New Burnbrae Gardens colouring program is proving beneficial to residents with dementia

‘I’ve never seen the residents so engaged and focused’

A resident at Burnbrae Gardens who is living with cognitive impairment sometimes becomes agitated and upset. But when life enrichment staff hand the resident some pencil crayons and pages from a colouring book, she will immediately become calm and focused. 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

iPod program proving effective at calming residents with agitation at Springdale


LEC says staff support has helped make Music of Your Life successful

Springdale Country Manor’s Music of Your Life program is curbing agitation for residents affected by cognitive impairment, and all of the home’s staff members have contributed to this success, says Candice Stewart, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC). 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.

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

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

Developing a Canadian dementia strategy: the time is now


Action plan needed to meet the needs of a growing number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, says Alzheimer Society CEO

With the number of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia expected to double over the next 15 years, it is crucial Canada develop a national strategy to better understand, prevent and manage these neurodegenerative conditions, says Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young, in an interview with The OMNIway. Read more

Funding for more staffing means more time with residents, fewer behaviours, says LEC


Ongoing Better Seniors’ Care letter-writing campaign can help send this message to MPPs

A resident recently walked up to a poster on a wall at Country Terrace advertising the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Better Seniors’ Care advocacy campaign, read it, and said, “Yes, that’s right, we need more funding.” Read more

Collaboration addressing responsive behaviours, enhancing residents’ quality of life

Streamway Villa

Streamway Villa

Entire Streamway Villa team more engaged in creating a better resident experience

COBOURG, Ont. – Collaboration among Streamway Villa team members from all departments as well as utilizing outside resources is helping address responsive behaviours in residents with cognitive impairment and improve quality of life, say staff members. Read more