The big tree in front of Red Deer City Hall will be lit up in blue on Saturday, Jan. 14, to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. (Advocate file photo)

The big tree in front of Red Deer City Hall will be lit up in blue on Saturday, Jan. 14, to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. (Advocate file photo)

Red Deer to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness Month on Jan. 14

The big tree in front of Red Deer City Hall will be lit up in blue lights Jan. 14 to commemorate Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

This month, the society aims to connect people living with dementia and caregivers with support, knowledge and a sense of community, so they don’t have to face the journey alone.

“It is very nice to have the City of Red Deer recognize the month,” said Laurie Grande, client services team manager for the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories’ southern region.

More than half a million Canadians are living with dementia today – that number is expected to reach 1.7 million by 2050.

“By supporting this initiative in January, it really helps other Canadians who are living with the disease,” said Grande.

There are a number of services offered in the City of Red Deer that focus on education and support.

“We offer virtual support groups for people early on in the disease, as well as a support group for care partners,” said Grande.

“We also offer in-person groups, an educational series … and we also have information and support services right in our office where people can drop by and talk to somebody about another person with dementia or talk about concerns with their own memory.”

There are other initiatives, separate from the Alzheimer Society, that provide an opportunity for central Albertans living with dementia to connect with each other.

“One of those initiatives is Clay in the A.M. offered through the Red Deer Pottery Club. There is also a walking group at the Collicutt Centre called Memory Trackers,” said Grande.

People who want more information on the Alzheimer Society’s services or the initiatives separate from the organization can contact the Red Deer Alzheimer Society office at 403-342-0448.

The Alzheimer Society aims to enhance its support amongst people living with dementia to meet their needs early in and throughout their journey.

“When you reach out to your local Alzheimer Society, you gain access to dementia-friendly expertise and resources to help you feel understood and supported,” said Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories president and CEO George Andrews said in a press release.

The society’s First Link program offers services and information to people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and caregivers. First Link includes information about risk reduction, living well with dementia, the latest research and advocacy efforts, as well as referrals to programs to help you manage the challenges that dementia can present.

The goal of this program is to ensure that people living with dementia and their care partners have the right support and information, from the time of an initial diagnosis and throughout the progression of the disease.

To get connected with the organization, call 1-866-950-5465 or visit www.alzheimer.ca/FirstLink.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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