In an effort to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is set to host a webinar later this month that will discuss “the challenge of balancing health and safety concerns with ensuring that families can support people living with dementia” during the ongoing pandemic.
The webinar, called ‘Raise your voice: Dementia, long-term care and COVID-19’ is scheduled for Jan. 27 and will feature “a panel of experts and people with lived experience,” according to a news release.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on a problem that advocates and support persons were keenly aware of prior to the emergence of this global health crisis: individuals with dementia are too often silenced, and their needs too casually overlooked. It is important to remember that these individuals have much to share, both with respect to directing their own care and contributing to society at large,” said Emily Clough, from webinar sponsor Clark Wilson LLP, who will moderate the panel.
“We owe our elders, and those closest to them, a duty to listen, and to respect their dignity and autonomy. Together we can create a safer, more inclusive future for individuals and families coping with dementia.”
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and in addition to webinars, the society is also sharing the experiences of others who have been diagnosed with the disease.
“The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is doubling down on efforts to change the future for Surrey and White Rock residents affected by the disease,” the release reads.
One such person highlighted by the society is Maple Ridge resident Ron Restrick, who has been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – a condition that leads to problems with memory, language and judgment.
A positive person, he has worked to stay active and engaged, staying involved in his neighbourhood and going for hikes, the release notes.
“I like to say ‘hello’ to neighbors while I’m running around the block. It’s a part of who I am,” he said.
Despite COVID-19, Restrick has remained upbeat.
“I’m upset that it has caused problems for my family, but it hasn’t interfered with me at all. I get my food, go for walks and hikes. I still talk with my family and friends on the phone.”