Workshop hopes to help caregivers handle and understand dementia

By Spencer Sterritt
August 1, 2018 - 1:48pm Updated: August 1, 2018 - 3:46pm

Three workshops over three weeks will help caregivers understand what dementia is and how they can help their loved ones through difficult times. submitted/Alzheimer's Society of B.C.

NANAIMO — Caring for a loved one who suffers from dementia can be a significant challenge, whether it was a recent diagnosis or they'd faced daily issues for years.

An upcoming free workshop presented the Alzheimer's Society of B.C. hopes to help caregivers learn to cope with the dementia their loved ones face and find ways to relieve much of their burden.

Local support and education coordinator Rosanne Philbrook said they'll work on learning the many different facets of dementia, how to handle the many changing behaviours and how to plan for the long-term care of both the dementia sufferer and their caregivers.

“We're trying to give people a better understanding of understanding what the disease is and reduce the stigma so people don't feel so afraid and are better equipped to support people with the disease,” she said. “Even though you may have an understanding of what dementia is and how your partner works, things change throughout the journey.”

Alzheimer's and other memory affecting diseases can drastically change someone in obvious ways, but also in subtle ways friends and family might not expect.

“A lot of time people think if their person with dementia tries a little harder, they'll be able to remember things,” Philbrook said.

“We all...can't find our keys for a while. But somebody with dementia will look at their set of keys and not know what they're for. They will forget really significant events most of us would never forget, like someone passing away.”

The sessions are designed to build on one another, so it's recommended caregivers sign up for all three.

The free workshop starts on Thursday, Aug. 2 and runs for the next two Thursdays. There were still roughly 15 spots open as of Tuesday, July 31.


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