Alzheimer Society offers workshops

Family caregivers in the Comox Valley need help. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is showing them where to find it.

Family caregivers in the Comox Valley need help.

The non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. is showing them where to find it.

“Caregiving can be extremely challenging, both physically and emotionally,” says Jane Hope, the society’s support and education co-ordinator for the Central and North Island.

As the disease progresses, caregivers may be required to provide different types of support, from assisting with financial decisions to helping the person with dementia complete everyday tasks. It can often become a 24-hour-a-day job, and can lead to a decision to seek residential care for their loved one.

The society helps caregivers recognize that “you cannot travel alone in your journey with dementia,” says Hope.

Two free workshops will also help caregivers with practical suggestions for coping.

The first session, Accessing Services, will review support from a variety of sources in the community, and show how to navigate the formal health-care system. It runs May 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Tapping into a support network is vital, says Hope.

“You and your family member will benefit greatly from the help of those around you who care, including friends and family members.”

Designed for Valley residents who are supporting a person with dementia who is living at home, the workshop will also explore some of the challenges that can arise when making the decision to access services and support, and offers strategies for working with service providers and acting as an advocate.

The second workshop, the Transition to Residential Care, also runs May 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. It will help family caregivers who are considering residential care options for a person with dementia.

General information will be provided on how to access residential care in the community, as well as a review of some important considerations when choosing a facility. The session will also explore the challenges families face when making decisions about residential care, and review some strategies for preparing for the transition.

Both workshops take place at Lower Native Sons Hall, 360 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. Pre-registration is required, by contacting Courtenay Recreation at 250-338-1000 or Hope at jhope@alzheimerbc.org.

More than 70,000 British Columbians are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and one in three Canadians know someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Visit www.alzheimerbc.org for more information.

— Alzheimer Society of B.C.

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