntosh St. E., Lac du Bonnet (map)
Cost: $20/person. Includes snacks and resources.
Click here for more information.

Tuesday, November 22, 6:15 to 9 pm
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, 32-2nd St. S.W., Portage la Prairie (map)
Cost: $20/person. Includes snacks and resources.
Click here for more information.

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

Telehealth Sessions (for regional communities only)
Join us from 6:30 to 8 pm on the following dates to obtain information on the topics listed:
– Tuesday, October 25: Steps to Safety: Falls Prevention
– Tuesday, November 29: Transitioning to Long term Care
Click here for a list of locations where Telehealth is offered.
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.


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.


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 alzmb@alzheimer.mb.ca, 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

It’s Not too Late to Coffee Break® Event this Fall!
coffee cupYou can still host a Coffee Break® event during October to raise money for the Alzheimer Society! This 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.



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 Event Centre on Tuesday, October 18 from 6:30 to 10:30 pm. Register online at alzheimer.mb.ca or call 204-943-6622.



image001Door to Door Campaign
The Alzheimer Society is looking for volunteers to knock on doors and request donations this January during Alzheimer Awareness Month. We hope that you can spare an hour or two to canvas a street in your neighbourhood.
Click here for more information or to register.


Anything for Alzheimer’s

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


Italian Dinner Fundraiser
Project ITALTOBA LOGO_red green white black_FinalJoin DeLuca’s and the Centro Caboto Centre for live music and a unique dining experience. Menu items will be Manitoba made products with an Italian fusion! The cost is $125 per person, with net proceeds going to support the Alzheimer Society, the Caboto Centre and Project Echo.
Thursday, November 10, 7 to 10 pm
Centro Caboto Centre, 1055 Wilkes Ave., Winnipeg (map)
To purchase a ticket contact Paolo DeLuca 204-793-7485 or paolo@deluca.ca
Click here for more information on this event.


 Festive Fundraiser: Food and Wine Pairing
wine-pouring3x3Want to enjoy a wonderful night of food, wine and entertainment at a stunning venue? Riverwood Square Retirement Living is hosting a festive evening that will be fun for all. Cost is $25 per person and all proceeds go to support the Alzheimer Society.
Tuesday, November 29, 7 to 9 pm
Riverwood Square Retirement Living, 1778 Pembina Hwy., Winnipeg (map)


Click here to for information about the event, including wine and menu items.
For tickets, contact Trudy at 204-943-6622 ext. 214 or tmattey@alzheimer.mb.ca


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 hlyak@mymts.net




Host a Night of Painting with TD Fine Arts
paint-night-3x3Are you looking for ideas for a fundraiser? Consider hosting a TD Fine Arts Event! In a few hours of fun, you and your friends will be guided into creating your very own masterpiece! Instruction and materials are supplied – as host, you need only provide table space and a chair for each guest at the venue of your choosing.
Cost: $45 per participant, with $15 per ticket going to the Alzheimer Society.
Click here for more information and to learn how to apply to be a host.