LETTER: Eliminate dementia stigma
With Alzheimer’s Awareness month coming to a close, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. wants to say a big thank you to the people of the West Kootenay for joining forces with us to raise awareness and flipping the script on stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. That world begins with a more dementia-friendly society, where people affected by dementia are acknowledged, supported and included.
This year, Alzheimer’s Awareness Month has been an opportunity to bring to light some misconceptions British Columbians have towards dementia and share the stories of people affected by the disease continuing to live meaningful lives.
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month ends with January, but that doesn’t mean our job is finished. There are an estimated 85,000 people living with dementia in British Columbia, and nearly half a million across the country. This number is expected to double over the next 15 years.
While there is no cure, it is important we continue to take a stand against dementia stigma, show support and champion our vision. We encourage everyone in our region to stay connected with and find ways to support the people in their lives who may be affected by the disease.
One way you can show your support for people affected by the disease is by participating in the 2023 IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s. The Walk takes place in over 20 communities across B.C. on May 28.
Help us create a kinder, more inclusive and supportive place for people affected by dementia. Registration for the Walk opens on January 25. To learn more, visit walkforalzheimers.ca.
Change doesn’t happen over night. We need all hands on deck to continue to create a province where people living with the disease and their families are welcomed, acknowledged and included. By sharing our stories and publishing our letters, local media helps foster a better understanding of dementia’s impact on local families.
Together, we are creating a dementia-friendly B.C.
If you or someone you know is concerned about or affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, please call the First Link® Dementia Helpline (1-800-936-6033) to learn about the disease or find out about support groups and other services available in the West Kootenays.
Support is also available in Mandarin or Cantonese at 1-833-674-5007 and in Punjabi at 1-833-674-5003. Learn more about us at alzheimerbc.org.