Victoria families learn how to navigate health-care services

Alzheimer society workshop, Accessing Service, is designed for people who are supporting a person with dementia.

An increasing number of Victoria families face a journey with dementia. As caregivers for a person with dementia, they have many challenges, and the first step in dealing with some of the challenges is to learn about the disease, says the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.

“Education helps caregivers understand how communication and behaviours can change,” says Meriel Randerson, the Society’s Support & Education Coordinator for Greater Victoria.

Education is a vital component of the Society’s mandate. And it continues in February with a free workshop, Accessing Services. Designed for people who are supporting a person with dementia, it will review strategies for accessing support through a variety of sources in the community, from getting help from family and friends to navigating the formal health-care system.

“People cannot travel alone on a journey with dementia,” says Randerson. “Tapping into a support network is vital.”

The session will also explore challenges that can arise when making the decision to access services and support, and offers strategies for working with service providers while acting as an advocate.

The workshop runs on February 14 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hillside Seniors Health Centre, 1454 Hillside Avenue. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, call 250-370-5641 and press ‘2’ or email WellnessCentreRegistration@viha.ca.

The workshops are free thanks to partial funding by the Province of BC, Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, RBC Foundation, Seacliff Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Mott Eletric GP, Paul Lee Family Foundation, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, Frank and Yvonne McCracken Foundation, Kaatza Foundation, Lohn Foundation, London Drugs Foundation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Pfizer Canada Inc., Morris & Helen Belkin Foundation, Bellringer Family Foundation and through the generous contributions of individual donors.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, contact Meriel Randerson at 250-382-2052 or mranderson@alzheimerbc.org, and visit www.alzheimerbc.org.