August 2019 eNewsletter

In This Issue

Elections are Coming!
Ten-Year Volunteer is Happy to Give Back
Spotlight on Dementia Research: Don’t Miss this Public Forum!
Planning for Fall Minds in Motion®
Dementia Friendly Communities Promote Inclusiveness
Register Online for Care4u Family Conference
Self-care: Make Yourself a Priority, Too!
Ambiguous Loss Support Group Available This Fall
Check Out Our Fall Program!
Get Your Motors Running for Poker Derby!
Education and Programs
Events and Volunteering


Manitobans vote on September 10. Now is the time to talk to your candidates about the needs of people like Kerri, Sylvia and Gavin.

We’ve identified three areas where the Government of Manitoba can help families living with dementia:

First Link® – so that people like Kerri and her family can continue to receive support and services provided by the Alzheimer Society.
Home Care – so that Sylvia and her husband Don – and others in their situation – can receive better home care options.
Staff Training – so that Gavin, and others who have family members in care, receive compassion and respect from staff. 

Click here for suggestions on how to get in touch with your candidates and be an advocate. The Alzheimer Society will be reaching out as well!

Don’t hesitate to contact us as 204-943-6622 or We’ll share any information we’ve found and assist in your decision to RAISE YOUR VOICE!




Ten-Year Volunteer is Happy to Give Back

She’s put bandanas around dogs’ necks and applied temporary tattoos to people’s bodies. She’s handed out t-shirts and prizes, and she’s taken registrations. She’s given thirsty walkers water and hungry walkers food.

For her decade of commitment to the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, Valerie Blahut has received her 10-year volunteer pin.

She doesn’t intend to stop there.

Valerie recently retired from her job in human resources at IG Wealth Management and has already asked the Alzheimer Society about other volunteer opportunities now that she has more free time.

Motivation to Help

While some of her extended family members have had Alzheimer’s disease, that isn’t Valerie’s main motivation for helping the Society.

“I love volunteering. It’s fun and it feels good to give back,” she says, adding that the Walk is especially gratifying because everyone is happy and enjoying themselves. “I don’t necessarily have money to give, but I have time. And these events wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have volunteers to help.”

She also likes volunteering at the Walk because she can meet new people, even within her own company. “At IG Wealth Management, we have 1,000 employees, so you meet people you don’t generally work with,” she points out.

IG Wealth Management promotes volunteerism and makes it easy for their employees to find opportunities to help their community through a variety of agencies, Valerie says. The company posts volunteer opportunities with contact information that makes it simple to sign up.

“If you’re not aware of how to get involved or aware of the opportunities available to you, you’re not likely to participate. But when an event is posted and you just need to send an email to sign up, it’s easy.”

CEO Wendy Schettler presented Valerie with her 10-year pin at the Society’s Annual Meeting in June. She summed up Valerie’s dedicated approach to volunteerism: “Valerie is one of those people who volunteers with a smile on her face. Whatever tasks she is assigned, she does willingly and graciously.”



Spotlight on Dementia Research:
What’s Happening Now and its Impact on the Future

Don’t miss this public forum!

Tuesday, September 24, 7 to 8:30 pm

Samuel N. Cohen Auditorium
St. Boniface Hospital Research
351 Tache Ave., Winnipeg, MB (map)

To learn about the significant strides researchers around the world are making as they:

  • look for ways to prevent dementia
  • investigate how quality of life can be improved for those impacted by dementia
  • work to find a cure

Dr. Saskia Sivananthan, a neuroscientist, global policy leader and Chief Science Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada, will be on hand to talk about the latest research, new findings and what they mean for the future of dementia.

This event will be chaired by Dr. Benedict C. Albensi, Manitoba Dementia Research Chair and Everett Endowment Fund Chair, St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.

Seating is limited.

Click here to register online today!
Click here to view the poster.

You can register by emailing or by calling 204-943-6622 or 1-800-378-6699.

The Alzheimer Society’s contribution to the Manitoba Dementia Research Chair was generously donated by Wescan Electrical Mechanical Services.




Planning for Fall Minds in Motion®

Now is the time to start thinking about fall sessions for our Minds in Motion program. This one-of-a-kind program in Manitoba connects people living with early to moderate symptoms of dementia through physical, social and brain stimulating activities. Participants with dementia attend with a family member or community friend.

Minds in Motion is offered in eight Winnipeg locations as well as Altona, Brandon, Gimli, Morden, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk and Steinbach. The program is two hours in length and runs for eight weeks. Each weekly session has a fitness component and a socialization and refreshment break, followed by brain stimulating recreational games and activities.

It’s lots of fun!

Click here for the list of locations. Interested participants are encouraged to call the location directly to register.

For more information about what Minds in Motion is all about, click here.




Dementia Friendly Communities:
Promoting Inclusiveness for People with Dementia


Roger Marple has dementia and he has a message about how to help people like him: you don’t have to be an expert on the disease; you just need a little understanding, kindness and patience. (See a video about Roger above.)

Thanks to the Alzheimer Society, people from all walks of life are gaining that understanding through the Society’s Dementia Friendly Communities presentations. The presentations are designed to help people learn more about dementia and how they can make their community more inclusive and accessible to those living with the disease.

Where People Live, Work and Play

Since its launch in September 2016, 123 community groups have received presentations through the Dementia Friendly Communities initiative. From organizations and agencies working with seniors, to police, paramedics and pharmacists, to churches and the Rainbow Resource Centre, individuals have been learning how to support people with dementia in the places they live, work and play.

The primary goal is to reduce stigma and allow people living with dementia to feel supported by their community. To do that, the Society tailors its presentations to its audiences and the situations in which they interact with people with dementia.

Annalynn Csarnecki, a training inspector for Winnipeg’s paramedics, says the presentation they received was excellent information for paramedics. “It really opened our eyes to how big dementia is and how far-reaching its implications are. It was really helpful.”

Jennifer Vicente-Licardo, Education Manager at the Society, says the response to the presentations has been very positive. “We find organizations to be receptive to the idea of learning more about dementia so they can interact and communicate with people they encounter who have the disease,” she says.

“And this is just the beginning – we intend to reach out to many more groups so communities everywhere will be inclusive of people with dementia.”

For more information about helping to build a dementia friendly community, call 204-943-6622 (Winnipeg) or 1-800-378-6699 (Manitoba.)




Register Online for Care4u Family Conference!

Care4u Family Conference 2019
Saturday, October 26th, 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.

This year, the opening presentation will be given by Sienna Caspar, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge. Dr. Caspar will speak about the importance of self-compassion and resilience through the exploration of current research and an engaging self examination.

Click here to find out more and register online today! Space is limited.

Event Sponsor






Make Yourself a Priority, Too!

Providing care for someone with dementia can have a significant impact on the caregiver’s physical and emotional health. However, many caregivers are often unaware of the warning signs of stress, and they may deny its effects on their health. Some feel inclined to set their own needs aside while caring for the person with dementia, hoping that the stress might go away if they don’t think about it.

The reality is that, as a caregiver, you need to take care of yourself – and not just by going to the spa for a day. Here are some things you can do on a regular basis to maintain your health and well-being:

  • Ask for help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of personal strength.
  • Validate your feelings. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can.
  • Take breaks each day. Find ways to relax and try to get the rest you need.
  • Eat healthy foods that will help you become energized.
  • Become physically active. Regular exercise helps to reduce stress and improve your mood.
  • Join a caregiver’s support group. Hear and learn from other people’s experiences.
  • Spend time with family and friends so you will not feel lonely and isolated. They could be a great source of help.
  • Keep up with your hobbies and interests.
  • See your doctor on a regular basis. Do not dismiss the signs of stress or mistake them as normal part of caregiving.
  • Keep your health, legal and financial information up-to-date.

Taking these actions can bring you some relief by reducing your stress. They may also help keep you from becoming ill or depressed.

Remember: your health is important. Do not ignore it and do not wait until you are too exhausted to plan for self-care. These strategies will give you strength to continue providing care and at the same time help you maintain your own health and well-being.




Ambiguous Loss Support Group Available This Fall

How do you grieve the loss of someone when they are standing right in front of you? This is exactly what family members of someone with dementia face: the person is physically present and they look like themselves, but their cognition and emotional disposition are changed and they often act in a different manner than they did in the past.

This fall, the Alzheimer Society will once again offer the Ambiguous Loss Support Group to help family members recognize and grieve this type of loss and to learn to adapt to the changes. The group will run bi-weekly from September 2nd to December 9th, on either a Wednesday or Thursday.

To register for this group contact Beth at 204-943-6622 or




The Fall Calendar is Available Now!

The Alzheimer Society offers many programs during the fall months. Click here to see the what we have on tap.




Get Your Motors Running for a Great Cause!

The 24th 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 if $100 in pledges is raised.

*Entrance fee to be paid morning of event*

Click here to register now!

Saturday, August 17, 2019
9 am to 6 pm
Alzheimer Society Office – 457 9th Street, Brandon, MB


Education and Programs


Events & Volunteering