Alzheimer Society says LTC homes can help spread this year’s campaign message

Representatives from the Alzheimer Society of Canada say long-term care homes can play a role to help the organization spread its 2022 awareness campaign and help enhance quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

The focus of the Alzheimer Society’s 2022 campaign is its First Link program. First Link is an initiative the organization has created nationwide to help connect people living with dementia and their caregivers with programs and supports they need.

In an e-mail interview with The OMNIway, the Alzheimer Society’s chief of research and knowledge translation Dr. Saskia Sivananthan and marketing manager Nathan Christie say not only can long-term care homes help raise awareness of this campaign, they can also help create the connections to First Link that people need.

“For people living with dementia and their care partners, the Alzheimer Society is (their) first link to a community of caring, support, knowledge and more,” say Sivananthan and Christie.

“Calling us can change everything because there is a lot that you can do. There is support.”

There are several ways long-term care homes and anyone else wishing to help raise awareness of this year’s campaign can participate.

Downloading the First Link toolkit, connecting with local Alzheimer societies and using social media to share information are just a few of the ways to help.

Today, people living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia are facing unique challenges, say Sivananthan and Christie. The world is now two years into the COVID-19 pandemic which has created new challenges for people living with Alzheimer’s, they add.

The Alzheimer Society created a COVID-19 and dementia task force to examine how the pandemic is affecting people living with dementia and their caregivers. According to Sivananthan and Christie, the task force found that the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Raising awareness of the First Link program can be an important step towards stemming the impact the pandemic is having, they say.

“In the frustrating puzzle that is the fight against dementia in Canada, the Alzheimer Society is a vital piece, and this campaign underscores our mission: To alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s and related diseases and to promote the search for causes, treatments and a cure,” Sivananthan and Christie say.

The launch of the First Link campaign coincides with January being National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

For more information on First Link, please contact the Alzheimer Society at 1-855-705-4636 (INFO) or info(at)alzheimer.ca.

– This is Part 2 of a two-part series

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‘Community changes everything’ at the core of Alzheimer Society’s 2022 awareness campaign

‘The First Link campaign emphasizes the themes of support, community and knowledge – all positive themes that intend to reassure people who are facing the frustrating question: What do I do next?’

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has launched its annual awareness campaign, and the main message the organization is focusing on in 2022 is “community changes everything,” say two of the society’s representatives.

At the heart of this message is First Link, an initiative the Alzheimer Society has created nationwide to help connect people living with dementia and their caregivers with programs and supports they need, say the Alzheimer Society’s chief of research and knowledge translation Dr. Saskia Sivananthan and marketing manager Nathan Christie.

In an e-mail interview with The OMNIway, Sivananthan and Christie say research conducted by the society’s COVID-19 and dementia task force indicates that people living with dementia and their caregivers have been disproportionately negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so the theme for this year’s campaign is significant.

“As such, when developing this year’s campaign, the Alzheimer Society knew we had to focus on hope,” Sivananthan and Christie say in an e-mail.

“The First Link campaign emphasizes the themes of support, community and knowledge – all positive themes that intend to reassure people who are facing the frustrating question: What do I do next?

“Through the campaign, the Alzheimer Society wants people affected by dementia to know: you are not alone. There is support available right now.”

Sivananthan and Christie say the campaign, which has been launched to coincide with January being National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, is particularly aimed at people who have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia but are not connected with the Alzheimer Society.

This includes people recently diagnosed with dementia, people who know someone exhibiting signs of dementia and people with dementia living in communities the Alzheimer Society has not effectively reached.

The campaign is also aimed at health-care providers who can use First Link as a referral service for people living with dementia to help connect them to services and supports they need.

Sivananthan and Christie say the best result that could stem from this year’s awareness campaign would be to have more people living with dementia connected to their local Alzheimer Society through the First Link initiative.

“At its essence, this campaign wants to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia during a time where every aspect of life has gotten more difficult via the pandemic,” they say.

For more information on First Link, please contact the Alzheimer Society at 1-855-705-4636 (INFO) or info(at)alzheimer.ca.

– This is Part 1 of a two-part series

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World Alzheimer’s Month is focusing on diagnosis and the importance of early detection

The Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s campaign is also working to erase the stigma surrounding dementia to help increase early diagnosis

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is focusing this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign on diagnosis as well as helping people understand the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in an effort to spread knowledge about the importance of early detection.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. ADI, a federation of Alzheimer associations across the globe, is working to raise awareness of the prevalence of the chronic neurodegenerative disease as well as trying to reduce its stigma.

In Canada, approximately 564,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In less than 15 years, the number is expected to climb to 937,000.

This year’s awareness campaign is called Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s.

In a statement on the organization’s website, ADI emphasizes the importance of understanding the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and how the continuing stigma surrounding dementia results in people being diagnosed in late stages.

“Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is often a challenging and difficult process and varies greatly around the world,” ADI says.

“To add to this, the stigma surrounding dementia means that many avoid seeking a diagnosis until the very late stages of the condition. We need to change this.”

To help raise awareness, ADI is asking people and organizations to get involved with this year’s campaign.

ADI is offering campaign resources and materials on its website to help people and organizations spread the word about World Alzheimer’s Month 2021.

ADI says one way to raise awareness is through social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. The hashtags for this year’s campaign are #KnowDementia and #KnowAlzheimers.

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Alzheimer Society launches new fundraising and awareness campaign

The Alzheimer Society has rebranded its annual Coffee Break fundraiser and awareness campaign by launching the Social with a Purpose initiative this year, a move the charity says can help people and organizations create socially-distanced events while raising funds to help improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

From singalongs to paint nights to making butter tarts, the Alzheimer Society offers a variety of ideas people and organizations can learn about in order to have their own Social with a Purpose event – and these event ideas can be hosted virtually using video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

“Social with a Purpose is a do-it-yourself fundraiser that promotes the importance of socializing, staying in touch, and building strong, positive relationships with your friends, family, and community,” the Alzheimer Society says on its website.

“As social distancing and physical isolation became a part of our daily routines, we began to understand the overwhelming feelings of loss and loneliness being separated from the community can bring us – feelings that people living with dementia experience in their normal, day-to-day lives.”

OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have been past participants in the Coffee Break campaign, and homes throughout the organization can contact their local Alzheimer Society branch for more information about hosting a Social with a Purpose event this September and October.

Given the large percentage of long-term-care home residents who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, OMNI has a history of supporting fundraising and awareness campaigns to help the Alzheimer Society and its branches.

September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Click here to learn more about the Social with a Purpose campaign as well as to read about how you can host your own safe fundraiser.

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Alzheimer’s and dementia: keeping the conversation going during the pandemic

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is continuing its Let’s Talk About Dementia global awareness campaign as part of the 2020 World Alzheimer’s Month, with a large part of the focus being on keeping the conversation about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia going in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. ADI, a federation of Alzheimer associations across the globe, is working to raise awareness of the prevalence of the chronic neurodegenerative disease as well as trying to reduce its stigma.

According to ADI, more than 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia. That number is expected to rise to 152 million by 2050 unless risk-reduction strategies are created, ADI says.

Here in Canada, approximately 564,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In less than 15 years, the number is expected to climb to 937,000.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for everyone, ADI notes on its website that it’s important to keep the conversation going.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more vital than ever that people continue to talk about dementia,” ADI states on its website.

“Talking about dementia helps tackle the stigma, normalises language and encourages people to find out more information, advice and seek help.”

ADI is offering a campaign guide on its website to help organizations and people spread the word about the World Alzheimer’s Month 2020 campaign.

ADI says people and organizations can also use social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, to help raise awareness.

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Forest Hill is working on a makeover to enhance quality of life for residents with dementia

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