Every person with dementia is unique; that’s the message the Alzheimer Society of Alberta wants people in Grande Prairie to know this January during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
“If you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve met one person,” says Regional Lead Jennifer Simms. “Just because a person has been diagnosed with dementia doesn’t mean they’re no longer the same person as before, their story continues, dementia is just part of their story.”
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour. Currently, there are 200 families in the Grande Prairie area who are using some of the society’s services like support groups and referral programs. Simms says she wants people to understand that a diagnosis isn’t the end.
“The progression of the disease is different for each individual and the diagnosis doesn’t mean the person will fast forward to later stages overnight.”
“Many people still lead active lives as they continue their hobbies and enjoy friendships. Dementia will make these more difficult as time goes on but with the right support people with dementia can still enjoy a good quality of life,” she adds.
Anyone looking for services or information can go to the society’s Grande Prairie office located at 9823 116 Avenue. Simms also says they will be having an information session at the Grande Prairie Public Library on January 30th from 7 to 9 p.m.