December 2016 eNewsletter

In This Issue

Donate During December and Your Gift will Double!
Keeping Holidays Happy for a Family Member with Dementia
Have Your Say! Take the Manitoba Health Care Survey
We’ve Got Your Holiday Shopping Covered!
January Awareness: Education Night
Teepa Show is Coming to Winnipeg!
Door to Door: Come Volunteer With Us!
Sign Up Now for Minds in Motion® Winter Sessions
Building Dementia Friendly Communities: The Importance of Signage
Be Part of the Solution: Get Involved as a Research Participant!
Spotlight on Research: High Blood Pressure During Middle Age Can Increase Risk of Cognitive Impairment
Caregiver Tips: Take a “Staycation!”
Upcoming Education
Upcoming Support Groups
Upcoming Events
Anything for Alzheimer’s


What do YOU want to read about in this eNewsletter?

computer-with-news3x2 The Alzheimer Society wants to offer an eNewsletter that is chock full of stories and information of interest – and of help – to our readers.

Are we providing content that you want to read?

Please let us know by filling out a survey about this eNewsletter, which is currently published 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 FOR HELPING US TO SERVE YOU BETTER!


Giving Tuesday Campaign Doubles the Impact!

Christmas presents in brown paperThe Alzheimer Society’s Giving Tuesday campaign kicked off with a bang on November 29 with news that the Shindleman Family will match each donation received throughout December to a maximum of $10,000.

That means that a gift of $50 becomes $100 and a gift of $100 becomes $200 – and so on!

This generous support from the Shindleman Family has struck a chord with our donors. In just a week, we have raised $7,480 thanks to many charitable donors!

There is still time for you to double your donation to the Alzheimer Society this holiday season! We have until December 31 and only $2,520 more to reach our goal!

The Shindleman Family is supporting us in a big way and they hope that you will join them by giving to the Alzheimer Society this month.

Click here to donate now.

Thank You!




Keeping Holidays Happy for a Family Member with Dementia

christmas-dinner-3x3Marilyn Davis knows how to adapt holiday gatherings to accommodate the needs of a family member with dementia. Her ideas stem from the experience of being a caregiver: her mother, Mary, lived with dementia for almost a decade before she passed away in 2000, and her husband, Dave, is living with it now.

“Keep it short and simple,” she says. “Plan what you will do beforehand and explain things to others so they’ll understand.”

Years ago, Marilyn quickly figured out how to make holiday dinners comfortable for her mother. To make the situation as stress-free as possible, Marilyn would ask the home care worker to help Mary get dressed as usual, without explaining that an outing was in the offing. Marilyn would then pick Mary up and simply say, “Let’s go to my house for dinner!” The food would be ready to eat upon their arrival, and Mary would have a nice meal and a short visit with everyone before Marilyn would take her home again.

“I admit we did it on the QT, but it was just right for Mum,” she explains. “If I’d told her about the gathering ahead of time, she would have become fixated on it – she’d be upset at the thought of it.”

A Common Sense Approach

Marilyn uses a similar common sense approach today with Dave, who has lived in a personal care home for the past six years. Her son and daughter-in-law usually hold the gathering, but the large extended family – complete with babies and grandchildren – can be too much for Dave.

“We go for just a short time in the morning, then we go again half an hour before dinner,” she explains. “That way, Dave doesn’t have to sit around wondering who everybody is.”

For other families in the midst of making holiday plans, the key is to consider the person’s unique needs. Everyone is different, so use your knowledge about the person – along with your gut instinct – to predict how things might go, and plan accordingly. Remember that the person with dementia may not remember everyone and may have trouble following conversations. Keep an eye on them and be at their side if you see they are becoming uncomfortable.

Above all, try to get everyone on board so the person with dementia can relax. “Don’t worry if Grandpa wants to put gravy on his ice cream – it just doesn’t matter, and it’s important to let him have the independence to do what makes him happy and find joy in the occasion,” advises Marilyn.

Happy holidays!


Have Your Say! Take the Manitoba Health Care Survey

Have Your Say: click here to fill out the survey
The Manitoba Government wants to hear how you think the Manitoba Health Care System could more effectively serve the public. Share your ideas by completing this survey by Wednesday, December 14. Click here to access the survey.




We’ve Got Your Holiday Shopping Covered!

presents-3x3You can beat the holiday rush by doing your shopping at the Alzheimer Society! By considering the gift possibilities listed below, you are supporting the Society’s programs and services.

Give the Gift of a Forget Me Not Keepsake: We have an assortment of items available for the gift giving season, inscribed with our beautiful Forget Me Not logo. Some items can be personalized in memory or in honour of a special person in your life. Choose from a porcelain star Christmas tree ornament, a two-piece slate coaster set, a 4 x 6 aluminum photo frame, a table top flip album, a decorative etched glass vase, a royal blue cozy fleece blanket and a silver plated serving tray. Prices range from $10 to $30, with net proceeds supporting the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. Click here.

Give the Gift of a Forget Me Not Necklace: These charming pieces are hand crafted by Hilary Druxman in the form of the official symbol of the Alzheimer Society. A portion of the proceeds supports the work of the Society. Click here.

Give the Gift of a Touch Quilt: One of these cozy Touch Quilts will warm the lap and brighten the life of someone living in a personal care home. Sponsor a Touch Quilt for an entire personal care home or for an individual with the opportunity to personalize the tags in honour or in memory of someone special. Touch Quilts are made and donated by community volunteers. Click here.

Give the Gift of a Donation to the Alzheimer Society: You can honour a special person in your life by donating in their honour and we will send a beautiful card on your behalf. By supporting the Society in this way, you are giving hope to people living with dementia and their families. Special offer: if you donate during the month of December, our matching gift campaign will double your donation! Click here.

Thank you, and have a safe and enjoyable gift giving season!


Learn About What Brain Imaging Tells Us About Dementia
at Alzheimer Awareness Month Education Session

brain-scan-3x3January is Alzheimer Awareness Month – a time when we work to raise awareness in the community about dementia and its effect on those with the disease and their families. Watch for the national Alzheimer Society campaign to unfold in January!

dr-marco-essig-by-computerYou can register to attend our January Awareness seminar on Thursday, January 26 at 7 pm called “What Can Brain Imaging Tell Us About Dementia?” This free seminar, presented by leading radiologist Dr. Marco Essig, is open to the public. It takes place at St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, 351 Tache Avenue (map).

Click here to register. Space is limited. Please preregister.





Teepa Snow is Coming to Winnipeg!

teepa-3x3The renowned and entertaining Teepa Snow, an advocate for people living with dementia, will present this March 2017.

Her personal mission is to uphold: “Life with dementia can be lived fully.” For a teaser video of Teepa Snow’s presentation, click here.

Sign up today, these education opportunities will fill up fast!


Dementia Care 2017

Dementia Care 2017 is a two-day workshop for health care professionals. 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)

Click here to register. Space is limited!
Click here for the Dementia Care 2017 poster.

Family Night

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. Space is limited!


Door to Door:
Give the Gift of Your Time this January!

knocking-on-door-3x4Do you enjoy friendly chats with people in your neighbourhood? Why not do it while raising money for the Alzheimer Society? We are currently looking for volunteers to knock on doors to request donations during the month of January. You’ll have the entire month to complete your canvassing route, which typically includes 25 to 30 houses on your street or close by.

While January may be the coldest month of the year, it’s also a month that warms the hearts of people with dementia and their families because of the generosity of neighbourhood donors and the willingness of canvassers to spare an hour or two of their time.

To become a canvasser in the Society’s Door to Door Campaign this January, please click here to register or call 204-943-6622 in Winnipeg or 1-800-378-6699 in Manitoba.

Not able to canvass in your neighbourhood? We have two other great ways for you to help:

  • Canvass your friends and family! Take your canvassing online from the comfort of your home – register online and send an email to friends and family with a link to your donation page. Click here.
  • Text us a $10 donation. For a quick and easy way to make a difference, just text the word “DOOR” to 45678 and $10 will be donated to the Alzheimer Society. Challenge your friends and family to do the same!


Sign Up Now:
Minds in Motion® Winter 2017 Sessions Filling Up Fast!

MiM-3x3-2The popularity of the Minds in Motion program is escalating and winter sessions are already starting to fill up. Don’t miss out – contact us now to find a program near you!

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.


Below is a list of locations and dates of the winter sessions. Click here to registration information, times and fees.



Building Dementia Friendly Communities:
Does Your Environment Have Dementia Friendly Signage?

open-sign-3x3Easy-to-navigate environments benefit individuals with dementia as they take part in daily activities in their communities – whether it be shopping, attending events or simply going for a walk.

Installing appropriate signage is one way that businesses and organizations can help to make the surroundings safe and dementia-friendly for those experiencing changes in their abstract thinking, memory and depth perception. Signage gives clues to help people understand where they are and what is expected of them in that space. It helps them get to where they want to go.

To be beneficial to people with dementia, signs should:

  • Be located in unobstructed, well-lit locations so they are easily visible
  • Be minimal, giving essential information only
  • Have large graphics with realistic symbols in clear contrast to the background
  • Be placed at eye-level near entrances
  • Have non-reflective coverings and be placed in locations with non-glare lighting
  • Be used to clearly mark glass doors to make them visible
  • Be placed on the doors they indicate rather than on nearby or adjacent surfaces
  • Indicate the locations of bathrooms and exits

Consider the signage in your organization today to see if it can be made more dementia friendly.

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 @ 204-943-6622 ext. 217 or email




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

Group of happy elderly men laughing and talkingThe Dementia Sibling Study: Brothers and Sisters Sharing Caregiving Responsibilities

Occupational Therapy students from the University of Toronto Masters program are conducting a study about the experiences of adult children who are caring for their parent with dementia.

The study explores how caregiving responsibilities are shared between adult daughters and sons. Researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the needs of family caregivers.

Siblings will be asked to individually fill out a survey that will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The survey asks about your experiences regarding your caregiving role and how you share responsibilities with your sibling. The questions include rating scales and short answers.

Click here to learn more about the study.


Spotlight on Current Research

blood-pressure3x3High Blood Pressure During Middle Age Can Increase Risk of Cognitive Impairment

A review of observational studies shows that hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, disrupts the structure and function of blood vessels in the brain, leading to damage of areas important for cognitive function.

The review included studies that examined the relationship between high blood pressure and cognitive health. Categories analyzed included age at which the blood pressure was measured: midlife (40 to 64 years), late life (65 to 84 years) and oldest old (85 years and older). Cognitive function was measured using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) or modified MMSE, with focus on executive function, memory and processing speed.

Evidence from the studies suggests that high blood pressure in midlife is associated with worse cognitive performance later in life. There is moderately strong evidence that the changes most associated with high blood pressure are impaired and declining speed of processing and executive function.

Why these correlations exist is still not clear and warrants further research. Nonetheless, controlling risks factors for hypertension and treating the condition can help maintain vascular health, which can promote brain health and better cognition.

The full scientific report may be found at this link:


Staycation: A Vacation Spent at Home

tipslogoA break from day-to-day routines or a change of scenery is often revitalizing. However, changes in the abilities of a person with dementia may pose challenges for travel, and it may no longer be possible for you, as a care partner, to take an extensive trip with the person.

With this in mind, what can you do to get the holiday you need?

Try taking a “staycation”  ̶  a vacation spent at home. Part of what contributes to feeling re-energized while on vacation is the chance to try something new. If you take a staycation, you can explore new things in your own community and home while entering into a vacation state of mind. Here are some ideas:

Become a local tourist.
Experience new sights  ̶  ­ visit galleries, museums, parks or nearby attractions.

Try new foods or exotic dishes.
Experiment with food in the kitchen by cooking different dishes or sampling an international delicacy. To skip cooking entirely while on staycation, try eating at a restaurant that you haven’t visited before or choose to have a meal delivered to your home.

Pick up a book.
Use the staycation as a chance to read a book you have been longing to read, or designate a spot in your home as a private reading space. Consider picking up an adult coloring book to soothe tension and gain potential brain health benefits.

Tap into your senses.
Some researchers believe that aromatherapy can activate parts of the brain that are responsible for emotional well-being. Light a candle scented with lavender or other scents and relax with a warm cup of tea to relieve stress.

Looking after your own personal needs will empower you to care for the person with dementia. A time well-spent with a vacation state of mind can help you to gain emotional and physical energy when vacationing at home.





Upcoming Education


What Can Brain Imaging Tell Us About Dementia?
Brain imaging can be used to detect changes related to mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s dementia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia. Come to hear how information learned from brain imaging can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

Thursday, January 26
7 to 8:30 pm
Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium
St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre
351 Tache Avenue (map)
Click here to register.

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:

Driving and Dementia
Dementia can have a significant impact in a person’s ability to drive. Come to discuss the complex issues and decisions that must be made when living with dementia.

Wednesday, January 18
7 to 8:30 pm
Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre, 1588 Main St. (map)
Click here to register.

Dialogue with a Physician
Do you have questions about dementia – the risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, progression, treatment and caregiving? Bring these questions and join us for an open discussion of topics relevant to the care of people with dementia.

Wednesday, February 15
7 to 8:30 pm
Lindenwood Manor, 475 Lindenwood Dr. E. (map)
Click here to register.

Living with Dementia: First Steps
Join us for an informational and experiential workshop for people supporting a person recently d
iagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

PART ONE – Saturday, January 21, 9 am to 12 pm
• Overview of dementia
• Activities to experience what it might be like to have dementia
• The Alzheimer Society is here for you
Session is located at River Ridge II Retirement Residence, 2701 Scotia St. (map)
Cost: $10 (includes refreshments and resources)
Click here to register.
PART TWO  Saturday, February 25, 9 am to 12 pm
• Safety for the person with dementia and their caregivers
• Family perspectives
• Legal and financial matters
Session is located at River Ridge II Retirement Residence, 2701 Scotia St. (map)
Cost: $10 (includes refreshments and resources)
Click here to register.
STONEWALL  Saturday, January 21, 9 am to 3 pm
• Understanding dementia from a medical, family and individual perspective
• Legal and financial considerations
• Helpful community resources
• Home safety
• Best practices for caregivers
Session is located at Stonewall & District Health Centre, 589 3rd Ave., Stonewall, MB (map)
Cost: $20 (includes lunch and resources)
To register, contact the South Interlake Seniors Resource Council at 204-467-2719 or

Telehealth Sessions (for regional communities only)
The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba offers family education for those experiencing dementia in over 39 communities across the province via video technology. Join us from 6:30 to 8 pm on designated evenings. Dates and topics for winter sessions will soon be listed on our website.
Click here for a list of locations where Telehealth is offered.

Community Mental Health: Roles & Services
Tuesday, February 21
6:30 to 8 pm (please arrive by 6:15 pm)

Understanding Psychoses and Anxiety in Dementia
Tuesday, March 21
6:30 to 8 pm (please arrive by 6:15 pm)

Food and Nutrition: Understanding a Person’s Needs as Dementia Progresses
Tuesday, April 25
6:30 to 8 pm (please arrive by 6:15 pm)

Click here to register.

Minds in Motion® Program
The winter Minds in Motion® program sessions, which are taking place at six Winnipeg locations and in Portage la Prairie, are now scheduled. 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 winter dates, times and registration information.

Minds in Motion® Volunteer Info Sessions

Join us for a 60-minute session that provides information about the rewarding opportunities of becoming a Minds in Motion program volunteer. Click here to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a volunteer. You can attend the following upcoming sessions at Alzheimer Society of Manitoba’s Provincial Office, 10-120 Donald St. (map) in person or by teleconference.

Monday, January 9 from 2 to 3 pm
Wednesday, March 1 from 2 to 3 pm
Thursday, March 9 from 10 to 11 am

Click here to register.

Family Night
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. Space is limited. Please preregister.


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







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.


Upcoming Events

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. You can also choose to canvass online by sending an email to family and friends from the comfort of your home!
Click here for more information or to register today.
Can’t participate? text DOOR to 45678 to donate $10 to the Alzheimer Society.


Get Ready for A Night to Remember in Hawaii!

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)
To purchase a table or tickets, contact Kim Mardero at 204-943-6622 or
We are currently accepting items for our auctions and balloon pops. To donate an item or gift certificate, contact
Click here to visit the Gala 2017 website.





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:

TD Fine Arts – Dandelion Sign Party

dandelionIn a few hours of fun, you and your friends will be guided into creating your very own handmade sign! NO previous experience required.

Date: Tuesday, December 13
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm

Location: Triple B’s Scurfield – 121 Scurfield Boulevard, Winnipeg
Cost: $40
For tickets, please contact Toni Dent at 204-250-3660 or

Proceeds go to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

Click here for more information.


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



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.


We hope you enjoy our November 2016 eNewsletter!

email-buttonIf you know someone who could benefit from the stories and information you see in this eNewsletter, please email them this link: Click here to subscribe and receive future updates.

Thank you for reading!