CORNWALL, SDG, PRESCOTT & RUSSEL , Ontario – The month of September marks Dementia Awareness month, and World Alzheimer’s Day is recognized on Sept. 21.
The Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District is hoping member of the community will create a blue wave of awareness throughout the region in support of those affected by the disease.
“A lot of people still don’t really understand what dementia is, how it affects people and how they can help. A great way to reduce stigma is through understanding and having open discussions, which is why we’re launching the new Dementia Friends campaign and asking people to #GoBlueForAlz,” explained Shelley Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the local Alzheimer Society, in a press release.
Those who are considered Dementia Friends in the campaign will learn more about dementia and turn their knowledge into action. By joining in wearing blue and raising funds for families living with dementia, the community will show that families are not alone in their efforts.
“Together, we can reduce the stigma and raise vital funds for education, support and research,” said Vaillancourt.
“The city recognizes the extraordinary benefits of supporting and including people living with dementia in community life,” said Mayor Bernadette Clement, who will shine a blue light from the Clocktower in Lamoureux Park throughout the month. SDSG MPP Jim McDonell also said that he would adorn the Alzheimer Society Forget-Me-Not blue tie this month.
Bob Hardy “The Walker Runner” from Alexandria will also be fundraising for the Alzheimer Society with a 100km race that he has dubbed the Wobbly Walker Walk-A-Thon this year.
To organize a Dementia Friends Day, the local Alzheimer Society recommends the following:
“Choose a day to wear blue and send the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District a photo of your group or tag their Facebook Page so that they can publish the photos to reduce the stigma around dementia (using) #GoBlueForAlz,” read a press release. “Visit the Alzheimer Society website : alzheimer.ca/cornwall to learn a bit about dementia and discuss it with others. Make a donation to the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District or host a fundraiser for them to fund essential dementia programs and services. Engage in weekly brain health activities with members of your community to raise awareness and reduce risk. Request a Dementia Friends Day challenge brochure for fundraising options, ideas and resources by calling 613-932-4914 ext 206.”
Today, there are over 3,600 people living with dementia in our region. On average, costs for people with dementia are approximately five-and-a-half times greater than for those who do not have the condition. Home care and long-term care are the largest contributors to direct costs.