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Local business taking steps towards making Lacombe dementia friendly

Courses offered through local initiative

Local businesses have been taking steps towards making Lacombe, dementia friendly.

Alberta Health Services (AHS), the Primary Care Network, Lacombe FCSS, and Alzheimer Society teamed up and put forward the initiative to make Lacombe dementia friend about a year ago and it has recently picked up motion again within the community.

They are currently providing programs for local businesses and community groups that want to learn how to help their customers and clients with dementia.

Dementia is a general term for disorders affecting the brain, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

“We are working on making Lacombe a dementia friendly community, which means providing a list of services for people living in the community with dementia. We want them to be able to age in place and be able to stay in their home as long as possible,” says Alexandra Seefeldt with AHS. “We are also providing education to business owners and community organizations to help prevent stigma, which is an issue we are seeing in Lacombe.”

The initiative wants residents and business to consider the following, you probably know someone living with dementia. Wouldn’t you like them to have a positive, respectful experience in a business?

The Alzheimer Society of Canada echoes that sentiment saying that stigma is one of the biggest barriers for people living with dementia to live fully with dignity and respect. On their website they say the unfortunate reality is that any person living with dementia is very likely to encounter stigma, even though dementia can affect anyone.

Seefeldt says sessions are tailor made to each business depending on what sector they are in or what type of information they want to know. The Lacombe Police Service was one of the recent participants to take the sessions.

Invitations were sent out to as many businesses as possible but Seefeldt says if a business was missed or wants to still sign up they can.

The Minds in Motion program is also returning for a second session starting in November. The program is designed for individuals early to middle age with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Care partners, friends or a family member are invited to attended with the registrant.

The program includes a 45-60 minutes of low impact physical activity, led by an Exercise Specialist and a 45-60 minutes of socially and mentally stimulating and cognitive activities lead by a Recreation Therapist.

There is no fee for the program and spaces are limited. Anyone interested in either program can contact Kristi at 403-782-1408 for more information or to register.

Alberta Health Services Central Zone