Jane Hope, Support and Education coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and Chris Kensit are breaking the stigma surrounding dementia. (File photo)

Breaking the stigma associated with dementia

Vanderhoof and Fort St. James residents living with dementia are being encouraged to go public in an effort to change hearts and tackle the ongoing discrimination they experience in their day-to-day lives.

As per a Jan. 6 release by the Alzheimer Society of B.C., residents with dementia can step forward with their personal stories in the Alzheimer’s Society’s nation-wide campaign, I live with dementia.

“Spurred by alarming research indicating that one in four Canadians would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia, the campaign gives a voice to Canadians living with dementia who are frustrated by the constant assumptions and misinformation associated with the disease,” as written in the media release.

“Unless you have experienced it firsthand, it can be difficult to appreciate the damage stigma can do to individuals and families facing dementia,” said Laurie DeCroos, support and education co-ordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s north interior, Skeena and Peace region resource centres.

She explained further that often negative feelings, attitudes and stereotypes surrounding dementia can dissuade people from seeking help and,”discourage others from lending their support.”

By providing this platform, the society aims to aid Canadians to share their stories, so that feelings of empathy and compassion can be cultivated and stigma can be broken down.

Since 2018, more than 65 Canadians with dementia including caregivers, have become spokespeople in the campaign aimed at taking a stand against the stigma associated with the disease.

To read their stories and find out further information, visit ilivewithdementia.ca. Visitors to the site can also connect with the regional Alzheimer Society resource centre for help and support.

More than half a million Canadians are living with dementia today and in the next 12 years, nearly a million Canadians will be living with dementia, stated the release


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

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