B.C.’s largest coffee break

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is calling on local residents to take part in British Columbia’s largest Coffee Break on Sept. 15.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is calling on local residents to take part in British Columbia’s largest Coffee Break on Sept. 15.

This popular do-it-yourself event is the Society’s nationwide fundraiser for our local communities, which each year raises important funds to support  more than 70,000 British Columbians living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Anyone can host a Coffee Break — friends, families, or corporations – at home, at work or a public venue, by exchanging a cup of coffee for a donation on behalf of the Society. This year’s national goal is $1.5 million.

“The dementia crisis is now and it’s in our communities,” says Jean Blake, CEO for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “We still don’t have a cure for the disease, but support, education and information about what to expect on the dementia journey help families to develop the skills and confidence to live well and independently longer. Our programs are increasingly vital. We need community support and funds to keep them active.”

Demand for services is steadily climbing as the number of Canadians with dementia surges. An estimated 1.3 million Canadians will be affected by 2038.

This number does not take into account thousands of caregivers who already clock a staggering 231 million hours a year in unpaid care. Burgeoning baby boomers will compound this trend. The risk for dementia doubles every five years after age 65.

While Coffee Break officially kicks off on Sept. 15, participants can host their event any time for one month after, and can be simple or elaborate, from organizing corporate challenges to holding trivia nights, to staging events at local coffee shops or shopping centres.

For registration, tips and information on how to get started, visit www.alzheimerbc.org/Get-Involved/Coffee-Break.aspx. See the attached Coffee Break Quick Facts for more details and figures for Coffee Break.

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading form of dementia. It is a fatal brain disease that progressively impacts memory, speech and behaviour.

Eventually those affected will become dependent on others for every aspect of their care. The disease can start to develop 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear. Age is still a major risk factor, but the disease can also strike people in their 50s and 40s.

Coffee Break is the Alzheimer Society’s largest nationwide fundraising event. Since launching in 1996, it has raised more than $13 million.

Funds remain in local provinces and communities. The Alzheimer Society of Canada thanks Bulk Barn and Kent Building Supplies for their generous support and Mother Parkers for their in-kind contribution.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks KVOS for their provincial sponsorship of Coffee Break.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is the only provincewide organization providing support, education, and information about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias through support groups, telephone workshops, education programs, library resources, and the Dementia Helpline (in the Lower Mainland: 604-681-8651 or toll-free: 1-800-936-6033).

The Society also provides the voice for change in the delivery of dementia care in the province through its advocacy initiatives, and funds research to find the causes and cure for the disease. Learn more about the Alzheimer Society of B.C., at www.alzheimerbc.org.

— Alzheimer Society of B.C.