Spring 2023 eNewsletter

In This Issue

2023 IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s
CEO Message: A Change in Leadership
A Care Partner’s Path to Understanding Dementia
Why It’s a Good Idea to Take That First Step
Alzheimer Society Volunteer Makes a Gift in Her Will
Ask an Expert: Ambiguous Loss
Community Programs Provide Couple with Laughs & Coffee Chats
Join Us for the New Season of Dementia Care
Care4U Family Conference 2023 – Save the Date
Check Out Our Spring 2023 Education Calendar
Spring 2023 Community Programs
Join a Support Group!
Follow Us On Social Media
Donate Today to Help Our Work Continue

2023 IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s

The 2023 IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is just around the corner, so we want to share three stories to help inspire you to lace up your shoes and walk with us this May! Learn why these participants are walking for their family, walking for a common cause and walking to raise awareness.

Walking to Celebrate Dad: Andy’s Crew 

Coming Together For a Common Cause

Walking to Raise Awareness


Winnipeg In-person Walk
Saturday, May 27th at 10 am

Assiniboine Park, Lyric Theatre

Walk Agenda:

10 am – Check-in, team photos, granola bars and water available
10:45 am – Warm-up
11 am – Walk begins!
12 pm – Hot dog cart open for lunch

Host: Ace Burpee, 103.1 Virgin Radio

Check out the official website for more details and to register for this year’s Walk.


Share your story about why you’re walking on social media throughout April and May! By doing so, you’ll encourage those around you to register and donate. Plus, it helps families feel less alone in their dementia journey.

Tag us at the accounts below so we can be there to cheer you on!

Let’s inspire each other and show our support for families affected by dementia in Manitoba. Together, we CAN make a difference. 




CEO Message: A Change in Leadership

As I contemplate my retirement from the Alzheimer Society, I reflect on my time as CEO and am proud of the work we do to support and advocate for thousands of families living with dementia.

Our clients’ needs are top of mind each time an organizational decision is made – our mission is integrated in everything we do. It’s why we strive to make our communities dementia-friendly and why we continue to expand our First Link® Client Support program.

Currently, over 18,400 Manitobans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. This number is increasing rapidly and by 2050, it is expected to more than double.

We are fortunate to have a strong community of supporters on our side to help us meet the growing needs of families throughout the province. I have seen first-hand the commitment of our incredible volunteers, donors, board and staff who generously give their time and financial support. I am humbled to see them consistently step up so families don’t have to go through this challenging journey alone.

All of us at the Society are delighted to welcome Erin Crawford, our current program director, as incoming CEO. Erin has the understanding, experience and expertise to prepare us for the ever increasing number of families needing support and resources.

Under Erin’s leadership, we will continue to offer consistent, high quality programs for all Manitobans affected by dementia. We will continue to listen to our clients to find out what is important to them so we can better understand their diverse and changing needs.

It was my goal as a young professional to one day lead the Alzheimer Society as CEO and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing and inspiring people along the way.

It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the opportunity to play a part in supporting families on their dementia journey. I wish you all the very best.




A Care Partner’s Path to Understanding Dementia

Hearing the word dementia for the first time can be scary and confusing. Sometimes it is a word we aren’t ready to say out loud – until we figure out what it means for us.

This was the case for Marianne Nolin, who had been noticing changes in her mom’s behaviour far before the mention of a dementia diagnosis.

“Mom loved to knit, crochet and sew – she was always busy with her hands,” Marianne says. “But over the course of just a year, all of that stopped. This was a significant change I couldn’t understand.”

The word dementia was daunting for Marianne, so she became determined to learn more about the disease and how to best help her mom. She found the Alzheimer Society’s website and decided to reach out.

When Marianne called, she felt relieved to finally share her thoughts with somebody who immediately understood her complex situation and the challenges she was facing.

“Calling the Society was a game-changer,” says Marianne. “By talking with the staff at the Society, I learned dementia can be a slow, progressive disease and that caring for someone living with dementia is a unique experience.”

She spoke with Amanda, a First Link® Client Support Coordinator, who answered her questions, including her concerns about home care, questions to ask medical professionals, details about her mom’s care and how to deal with the pressures she felt as a care partner.

“It was through those conversations and by understanding what dementia is and how it can affect caregivers, that I was able to put things in perspective. That was huge,” Marianne says.

For example, Marianne received support in navigating her family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions, which were difficult times for her.

Marianne continues to have her routine check-in calls with Amanda and she also follows the monthly eNewsletters for information.

“Too often we don’t understand what the word ‘dementia’ means, what’s to be expected or how system processes occur,” says Marianne. “Learn what you can so you can understand. It’s hard to figure out on your own, so definitely call the Society – it’s a resource you can depend on.”

Visit our We Can Help page to learn more about our First Link® Client Support program and the resources available.




Why It’s a Good Idea to Take That First Step

Memory loss is a scary thing. There’s a stigma attached to forgetfulness and we tend to feel embarrassed and ashamed when it happens, especially as we age. It’s time we break the stigma so everyone can feel more comfortable talking about dementia.

If you’ve been noticing changes in your memory that are causing you concern, there are many reasons to take that first step to find out if it’s normal aging or dementia. There are benefits to getting an early diagnosis and a visit to your doctor can help start that process.

“We encourage you to talk to your doctor about the signs or symptoms you’re experiencing,” says Jessica Harper, First Link® Client Support Manager at the Alzheimer Society. “No matter what you are feeling, before or after the news, the staff at the Alzheimer Society are here to listen and help guide you.”

Getting an early diagnosis can help you prepare for the future and the changes that come with the progression of the disease. It can also help you:
• Understand the symptoms you are experiencing
• Take advantage of information, resources and supports
• Explore treatment options to help manage symptoms

“Support changes everything. We can connect you with resources and information every step of the way. Call us and we’ll give you details about our dementia-friendly programming, support groups, family education and so much more,” says Jessica.

A formal diagnosis can help you move forward and gain control over your life by taking the necessary steps to live better with the disease.

“It’s so important to have some conversations early on about personal, medical, financial and legal decisions,” Jessica says. “We can help empower you to make some difficult decisions that will put your mind at ease for the future.”

The Society is just a phone call away if you have questions about talking to your doctor or about the signs of dementia.

You are not alone. Our staff is here to listen and help guide you forward. You can find more information about warning signs of dementia, visiting your doctor, getting a diagnosis and more on our website.




Alzheimer Society Volunteer Makes a Gift in Her Will

Wendy Barker can attest to the positive effects the Alzheimer Society programs have for families affected by dementia. As a Minds in Motion® volunteer for the past seven years, she’s connected with many people going through similar situations that she experienced when caring for her mother.

Wendy’s dementia journey began in the mid-1990s when her mother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s. Around this time, Wendy reached out to the Society for support.

“My mother was adamant about staying in her home and not moving to a personal care home,” Wendy says. “The Society helped my family and me navigate this difficult situation and connected us to resources that were really helpful.”

Her mother’s diagnosis certainly had the biggest impact on Wendy’s life, but she also had other family members affected by the disease.

“It’s difficult to hear a dementia diagnosis, but programs like Minds in Motion make life a little better for people living with dementia and their care partners.”

Wendy has had many friends turn to her for words of wisdom, which she is always willing to share.

“Have patience and don’t rush things. Your conversations and interactions with someone living with dementia can be a bright spot in their day – even if they don’t know who you are in that moment,” Wendy says. “You bring them joy.”

Wendy and her husband recently decided that in addition to their gift of volunteer time, they are leaving a gift to the Alzheimer Society in their Will.

Wendy encourages everyone to work on their Wills. Not only is it a good way to plan for your future, but you also receive tax benefits when you leave a charitable gift as it reduces the amount of estate tax paid.

If you, like Wendy, are considering a charitable gift in your Will, visit willpower.ca to learn more or contact Lorraine Decock, Director of Development, at 204-943-6622 or ldecock@alzheimer.mb.ca.




Ask an Expert: Ambiguous Loss

Question: I feel like I’ve lost my partner but they’re still here with me. How can I sort through these feelings?

The loss or grief you’re feeling for your partner has a term, it’s called ambiguous loss. This is the type of loss you feel when a person living with dementia is physically here but may not be present in the same way they were before.

As dementia progresses and your partner changes, it is common to feel a loss for the person and relationship you once knew. It is confusing and tricky to navigate these feelings because they may be sitting right there beside you.

It’s important to understand that you can be angry at the situation and continue to love the person. It might be somewhat different than what it once was and being able to accept this can help ease your situation.

There are many ways to help cope with ambiguous loss, like:
• Allowing yourself to feel the pain
• Writing your thoughts down in a journal
• Remembering to care for your own needs
• Making sure you are kind to yourself

Reaching out to the staff at the Alzheimer Society is a great way to find support. We offer one-on-one counselling with our staff of experts who care and understand. They can connect you with resources and programs that can help you through these challenging times.

We also offer a group specifically for care partners experiencing ambiguous loss. Relating with others who are going through similar emotions and talking about it together can help you feel like you’re not alone.

Overall, we encourage you to acknowledge each of your feelings as they happen and to treat your emotions with grace and compassion.

Samantha Holland
Interlake/Eastern Regional Coordinator
Alzheimer Society of Manitoba

Join Samantha on May 10, from 10 – 11 am in-person or via Zoom as she speaks more about ambiguous loss in our Family Education: Next Steps series. Visit our website to register.




Community Programs Provide Couple with Laughs & Coffee Chats

Maureen and Ron Monson love getting out and connecting with others in the community – and they have recently discovered that the Alzheimer Society’s dementia-friendly programs are a great way to do just that.

Maureen learned about the various programs available when she reached out to the Society for support after Ron was diagnosed with dementia.

“I signed us up for a community program right away because I was looking for something that Ron and I could experience together,” says Maureen. “It hasn’t been easy to find things we both want to do and now we enjoy outings together every week.”

Last fall, the couple took part in Now and Then: A Journey in Time at the Manitoba Museum – a lively and educational program that encourages people living with dementia and their care partners to explore the museum’s many collections.

“Ron’s always loved museums, so these outings were perfect for us,” explains Maureen. “Each week we explored the museum on a tour, got an exclusive look at an artifact and chatted with the group during a coffee break.”

The most recent program Maureen and Ron enjoyed was Minds in Motion®. This program connects people living with mild to moderate signs of dementia and their care partners through exercise, social time and engaging activities. There are lots of laughs during these sessions.

“The program was very upbeat and in-the-moment – it was like you could leave your worries at the door,” says Maureen. “It was a welcoming and warm environment that Ron and I both got a lot out of.”

Maureen says Ron enjoyed the different activities they did at Minds in Motion and would have liked to spend even more time visiting with others over coffee.

“We’re so happy these programs are available. They wouldn’t have been on my radar if I hadn’t connected with the staff at the Society,” Maureen says. “If you’re looking for fun activities to do together, these programs are well worth a try!”

To learn more and register for dementia-friendly Spring programming, visit our Community Programs page. You can also visit our Minds in Motion page to check out our virtual and in-person sessions.




Join Us for the New Season of Dementia Care
Professional Development Series

The Complex World of Dementia Care

Sponsored by All Seniors Care

We invite you to the opening session of our Dementia Care 2023-2024 Professional Development Series! Sessions are geared towards healthcare staff and community service providers and take place online monthly (plus three in-person) until March 2024.

Join our opening session on Thursday, May 18, from 2 – 3 pm, called Turning Towards, Not Away: Caring for Others While Caring for Yourself, featuring Dr. Jillian Horton, MD, author and Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the U of M. Dr. Horton will speak about burnout, mindfulness and compassion as they exist in the complex world of dementia care.

Unpack the unique challenges and intricacies involved in caring for people with dementia while exploring practical approaches relevant in day-to-day situations. With topics ranging from cultural sensitivities to the importance of inclusiveness, these sessions will empower health care professionals to offer respect, compassion and empathy to those living with dementia.

For only $30, you get access to all virtual sessions PLUS the option to register for in-person workshops!
(Additional charge for in-person sessions.)

We encourage anyone working with people with dementia whether in the community, in hospitals or in personal care homes to register. These sessions add up to 30 completed hours of education that may be used towards professional development or continuing education hours.

Visit the dementia care website to learn more about all the sessions, speakers and to register now!




Care4U Family Conference 2023 – Save the Date

The Alzheimer Society invites you to join us this October for our Care4u Family Conference 2023. We’ll be back in person this year for a day of learning strategies and resources to help you find and strengthen your courage as a care partner for someone living with dementia.

When: Saturday, October 28 | 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Where: Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park, 1405 St. Matthew’s Ave., Winnipeg
Registration Opens August 2023

This event is sponsored by:






Check Out Our Spring 2023 Education Calendar!

Join us for our spring education sessions! These sessions are offered both in-person and via Zoom and cover a variety of topics to help you on your dementia journey. The sessions we’re offering this spring are:

Living With Dementia: First Steps –

Part Two: Saturday, May 6, 10 – 11:45 am

Part Three: Saturday, June 10, 10 – 11:45 am

Family Education: Next Steps –

Understanding Responsive Behaviours
Monday, April 24, 2023, 2 – 3 pm
Location: Virtual via ZOOM
Speaker: Sylvia Davidson, MSc, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Complicated Grief: Introduction to Ambiguous Loss 
Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 10 – 11 am
Location: Virtual or Gordon Howard Centre, Selkirk, MB
Speaker: Samantha Holland, Interlake/Eastern
Regional Coordinator, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba

Moving From Strain to Strength – Addressing Challenging Family Dynamics
Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 2 – 3 pm
Location: Virtual or Lindenwood Manor, Winnipeg
Speaker: Lois Litz, Retired Spiritual Director,
Lindenwood Manor

Click the links below for more details on our spring sessions and to register!

Family Education Spring 2023 Calendar

Family Education – Alzheimer Society of Manitoba




Spring 2023 Community Programs

Spring has sprung and so has our latest dementia-friendly community program lineup!

We partner with various organizations for people with dementia and their care partners to participate in activities with others living in similar situations. These opportunities offer social, creative and educational ways to get out in the community and enjoy life.

Spring registration is now open! Come check out our spring programming currently available.

Art to Inspire

This program is designed to creatively engage people living with dementia, and their care partners, with visual art. Art to Inspire offers eight afternoon sessions in WAG-Qaumajuq where participants can enjoy conversations, works of art, and artmaking in a supportive setting. Each session will explore a different theme and engage participants in different ways that celebrate present-moment awareness and meaningful creative expression.

Spring Program (Thursdays, 1 – 2:30 pm)

April 6 – May 25

$150 per pair for all 8 sessions

Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard

Register now on their website!

Developed in partnership with WAG-Qaumajuq, the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba, and the University of Manitoba College of Rehabilitation Sciences.


Tales Along the Trail

Enjoy Manitoba’s spring awakening! Watch as snowy landscapes turn lush green, hear the songs of migrating birds and smell the first flowers in the forest. During Tales Along the Trail, participants will encounter the natural world in a safe and exciting way. An experienced naturalist will guide the group along FortWhyte’s gentle pathways. Each session wraps up with stories, tea and a tasty treat around a toasty campfire.

Spring Program (Wednesdays, 2 – 3:30 pm)

May 3 – June 14

$126 per pair for all 7 sessions

FortWhyte Alive, 1961 McCreary Road

Please contact bmiller@fortwhyte.org for a link to register for this program.

Developed in partnership with FortWhyte Alive and the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. 


Minds in Motion®

Our popular Minds in Motion® program connects people living with early to moderate signs of dementia and their care partners through fitness, fun and friendship. Participants take part in a gentle chair fitness class followed by socially engaging activities and conversation.

There are lots of laughs and social interactions during these sessions! We are excited to offer both in-person and virtual options.

Our spring sessions will begin the week of April 10th, 2023. Dates, times and registration information are available now! Click here to learn more and to register.




Join a Support Group!

A group of people listening to a speakerIf you are living with or supporting someone living with dementia, our support groups are for you! Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can leave you feeling isolated, but you are not alone. There are other people who share this journey with you, and we invite you to come meet them.  

Support groups provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about dementia and its progression, share feelings and common experiences, exchange practical coping strategies and mutual support, as well as participate in meaningful discussions. Groups are facilitated in Winnipeg and throughout the province including in the Interlake, North Central, Parkland, South Central, South Eastman and Westman regions. 

We welcome everyone to this inclusive environment for people of different ethnicities, cultures or persons who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Care Partner Support Groups

While we have highlighted a few of our support groups below, many more are available. For a full listing of all in-person and virtual groups, please visit our Support Groups page.

Spouses of People Living with Dementia in Personal Care Home

Meets in person at the provincial office in Winnipeg on the second Wednesday of the month from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.

This support group offers spouses of people with dementia living in a personal care home the opportunity to meet and share information about their experience of caring for someone who has transitioned into a personal care home. This caregiving experience presents unique challenges for care partners as they:

  • Navigate their changing roles
  • Adjust to changes in self-identity
  • Adjust to living separately from their spouse
  • Help to support a spouse in their dementia journey
Men’s Coffee Talk Support Group

Meets in person at the provincial office in Winnipeg on the fourth Thursday of the month from 10:00 to 11:30 am.

This support group is for male-identifying care partners to connect with one another and share information about their experience of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It’s an opportunity to share about new challenges you experience relating to your role or relationship to the person living with dementia.

This caregiving experience presents unique challenges for male-identifying care partners, as they:  

  • Navigate their changing roles and responsibilities 
  • Navigate providing care in new or different ways to a spouse or a parent living with dementia

New and Upcoming Care Partner Support Groups

Spousal Ambiguous Loss Support Group

The Ambiguous Loss Support Group assists care partners to work through the feelings of ambiguous loss and grief that are experienced when a person close to you has dementia. The goal is to help you build up enhanced coping strategies that will support you in your role as a caregiver and help you in planning for the future. 

This group is anticipated to start in Spring 2023. If you’re interested in joining the Spousal Ambiguous Loss Support Group, please contact us to be added to the waitlist. 

“Sandwich” Support Group 

The Sandwich Support Group is geared towards adult children who are supporting a parent or other family member with dementia, while also trying to balance the stresses of raising a family and managing other day-to-day personal or career commitments… leaving you feeling “sandwiched” between responsibilities. 

This group is anticipated to start in Spring 2023, meeting once a month. If you’re interested in joining the “Sandwich” Support Group, please contact us to be added to the waitlist. 

Bereavement Support Group

The Bereavement Support Group assists care partners in working through feelings of loss and grief that are experienced when someone with dementia passes away.  

This group will help you process feelings of loss and grief and is anticipated to start Spring 2023, meeting for 8 weeks at a time. If you’re interested in joining the Bereavement Support Group, please contact us to be added to the waitlist. 

Responsive Behaviour Support Group

The Responsive Behaviour Support Group assists care partners who are caring for someone with a diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, or other forms of dementia where responsive or reactive behaviours are present. 

Learn coping strategies and care techniques to assist in managing these symptoms, as well as share mutual support and understanding about the stresses that may arise in navigating these changes.  

This group is anticipated to start in Spring 2023, meeting once a month. If you’re interested in joining the Responsive Behaviour Support Group, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.  

Support Group for Persons with Dementia

The Support Group for Persons Living with Dementia is for persons living with a diagnosis of dementia or cognitive impairment.

Having a diagnosis of dementia can lead to a variety of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This support group allows those with cognitive changes or a dementia diagnosis to: 

  • Learn about dementia and its progression
  • Share feelings and common experiences
  • Exchange practical coping strategies and mutual support
  • Participate in meaningful discussions

The support group meets weekly starting in April 2023. Dates include:  

  • Mondays from 10:30-11:30 am  
    • Meeting from April 17th – June 26th  
    • This meeting takes place virtually through Zoom 
  • Wednesday from 10-11:30 am  
    • Meeting from April 19th – June 28th  
    • This meeting takes place at the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba Boardroom, 10-120 Donald Street, Winnipeg, MB 
  • Thursdays from 10-11 am  
    • Meeting from April 20th – June 29th  
    • This meeting takes place virtually through Zoom

Additional Information and Registration  

For more information about current and upcoming support group opportunities, or to register for a support group, please contact the First Link Client Support team at (204) 943-6622 or email us at alzmb@alzheimer.mb.ca.

If connecting via email, please include your first/last name and the name of the support group you are interested in.

Our new support groups were made possible by a multi-year commitment for our First Link program from the Jessiman Foundation. A heartfelt thanks to the Jessiman family for this leadership gift that has allowed us to expand our programs in such a significant way.  




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Remember. You Are Not Alone.

We are here to help you and your family no matter where you are in your dementia journey. You can reach a comforting ear by phone or get a quick response by email. Call us at 204-943-6622 (Wpg), 1-800-378-6699 (MB) or email alzmb@alzheimer.mb.ca