The Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of the Comox Valley for their encouraging response to January’s annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and to our campaign intended to challenge stigma surrounding the disease: “Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.”
When we talk about raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we need to talk about challenging stigma. Negative attitudes about the disease mean that when someone begins to suspect that they – or someone close to them – might have dementia, they are less likely to seek out a diagnosis. They’re less likely disclose their situation to others. Worrying that someone will judge them or think of them as being less of a person means people are less likely to ask for help.
When we talk openly about the disease and challenge preconceived notions, people living with dementia begin to feel like they aren’t alone and can ask for help. They can better prepare themselves for the challenges ahead. Communities play a key role in helping people living with dementia, their families and caregivers feel like they belong, just by being aware of the disease and actively engaged with learning more about it.
Though Awareness Month is now over, you can still visit ilivewithdementia.ca. Find tips on how to be more dementia friendly, as well as resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to affect every single one of us. You can also use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.
If your family lives with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please contact our regional Alzheimer Resource Centre at 250-734-4170 (toll-free 1-800-462-2833) for information on support groups and the many other services we offer to assist you. You can also call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 and visit www.alzheimerbc.org.
Alzheimer Society of B.C.
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