Our Connections Matter
Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County

January 2022 - Issue 1

Connections That Matter

Hello, Friend!

We hope you are staying safe and well. During this time, our phone lines remain open. If you need to reach our counselling staff, or have questions about programs and services, please call 705-722-1066.

We also invite you to keep checking our website to learn about upcoming online and in-person events and programs. You will also be able to catch up on any newsletters you may have missed. Happy reading!

In this edition:

  1. Join the Quest for Kindness and make Kind-nections this January!
  2. This Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, let us be your First Link®
  3. Programs & Services Update
  4. Creative Connections
  5. Steve McNeil skates 19 hours and 26 Minutes for the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County!
  6. Volunteer Spotlight
  7. Donor Spotlight
  8. The Dementia-Friendly Canada Project has Launched!
  9. Tips on Creating Resolutions for the New Year!
  10. Survey: Improving Homecare for People living with Dementia in Ontario

Join the Quest for Kindness and make Kind-nections this January!

The Quest for Kindness is here and it’s time to spread kindness and cheer!

This event is the perfect opportunity to come together with participants from across Ontario to help make your community a kinder place for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by making at least 30 kind-nections by completing a series of acts of kindness in the Kindness Centre.

Throughout the month, help us fundraise to reach our goal of $1 million to support crucial programs and services offered by local Alzheimer Societies across Ontario! Want a way to show your kindness? Order our locally printed Kind-nections Tee.

Haven’t registered yet? What are you waiting for?! Register here.

This Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, let us be your First Link®

At the Alzheimer Society, we continuously strive to educate and support those who suspect that they may have dementia, been recently diagnosed with, or are currently living with dementia. We want to ensure that their needs are met early and throughout their lives living with dementia.

With more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today, a number expected to reach a million in less than 10 years, it is imperative that we educate our society while working to fight the stigma surrounding dementia. It’s also time for care partners to understand they are not alone.

The Alzheimer Society’s First Link® program serves almost a quarter of people with a dementia diagnosis in Canada and we want to see that number grow. This Alzheimer’s Awareness month, we will continue to campaign and motivate those diagnosed with the disease to make the Alzheimer Society their First Link®!

Find out more about what the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County and First Link ® can do for people recently diagnosed with dementia by visiting First Link® | Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County.

Programs & Services Update

To start the New Year, we are delighted to inform you that we are planning to expand our in-person program offerings if local public health measures allow. We are now running in-person support groups in the cities/towns of Barrie, Orillia, Penetanguishene, Alliston, Wasaga Beach, and Bradford. In-person Minds in Motion® groups are being held in Barrie, Bradford, and Orillia.

To help minimize the risks associated with COVID-19, we will be screening for COVID-19 at all program locations, maintaining physical distancing, wearing a mask, and following cleaning and sanitization practices. At some locations, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. All information required for program registration and participation can be found in our Programs Guide. Please note that online options are still being provided.

Our latest Programs Guide, covering the months of December 2021 to March 2022, will be available soon. Check our website for the latest updates.

Creative Connections

Begin the New Year by tapping into your creative side! We are pleased to resume our partnership with Quest Art School + Gallery by offering the Creative Connections Program starting in January. Creative Connections is a 6-week online art program designed for persons living with dementia, and their care partners. Each week, participants will be guided through different art projects and will engage with each other through online video conferencing. All art supplies will be provided.

Program Dates: Fridays, January 14 to February 18 from 1:00-2:30 p.m.

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required. Please contact Taryl Bougie for more information or to register at 705-722-1066 ext. 226

Steve McNeil skates 19 hours and 26 Minutes for the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County!

Steve McNeil has skated for 19 hours and 26 minutes in eleven cities across Canada to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's. He does this as a tribute to his mother, who died as a result of the disease, and all those family members and friends caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.

Steve’s mother, Eunice, was born in 1926, thus the duration of his skating marathon. This is the 10th year he has been skating the marathons, however because of COVID-19 he will not be travelling across the country in 2022. Instead, he will kick things off in Toronto on December 15th and skate in 10 Ontario cities and towns this winter. Steve is skating for us on Family Day, Monday, February 21st. He is encouraging supporters to donate $19.26 to the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County to support our programs and services which are offered across the region.

He is also challenging local hockey teams young and old, amateur, or minor to give back. The 1926 challenge is simple and fun. At one of your practices crank up AC/DC in the rink. Have the team skate for 19 minutes 26 seconds and post it to #1926challenge. Then donate to the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County and challenge rival teams to do the same!

Skating to AC/DC, McNeil has skated in rain, sleet, and snow. He says he does not get cold. He just thinks about his mom and her apple pie. McNeil also says his marathon skate is nothing compared to the hours that care partners dedicate to their loved ones every day.

Everyone is welcome to come out to support Steve, rock out, skate to AC/DC and raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s! Join us for a fun-filled Family Day event!

Location: Webers’ Starbucks Rink Hwy 11, Orillia ON
Date: Monday, February 21, 2022 - all day

Donate to #1926Skate HERE!

For additional information, email fdo@alzheimersociety.ca

Volunteer Spotlight

“The Alzheimer Society and Me”

The Brownie motto is “Lend a Hand!” This month’s volunteer story is about someone who did just that. . .

Click here to learn more: Volunteers & Their Stories | Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County

What’s your story? If you would like to share how you became a volunteer for the Alzheimer Society, please send an email to mglanfield@alzheimersociety.ca. We look forward to reading your story!

Donor Spotlight

The newly created Dave & Sharon Lewis Charitable Fund will carry forward Sharon’s legacy and will help support the programs and services offered by the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in our region for many years to come.

This Fund is the inspiration of Dave Lewis and his daughter, Stacey, who created the Fund in honour of his late wife and Stacey’s Mom, Sharon Lewis. Sharon lived with dementia for several years, with some of that time spent in long-term care. When Sharon passed away in September, Dave and Stacey felt that some of the money previously used to pay for care could be directed to support the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County. They therefore made the decision that they would establish the Dave & Sharon Lewis Charitable Fund in Sharon’s memory.

Our heartfelt thanks to the Dave & Sharon Lewis Charitable Fund for their generous gift. In addition to supporting the Alzheimer Society, the Fund will also make contributions to several other deserving local charities.

The Dementia-Friendly Canada Project has launched!

We are pleased to share an exciting new initiative from the Dementia-Friendly Canada project!

One of the project’s goals is to train Canada’s workforce to be dementia-friendly, and one way we are doing this is by developing free tools and resources in order to give Canadian’s knowledge and confidence when it comes to supporting and including people affected by dementia. We are pleased to announce our Building Dementia-Friendly Communities course.

The course will provide a foundational knowledge of dementia, and outline the considerations that organizations can include in their social and physical environments in order to better support and include people living with dementia. The information is practical and can be applied to people from all levels of the organization from customer-facing staff, to management, and to key decision makers.

The course consists of the following four modules, and are tailored to each of the three sectors:

  • What is a dementia-friendly community? An introduction to the concept and dementia-friendly efforts at the community level.
  • Dementia-friendly interactions: Social environment considerations, such as ways you can communicate effectively with someone living with dementia.
  • Dementia-friendly spaces: Physical environment considerations, such as ways you can optimize your space to be dementia-friendly.
  • Dementia-friendly policies, practices and services for organizations: Provides specific scenarios and recommendations.

This training makes it possible for local individuals, businesses, and organizations to make a real and important difference for the people affected by dementia that they interact with on a daily basis. To register for the course, click here.

If you have questions about these courses or the Dementia-Friendly Canada project please contact Heather Cowie, National Project Manager at hcowie@alzheimerbc.org.

Tips on Creating Resolutions for the New Year!

Start the new year off right by creating resolutions for 2022! It’s the perfect opportunity whether you’re a person living with dementia, a care partner, or a family member to help you learn, grown and enrich your life in a positive way.

If you’re a person living with dementia, we have put together a few resolutions that you can adopt for 2022 that could help you stay happy, healthy, and fulfilled throughout the year.

  1. Keep physically and mentally active. Take up a new hobby like drawing, puzzles, or even simple exercises and stretching once a day.
  2. Reflect on your days by keeping a diary or journal that will help you recount the events of the day and how you were feeling.
  3. Stay social! Set up a weekly or monthly phone call with friends and family to stay engaged.

If these don’t work for you, try to create your own! Do whatever is most important to you.

Survey: Improving Homecare for People living with Dementia in Ontario

Participate in an online survey for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

Eligible participants (Ontario only):

  • People living with mild to moderate dementia receiving homecare.
  • Loved ones of people living with dementia receiving homecare.
  • Professional homecare providers (including PSWs, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation therapists).

To view the full flyer, click here.

To take the survey, click here.

If you have any questions, please email evan.foster@mail.utoronto.ca or call 647-933-1330.

Donate Now

People living with Alzheimer’s and dementia are especially vulnerable at this time, if you are able to, please consider supporting the essential services and programs that benefit this community.

Our mailing address is:
20 Anne Street South, P.O. Box 1414
Barrie, Ontario L4M 5R4

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