In This Issue
Tuesday, November 29 is Giving Tuesday
Teepa Snow is Coming to Dementia Care 2017!
The Long Goodbye
Thoughts on Losing Something: A Caregiver’s Contemplation
Promoting Independence During Mealtime
Tree of Memories Ceremony
Minds in Motion Needs Volunteers
Building Dementia Friendly Communities: Helping People Live Safely in the Community
Spotlight on Research: Environmental Factors and the Risk of Dementia
Caregiver Tips: Helping People who are Lonely and Isolated
Upcoming Support Groups
Anything for Alzheimer’s
We Want Your Feedback!
The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba wants to continue providing you with relevant, educational and helpful information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Please help us to do this by filling out a survey about this eNewsletter, which we currently offer online once a month.
It will only take a few minutes of your time, and if you choose, you can be entered into a draw for a prize!
Click here to access the survey. THANK YOU!
Tuesday, November 29 is GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. It is a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non profits. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time, helping a neighbour or spreading the word, GivingTuesday is a movement for everyone who wants to give something back.
Click here to give to the Alzheimer Society on November 29 – or any day!
Teepa Snow: Coming to Dementia Care 2017 and Family Night!
Sign Up Today: This Conference Sells Out Fast!
Dementia Care 2017 is a two-day workshop for health care professionals. This year, the conference features the renowned and entertaining Teepa Snow, an advocate for people living with dementia. Her personal mission is to uphold: “Life with dementia can be lived fully.” Join us for enlightening and in-depth discussions of best practices in dementia care on Monday and Tuesday, March 6 & 7, 2017 at Canad Inns Polo Park, 1405 St. Mathews Ave., Winnipeg (map)
This year, Teepa Snow is also presenting at an education evening for families on Monday, March 6, 2017 from 7 to 8:30 pm (same location as above). This is your chance to learn ways to create moments of joy through meaningful activities when caring for a person with dementia.
Click here to register.
When Betty Barkman’s husband of 50 years started to show signs of dementia, Betty dug in her heels and fought it. It isn’t fair, she thought. Why would such a tragic and disappointing thing happen to Leonard, a man who had faithfully served his country, his community and his family for his whole life?
Leonard was diagnosed with Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy, which has similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease. Although Betty came to accept the situation, the road was bumpy, frustrating and often mysterious.
“When your husband wakes you up every night for six weeks in a row, demanding that you take him home from the camping trip, how do you deal with it?” she asks.
As a pastor, Leonard was a man who had offered amazing messages at church services and had officiated at hundreds of weddings and funerals. Now, he was throwing temper tantrums and running away. “We couldn’t really blame him,” says Betty. “He was going through so many losses – he could feel them but couldn’t understand them. You and I would throw a temper tantrum, too, wouldn’t we?”
Leonard was eventually paneled for personal care, and the family knew it would be about a year before he would be placed. Betty resolved to be one of those heroic caregivers for her husband, the kind who never falter. With the help of most of her six children, their spouses and some homecare, she planned to make this last year memorable, even ordering a new gas fireplace to replace Leonard’s beloved – but now unsafe – wood stove so their home would be safer for him.
Unfortunately, a bad fall for Betty got in the way of the couple’s last year together in their home. With shoulder and knee injuries, Betty knew it would be quite a while before she could properly take care of herself, never mind take care of her husband.
The family managed to secure a seven week respite placement for Leonard, but while Betty worked to get better, the unthinkable verdict came in. “Both Leonard’s and my doctor agreed that Leonard’s condition had reached a point where he would not be coming home. Not now. Not ever,” recalls Betty.
After several temporary placements, Leonard recently moved to his permanent care home, Resthaven in Steinbach. While he now has seizures, Betty knows that parts of his personality have not changed. He’s generous, he gives his famous high fives and he still knows many people by name.
Betty has gone through dark hours during the painful process of a very long goodbye. Along the way, she received valuable assistance from the Alzheimer Society through its groups and information sessions, for which she is appreciative. With this support from the Society and from others, she has learned to live alone for the first time in 50 years and make all the household decisions. She visits Leonard almost every day and still tries to work on projects that fulfill her, too.
Through it all, she hangs on to the good things – the hope and the love she gets from her family, her friends, compassionate health care workers and even strangers who send out smiles.
These things are the light that dawns for Betty and Leonard.
A diagnosis of dementia is life-changing and can alter a person’s behaviour and memory, as well as their eating habits. We know that food is important when it comes to nourishment, but preparing and eating meals are also great ways to socialize with family and friends.
“It’s important for caregivers to enjoy meals with the person with dementia,” says Erin Blake, a clinical dietician at Deer Lodge Centre. “It’s a great way for them to mirror your habits and for you to promote the relationship.”
The ability to prepare meals and eat independently may become difficult for a person with dementia, resulting in making mealtime challenging and frustrating for both the individual and the caregiver. Every situation is unique, but there are many tips that caregivers can try.
Labelling kitchen cupboards with images can give people with dementia visual cues as to what’s inside, making it easier to find what they need. Leaving instructions for how to prepare meals and turn off appliances is also a great way to ensure their safety. Meal delivery programs are available for those times when caregivers or the person with dementia are not able to prepare meals.
Including the person with dementia in mealtime planning is an excellent way to keep them involved and give them a sense of control over their diet, explains Erin. There are multiple user friendly meal preparation schedules you can download from the web. “Individuals with dementia might find pointing to a picture easier than describing the food item they prefer,” says Erin.
Erin suggests that things like washing vegetables, stirring pasta, setting the table or picking out a table cloth are ways to promote engagement for people with dementia, giving them a purpose during mealtime preparation.
“It’s important to practice a person-centred approach,” says Erin. Caregivers can live by this philosophy by learning more about the progression of dementia and focusing on the person’s abilities and strengths in all aspects, including mealtime.
Caregivers can turn this into a positive journey by taking time to adjust, asking others for help and using appropriate resources. Options include calling the free Dial-a-Dietician service at 204-788-8248 in Winnipeg or toll free at 1-877-830-2892, or click here for a copy of the Meal Time Fact Sheet on the Alzheimer Society website.
A gift of $250 secures one personalized leaf and provides families with the opportunity to place their commemorative leaf on the tree at a ceremony being held on Thursday, November 24. The ceremony will take place at 5:30 pm at the Alzheimer Society’s office at 10-120 Donald Street in Winnipeg (map).
Anyone who would like to purchase a leaf and attend the November 24 event is encouraged to call Lynne Williams at 204-943-6622 by Friday, November 4 or visit our website.
People can also order a personalized leaf at any time. We are always willing to welcome family members to come at a time convenient to them to place a leaf on the tree.
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 popularity of the Minds in Motion program is escalating and the sessions fill up fast. To keep up with the demand, we need caring and talented people to help out as volunteers for our winter sessions, beginning mid-January 2017.
Are you interested in lending your talents as a volunteer? Please join us for one of our 60-minute information sessions to learn more! Click here to register for one of two information sessions offered in November. Click here to learn about the roles and responsibilities of our Minds in Motion volunteers.
For those interested in participating in a fall session, it’s not too late – space is still available at some locations! Click here to check out our listing of community locations for dates, times and registration information. This page will be updated with winter session dates and times soon.
Building Dementia Friendly Communities:
Helping People Live Safely in the Community
Dementia friendly communities support people to be engaged and active where they live, work and play. There is a role for everyone, including helping people with dementia to live safely in the community. The week of November 6 to 12 is a good time to think about this because it is National Senior Safety Week, but you can do it any time!
One safety issue for people with dementia is the risk of getting lost when out and about in their communities. Because they experience changes in memory, they may be unable to navigate their way home, even though they may be in a familiar place. If they are in an unfamiliar setting, getting lost may be even a bigger issue.
There are signs that can help you recognize that a person is lost. Wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the weather – a light sweater on a frigid winter day – is one. Another is pacing back and forth or, alternatively, standing in one place for a long time looking uncertain; if you notice a person doing these things, it may indicate that they are confused and need help to figure out where they are.
As a member of a dementia friendly community, here’s how you can help:
- If you have concerns about someone’s ability to get home safely, ask them how they are planning to travel. With the person’s permission, it might be necessary to wait with them until transportation arrives or to arrange a safe ride home for them.
- Even if the person with dementia has not yet been lost or unable to find their way home, it could happen. Tell the person and their family care partners about MedicAlert® Safely Home®. Being registered with this program helps emergency responders and passersby to identify the lost person and return them to their home. Click here for more information or to register for MedicAlert® Safely Home®.
- If you encounter a person who seems lost, take off your sunglasses so they can see your eyes. Then, approach them in a calm manner and ask if they need help. If so, ask them if they wear a MedicAlert® bracelet or request their permission to check their wrist for one. If you find the bracelet, check it for the person’s name, medical conditions and an ID number, as well as the 24-hour 1-800 hotline number. Call in and the Help Centre will communicate with the person’s contacts. They’ll also tell you what steps to take next.
- If a person does not have a MedicAlert® bracelet or other identification, contact Emergency Services at 911.
Helping people impacted by dementia to be safe is just one part of being a dementia friendly community. To learn more about how your community group can become inclusive, contact Catherine at 204-943-6622 ext. 217 or email email@example.com to arrange for a dementia friendly community presentation.
A comprehensive systematic review of studies that investigated the link between environmental factors and dementia shows that certain environmental factors may increase the risk of dementia.
Researchers from the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre screened 4,784 studies and found 60 eligible for inclusion in the review. Six categories of risk factors were considered: air quality, toxic heavy metals, other metals, other trace elements, occupational-related exposures and miscellaneous environmental factors.
Of the factors examined in the review, there was strong evidence of an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of dementia. There was moderate evidence that air pollution and electromagnetic fields could be linked to elevated rates of dementia.
Further research is necessary to study the association between the identified environmental factors and the risk of dementia.
Until more is known, each of us can do our part to maintain a clean and safe environment that will promote healthy living and potentially reduce the risk of dementia.
To read more about this research, go to: http://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-016-0342-y
Alone but never lonely…it’s a saying that often pops up in poems and songs. However, many older people, including those with dementia, may be alone through no choice of their own. This situation may arise because they are isolated from family, friends or members of the community. Loneliness – feelings of sadness and anxiety from being or feeling alone – can definitely result.
You may know someone with dementia who is lonely and isolated. To assist, it is helpful to identify why the person is isolated. One cause could be that they have limited opportunity to connect with others. Another is that the person may fear stigma. In both of these situations, there are ways to help.
Limited Contact with Others
People with dementia may lose the ability to plan social outings or initiate attendance at previously enjoyed activities. Withdrawing from social situations increases the chance of feeling lonely or becoming isolated.
You can help by:
- inviting the person to be part of activities. Offer to remind them of outings and give them rides.
- talking with the person regularly on the phone when face-to-face contact is not possible. This will reassure them that they are cared about.
- adapting your interaction to the person’s changing communication abilities by initiating conversation and giving them enough time to process information and respond.
Fear of Stigma
People with dementia may worry about disclosing their diagnosis to others because of fear of being judged. They may not want others to notice the changes they are experiencing.
You can help by:
- creating a safe atmosphere so the person feels comfortable discussing or disclosing their diagnosis when they are ready.
- supporting the person when they want to take part in activities of interest to them.
- encouraging the person to join a support group to connect with others living with dementia. By doing so, they can share their experiences with peers who may be going through a similar journey.
Overcoming isolation and loneliness by staying connected is an important step toward wellbeing. Call us today at 204-943-6622 to learn more about community programs that foster mental, physical and social engagement.
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:
Enhancing Communication with Dementia
This informative session will highlight the changes that can occur throughout the journey of dementia. Challenges with communication and strategies to enhance it 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.
Tuesdays, November 22 and December 6, 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 and to register for November 22.
Click here for more information and to register for December 6.
Telehealth Sessions (for regional communities only)
Join us from 6:30 to 8 pm for the following informative session:
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
The fall Minds in Motion® program sessions, which are taking place at six Winnipeg locations, in Gimli and in Portage la Prairie, are well underway. 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 fall dates, times and registration information.
Watch for information about winter sessions in upcoming eNewsletters.
Join us for Family Night, featuring renowned Dementia Educator Teepa Snow. You will learn ways to create moments of joy through meaningful activities when caring for a person with dementia.
Monday, March 6, 2017
7 to 8:30 pm
Canad Inns Polo Park, 1405 St. Matthews Ave. (map)
Click here to register.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
Featuring Teepa Snow!
Join us in enlightening and in-depth discussions of best practices in dementia care.
Monday and Tuesday, March 6 & 7, 2017
Canad Inns Polo Park (map)
Click here to register.
Click here for the Dementia Care 2017 poster.
Door 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.
Can’t participate? text DOOR to 45678 to donate $10 to the Alzheimer Society.
Where can you find surfers and hula dancers, coral reefs and erupting volcanoes, turtles and schools of colourful fish? You’ll find these, and many more symbols of the wondrous island state of Hawaii, at the Alzheimer Society’s A Night to Remember in Hawaii. Join us for an evening of great food, entertainment, raffles and auctions. Book your table today so you don’t miss out on this gala event.
Thursday, February 9, 2017, 6 pm
RBC Convention Centre, 375 York Avenue, Winnipeg (map)
For more information, contact Kim Mardero at 204-943-6622 or email@example.com
We are currently accepting items for our auctions and balloon pops. To donate an item or gift certificate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for more information and to book your table.
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
Join 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 email@example.com
Click here for more information on this event.
Festive Fundraiser: Food and Wine Pairing
Want 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)
Shift Pop Up Yoga and Meditation
Join 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
Two 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Host a Night of Painting with TD Fine Arts
Are 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.
We hope you enjoy our November 2016 eNewsletter!
If you know someone who could benefit from the stories and information you see in this eNewsletter, please email them this link: www.alzheimer.mb.ca/november-2016-enewsletter/ Click here to subscribe and receive future updates.
Thank you for reading!