In This Issue
Check Out Our 2017-18 Annual Report!
Generous Donor Helps to Advance Society’s Mission
Enjoying Summer Traditions
Positive Attitudes Towards Aging
Get Ready to Get Muddy at the 2018 MudRun!
Get Your Motors Running for a Great Cause!
Save the Date for Care4u!
Education and Programs
Events and Volunteering
The Alzheimer Society’s 2017-18 Annual Report showcases our accomplishments over the past year. In it, we feature stories of people who live with dementia or who are caregivers to someone who does. Their stories are inspiring and they give hope. They help readers to understand what it is like to live with this disease.
The Report also tells how we have worked hard to keep up with the demand for our services, and how we are dreaming big as we make plans to increase our reach. We give readers examples of how communities and individuals have become dementia friendly, and we report on partnerships that have resulted in unique programs.
Readers can discover the importance of our volunteers, two of whom received special recognition for their efforts: Karen Braun is our Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser recipient and Dan Sitar is our Distinguished Member Award winner.
The Annual Report was unveiled at the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Click here to read the Report.
David Greenwood jokes that he’s working hard to put the folks at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba out of work.
He admits that he’s not likely to be successful because, even if there is a breakthrough in diagnosis and treatment, there will always be a role for the Society to play. However, David’s generous financial support over the past 25 years is helping to advance the organization’s mission.
To date, David’s charitable giving to the Society has reached an impressive milestone: it has exceeded the $100,000 mark. A bachelor, retired provincial and federal government statistician, and long-time investor who gives the Society donations of publicly traded shares, David says he can afford to “give until it hurts because it hurts more when you lose a loved one.”
In David’s case, the loved one was his mother, Betty, who died in May 1993 at the age of 79.
Betty, who raised three children and for a short while worked the night shift as a dispatcher for Unicity Taxi, was diagnosed with dementia in the early 1990s. David’s father cared for her full time, with short reprieves by a caregiver. “Unless the caregiver was there, I don’t think he ever left the house,” he says.
At the time, the family wasn’t really aware of the kinds of programs and services the Alzheimer Society could have provided, but as a tribute to his mother, David made his first donation the same year she died.
The donations have kept coming. “I started out giving hundreds of dollars and now I’m giving thousands of dollars,” says David. He’s gratified to know the Society can spend his contributions on supportive counselling, caregiver and professional education, support groups, research and advocacy.
David is impressed with the scope of work done by the Society and is happy to “let the experts decide how to spend the money” he donates. He knows advances in diagnosing dementia, coupled with an aging population of baby boomers, will likely keep the experts busy allocating funds for a very long while.
He will continue to give, he says, “for my mother and for anyone else’s mother who is diagnosed with dementia.”
Going to the lake during the summer is a way of life for many families in Manitoba. How can you keep up the summer tradition with enjoyment while ensuring the safety of the person with dementia? Here are a few safety suggestions to help you continue your summer trips to the lake.
- Consider registering with the MedicAlert® Safely Home® program. If you have already registered, ensure your information is updated. You could also think about using additional locating devices, such as paired cell phones.
- Ensure neighbours and local business owners at the lake are aware that your family member/friend has dementia. Let them know how they can help if they see the person roaming in the community.
- Take a safety kit that includes first aid items, medications, batteries/chargers and a flashlight, along with a list of emergency contacts, an ERIK kit and other important documents.
- Have an emergency preparedness kit ready in case of a storm, fire or other possible emergencies.
- Re-orientate your family member to your place at the lake, especially to important rooms, such as the bathroom. Use signage as necessary to help with their orientation.
- Check for loose rugs, wires, stairs and other possible safety hazards at your summer home.
- Supervise the person closely when near the water or around fire pits and hot surfaces, such as the BBQ or campfire.
- If working in the garden with tools such as shears, encourage the use of gloves. Also be watchful if the person is using chemicals or is in the vicinity of poisonous plants.
- Bring bug spray and sunscreen. Encourage application of sunscreen and reapply when needed.
With increased diligence regarding safety, you can continue to enjoy summer traditions at the lake.
Look for more tips on enjoying your trip to the lake in our August issue.
A study conducted by Yale University researchers examined whether positive beliefs about aging could reduce the risk of dementia. The study included 4,765 dementia-free adults, with an average age of 72. Of these, 26% carried the APOE ε4 gene variant, which is one of the strongest risk factors for dementia.
Researchers followed the participants for up to four years, during which beliefs about aging were assessed using the five-item Attitude Toward Aging (ATA) scale. This scale posed statements about aging, and participants indicated whether they agreed, strongly agreed, disagreed, strongly disagreed or were neutral.
Results of the study revealed that, compared to those with negative beliefs about aging at baseline, participants who had positive beliefs had a 43.6% lower risk of developing dementia over the course of four years.
Researchers also looked specifically at those who carried the APOE ε4 gene variant. They found that those with the variant who had positive beliefs about aging at baseline had a 49.8% lower risk of dementia compared to those who held negative attitudes. To isolate their results, the researchers took into account other factors that may contribute to dementia risk, including age, education, gender and race.
More research is warranted to confirm the association between positive beliefs about aging and risk of dementia. Until then, there is no time like the present to start thinking pleasant thoughts about getting older. In the process, the risk of dementia might be reduced.
Get Muddy This Summer!
The Catalyst Credit Union Manitoba MudRun challenges participants to complete a 10 km trail run with more than 20 obstacles!
Register now for this exciting summer event!
Everyone who signs up will have the opportunity to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.
Saturday, August 11, 2018
8 am to 5 pm
Site of Dauphin Countryfest
See you there!
The 23rd Annual Motorcycle Poker Derby is set along a 250 km route throughout the Westman region, where motorcyclists will collect poker hands at various stops along the way.
Participants are encouraged to collect pledges online or in person. An entrance fee of $25 is waived is $100 in pledges is raised.
*Entrance fee to be paid morning of event*
Click here to register now!
Saturday, August 18, 2018
9 am to 7 pm
Alzheimer Society Office – 457 9th Street, Brandon, MB
Save the Date for Care4u!
Care4u Conference 2018
Saturday, October 27th, 9 am – 3:30 pm
Canadian Mennonite University – 500 Shaftesbury Blvd. (map)
Cost: $40 (includes lunch)
Care4u is a day of education and support for family and friends caring for a person with dementia.
The conference features local and national dementia care professionals who will share the latest in care
techniques, community resources and research.
Registration coming soon!
Events & Volunteering