Alzheimer Society creates new resources to help families and LTC staff collaborate on care

‘Families may have never been to a long-term care home before, so we’re trying to help them understand that they have a very important role to play’

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has recently created a new set of resources to help ease the transition for people living with cognitive impairment into long-term care homes. The resources are also aimed at helping long-term-care home staff and families work together to make the transition easier for new residents. Read more

Collaborative approach helps create meaningful connections for people with dementia

Caregivers and families can work together to discover best approaches

Many people with dementia living in long-term care homes are in the late stages of the disease and may have difficulty verbally communicating. This can make it challenging for their families and caregivers to connect with them, but there are tools available to help create meaningful connections, says the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s director of education Mary Schulz. Read more

Alzheimer Society’s 2017 campaign focuses on how dementia impacts everyone

‘If you talk to random people, everyone has been touched by this condition’

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affects more Canadians than the 564,000 the Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates are living with the condition. This is a key message behind this year’s awareness campaign. Read more

Editorial: First step to ending Alzheimer’s stigma is talking about it


Renowned actor Gene Wilder passed away Aug. 29 at age 83 after what initial media reports described as a “long illness.” Many around the world expressed shock when it was soon revealed Wilder had succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease, a condition he had lived with for several years. Read more

Evidenced-based toolkit aims to ease ER transfers for people with dementia


New checklists are the result of collaboration between Alzheimer Society and University of Alberta

Transferring to a hospital emergency room can be traumatic for a person with dementia. The Alzheimer Society of Canada has recently created a toolkit to try to make this process less stressful.

The toolkit, which includes checklists and forms, is the result of collaboration between the Alzheimer Society and University of Alberta nursing professors Belinda Parke and Kathleen Hunter. The checklists and forms were developed using feedback from people living with dementia who have had a recent emergency-room experience and emergency-room staff.

The researchers who created the toolkit wanted to understand what the experience was like, what obstacles were present and what would have helped ease the situation. The researchers’ findings are the toolkit’s foundation.

The checklists cover three areas: going to hospital, being in hospital and going home from hospital. Information about the person as well as their contacts, medications, wishes, personal belongings and going-home plan are included.

The toolkit can be used by staff members in long-term care homes as well as by people caring for a person with dementia at home.

“Going to the emergency room is difficult for anyone, (but) when a person has dementia, that difficulty is magnified because of their inability to understand what is going on in their environment,” Mary Schulz, the Alzheimer Society’s education director, tells The OMNIway.

“They are in a strange, noisy place, surrounded by people they don’t know, and their routine is thrown off, so it’s a place where people with dementia are most likely not going to do very well.”

Having these checklists readily available is important for caregivers of people with dementia because a hospital visit can be unexpected. The best way to ease the transition to an emergency department for a person with dementia is to be prepared, Schulz says.

“(If people are not prepared) the treatment may be inappropriate, it may be, at best, uncomfortable, and may be so disorienting that the person with dementia loses some of the abilities that they have,” she adds.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

April 5 designated Family Caregiver Day


Alzheimer Society of Canada highlights resources for caregivers

Yesterday, April 5, was designated National Family Caregiver Day. The first Tuesday of every April is held to honour and celebrate the approximately 8.1 million family caregivers in Canada who care for loved ones in need. Read more

BSO knowledge sharing attributed to low resident agitation at Pleasant Meadow


‘When we find something that works, we just make sure that it keeps getting passed on’

When Pleasant Meadow Manor staff members attend Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) educational sessions they always return with knowledge they can bring back to their colleagues, says Chris Garden. Read more

Ont. author’s new book aims to help children understand dementia

An illustrated scene from Kathryn Harrison's book, Weeds in Nana's Garden.

An illustrated scene from Kathryn Harrison’s book, Weeds in Nana’s Garden.

Kathryn Harrison was inspired to create book after her mother passed away from dementia

Helping a child understand Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is not an easy task, but a new picture book created by a Cobourg, Ont. author and artist is aiming to change that. Read more

Springdale to launch Music of Your Life program


Initiative uses iPods to enhance quality of life for residents

Springdale Country Manor is the latest OMNI Health Care long-term care home to become involved with an iPod program to benefit residents living with cognitive impairment. Read more

LTC sector’s knowledge and expertise would be crucial to a dementia strategy: Lowi-Young


Sector’s strengths could help policy-makers translate knowledge into plans to ensure seamless care and support

Long-term care homes have expertise delivering care and supports to people living in the late stages of dementia and their families, and this knowledge could pave the way for a leadership role in a Canadian dementia strategy, says Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young. Read more