Dementia care workshop upcoming for Comox Valley residents

Session helps caregivers reduce physical, psychological toll

An increasing number of Comox Valley residents are finding themselves caring for a family member.

The reason? Dementia, the medical term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain.

“The physical and psychological toll on family caregivers is considerable,” said Jane Hope, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. support & education co-ordinator for the Valley and the North/Central Island region.

Knowing the signs of caregiver stress and finding ways to get support are important for both families and those for whom they are caring. To help families on the dementia journey, the Society brings its free Family Caregiver Series workshop to Courtenay for three Friday sessions starting on March 2.

Participants will learn strategies for taking care of someone with dementia, as well as taking care of their own health to ensure they are prepared to continue providing care for their family members.

“We offer practical techniques and strategies that caregivers can begin using immediately,” said Hope.

Topics to be covered include:

*Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

*Effective and creative ways of facilitating communication with a person with dementia.

*Understanding behaviour as a form of communication.

*Self-care for the caregiver.

*Planning for the future.

The workshop runs March 2, 9 and 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lewis Centre’s Craft Room B, 489 Old Island Highway. Pre-registration is required by contacting Courtenay Recreation at 250-338-1000. For more information, contact Hope at jhope@alzheimerbc.org.

More information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is available at www.alzheimerbc.org.

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