LETTER: Advocacy for Alzheimer’s, dementia more vital than ever

Though Alzheimer’s Awareness Month ends with January, the work isn’t finished…

(AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

To the Editor,

At the end of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 2021, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of the Alberni Valley for the role they play in helping to change the future for people living with dementia and their families across B.C.

While the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s vision is for a province where families on the dementia journey are welcomed, acknowledged and included – a truly dementia-friendly B.C. – the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on some of the issues facing families on the dementia journey, including social implications and the many challenges being experienced in long-term care. Never has it been more important to not simply raise awareness of the disease but to talk about what we want the future to look like people living with the disease and how we’re going to get there.

Even under normal circumstances, the dementia journey can be incredibly isolating. This remains a difficult time for caregivers of people living with dementia, including many who are supporting people living in long-term care and are unable to stay connected as they have in the past. Making a commitment to finding ways to engaging with the people in your life who are living with the disease is an important part of a dementia-friendly future – but so is raising your voice and becoming an advocate for policies that reflect their needs.

Though Alzheimer’s Awareness Month ends with January, the work isn’t finished. We hope Alberni Valley residents will remain committed to changing the future. One way we invite you to do this is by registering and fundraising for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

If your family is affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, please call the First Link Dementia Helpline (1-800-963-6033)for information and services in Central Vancouver Island.Learn more about us and the 2021 Walk for Alzheimer’s at alzheimerbc.org.

Jane Hope,

Support and Education Coordinator,

Central & North Vancouver Island,

Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Alzheimer's Disease