Our Connections Matter
Alzheimer Society of Durham Region

January 2022 - Issue 1

Connections That Matter

Hello, Friend!

The Alzheimer Society of Durham Region (“ASDR”) is committed to taking every reasonable precaution in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of its clients, employees, contractors, students, and volunteers from the hazards of COVID-19.

On September 7, 2021, ASDR implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, in accordance with Directive #6 issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Heath for the Province of Ontario. This policy required all ASDR employees, staff, contractors, volunteers and students to be fully vaccinated, or provide proof of a medical/religious exemption as of October 31, 2021.

The decision to extend this policy to all individuals accessing ASDR’s in-person programs was made to provide the safest environment possible for everyone and to allow us to resume our programs and services. We are eager to be able to offer in-person programs once again, as we know our clients rely on our services for their well-being and would like the opportunity to gather safely once again. We will continue to offer online programs as an accessible alternative. Click here to view the full vaccination policy and a letter from our CEO.

We hope this newsletter finds you well. If you need to reach our counselling staff, or have questions about programs and services, please call 905-576-2567 or 1-888-301-1106. We also invite you to keep checking the online calendar 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. What’s happening in Durham Region? Local social recreation programs, webinars, and more!
  2. What’s happening across Ontario? Provincial social recreation programs, webinars, and more!
  3. Join the Quest for Kindness and make Kind-nections this January!
  4. This Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, let us be your First Link®
  5. The Dementia Friendly Canada Project has launched!
  6. Tips on Creating Resolutions for the New Year!

What’s happening in Durham Region? Local social recreation programs, webinars, and more!

NEW Office Hours!

Support Groups

For more information about the following support groups, please email intake@alzheimerdurham.com or phone 905-576-2567 ext. 5233

Drop-in Care Partner Social and Support Group

Online or phone-in available: Wednesday, January 12 and 26, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Facilitated by staff or qualified volunteers, drop-in sessions provide opportunities for care partners to share their experiences and navigate available resources.

Peer-Led Care Partner Support Group

Available in-person: Wednesday, January 19, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Available online: Wednesday, January 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Shared and lived experiences provide the foundation for this peer-led care partner support group. This group offers an opportunity for care partners to engage with peers in a supportive, social setting.

Men’s Breakfast

Online and in-person (hybrid option): Wednesday, January 5, 12, 19 and 26, from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Men’s Breakfast is a peer-led group, which provides peer-to-peer support for male care partners in a casual, comfortable setting.

Care Partner Support Group for Caregivers Providing Care at Home in the Community

In-person: Friday, January 14 and 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
This safe online forum is led by a trained and experienced Counsellor and offers an opportunity to learn about topics relating to caregiver coping and connecting with community services.

Care Partner Support Group for Those Supporting Residents in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

Online: Monday, January 3, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
In-person: Tuesday, January 18, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (hybrid option available)

This safe online forum is led by a trained and experienced Counsellor and specifically focuses on topics and strategies that affect those supporting residents in LTC/RH such as stress, communication and responding to behaviours.

Education Sessions

For more information or to register for the following education session(s), contact intake@alzheimerdurham.com or phone 905-576-2567 ext. 5233

Early-Stage Dementia Program—Building Resilience

Online: Thursday, January 13, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their care partners. Learn how to adapt to change by improving coping skills with a focus on personal strengths, optimism, social supports and managing (regulating) emotions.

Learning the Ropes for Living with MCI®

Learning the Ropes for Living with MCI® is a six-week program for persons living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and a close family member/friend. The program provides education about MCI and focuses on optimizing cognitive health through lifestyle choices, memory training (involving practical strategies) and psychosocial and family support. Each session is limited to five couples. Registration is required. This will be an in-person session starting in February 2022.

Community Education Programs

Register for any of the following community education session(s) you like at asdr.eventbrite.ca or email education@alzheimerdurham.com.

Care Essentials

This four-part series offers care partners of persons living with dementia an opportunity to explore an overview of the dementia journey in an interactive and supportive atmosphere. Each session features a workbook and helpful resources.

Care Essentials: What to Expect?

In-person: Tuesday, January 18, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

First in our four-part series, this session will provide an overview of the progression and symptoms of dementia and discuss how you can support remaining abilities for the person living with dementia.

Care Essentials: Communicating Effectively

In-person: Tuesday, January 25, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Second in our four-part series, this session explores communication changes in dementia and strategies for effective communication.

Spotlight Series

Join us for our new monthly spotlight series featuring guest speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise on various topics to help you through the dementia journey.

Mild Cognitive Impairment: An Overview

Online and in-person: Monday, January 31, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Concerned about cognitive changes in yourself or a loved one? Find out if symptoms are consistent with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and learn ways to lower your risk for developing or progressing to dementia.

Active Living Programs

Recreation Kits

Bringing Recreation to You—Our recreation kits are designed to engage people living with dementia in a fun and purposeful task, providing cognitive stimulation and social connection. Each themed kit will include dementia-friendly resources and easy-to-follow instructions, along with information about the benefits of each activity.
For more information or to register for a kit, please contact our Intake Coordinator at 905-576-2567 ext. 5233 or 1-888-301-1106 or email intake@alzheimerdurham.com

Minds in Motion®

In-person: Wednesday, January 19 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Minds in Motion® is a physical activity and brain-stimulation program for people living with dementia and their care partners. This will be a great environment to establish new friendships with others who are living with similar experiences. Combining physical, mental and social stimulation improves brain health and may slow the disease progression and can improve mood and decrease the risk of depression among both persons living with dementia and their care partners.

Minds in Motion® is delivered by our experienced staff, community partners and dedicated volunteers. Pre-registration required. Phone 905-576-2567 ext. 5003 or email recreation@alzheimerdurham.com for more information.

Sparking Connections

Start Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 | End Date: Thursday, March 10, 2022

Program runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In collaboration with Abilities Centre, we are thrilled to offer Sparking Connections! A new in-person program for persons living with Dementia (PLWD) early-moderate stage.

This is an opportunity to engage in recreation and leisure in a safe, inclusive and accessible environment while reducing isolation and building connection with others.

During the eight-week session, participants will meet twice per week, at Abilities Centre (55 Gordon St., Whitby).

For more information on price, dates and times, contact: seniors@abilitiescentre.org

What's happening across Ontario? Provincial social recreation programs, webinars, and more!

CARERS Program for Adult Children

When: Thursdays starting on February 3 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

This 8-week online program is for adult children of people with mid- to late-stage dementia living in the community. Developed by the Reitman Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, CARERS is a comprehensive dementia care program that supports problem-solving skill development and introduces the innovative use of standardized patients actors trained to simulate real-life situations so that caregivers, guided by expert clinical coaches, will learn how to address communication challenges.

For more information, contact Katie MacLean at kmaclean@alz.to or to register, click here.

Virtual Art Talks with Art Gallery Ontario (AGO)

When: Monthly on TUESDAYS — January 18, February 15, March 15, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

The AGO is offering engaging small group virtual art talks helping to explore their collection through conversation, exchanging ideas and observations about the selected artworks. This is a one-hour virtual art talk hosted on Zoom. The program is designed for people living with dementia and their caregivers. The art talk is facilitated by an experienced AGO Art Educator and is supported by Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s volunteers.

Select Virtual Art Talks on January 18 on the AST Calendar here.

For more information, contact Katie Berkelmans, Recreation and Volunteer Programs Manager, at kberkelmans@alz.to

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.

On January 29, the final day of the Quest for Kindness, be sure to catch the Toronto Sign, the CN Tower and Niagara Falls light up in blue and white in to mark the end of the Quest for Kindness as well as to honour Alzheimer’s Awareness Month! Can’t make it in person? Watch the CN Tower light show online here beginning at sunset and the Niagara Falls light up here beginning at 10:00 PM (EST).

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 and First Link® can do for people recently diagnosed with dementia by visiting firstlinkontario.ca.

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.

Donate Now

People living with Alzheimer’s disease 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.

1600 Stellar Dr., Suite 202
Whitby, Ontario L1N 9B2

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