For the rest of January a blue flag will fly high at City Hall. It’s there to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness month.
70,000 British Columbian’s live with dementia. The Alzheimer’s society of BC hopes to make the province a more inclusive place for those living with the illness.
That’s why today Leanne Ranes with the Alzheimer’s Society of BC raised a blue flag at city hall.
“It gives us an opportunity to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in particular and to help people understand what’s it like for someone who lives with dementia.”
The Alzheimer’s society of BC hopes to educate the public about spotting the signs and how to treat those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Ranes says this years campaign also focuses on being inclusive.
“The campaign this year talks about becoming a dementia friend. There’s a website called www.dementiafriends.ca and people can get information about how to become a dementia friend.”
Northern Health’s Helen Bourque says it’s all about early education.
“There’s many different forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s being one of them. Dementia is the umbrella term that we give to difficulty with functioning. Are they having memory problems but are they also having difficulty living.”
Bourque says there are several ways to spot signs of dementia.
“Some of the key ones are memory loss. Often with new names or new numbers. Is the person ever having difficulty navigating usually ways of travel. IE getting lost when driving.”
The local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Society is already gearing up for it’s annual Alzheimer’s walk. Co-organizer Debra Moffatt says it’s a great way to show support for members of the community living with dementia.
“This is the major fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s society of BC. Those dollars make such a big difference for the local support that the teams is able to offer here.”
The Alzheimer’s society is there to offer support, making sure those facing the illness, and their families, feel apart of the community.