Alzheimer Society kicks off awareness month

Residents in North and Central Okanagan being asked to show support for people with Alzheimer's and dementia

January is Alzheimer awareness month.

January is Alzheimer awareness month.

Friends, families and members of the Lake Country community are being asked to show support for people suffering Alzheimer’s and dementia, during a social media campaign this month.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is asking Lake Country residents to be #InItForAlz and show support for people affected by the disease in the community.

“It’s about making dementia not just someone else’s problem but everyone’s concern,” said Carly Gronlund, the Society’s regional education and support coordinator for Lake Country and the North and Central Okanagan. “Dementia should be a cause that we can all rally around because we embrace people living with the disease,”

Lake Country residents can be #InItForAlz. Visit alzheimerbc.org to learn about the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s support services in the area and make a donation to help people in the province who are living with the disease.

You can also use the hashtag #InItForAlz to spread the word that “it’s not just their disease. It’s ours too.”

Dementia doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone. That’s why actor and writer Jill Daum is getting behind #InItForAlz. Jill’s husband, John Mann of Spirit of the West, was diagnosed with young-onset dementia in 2014.

“This is a cause that’s close to my heart and I’m proud to lend my support to the campaign,” Jill says. “John felt that there was a stigma attached to it and he wanted to be able to be honest, open and not feel any shame around his diagnosis.

“We need to get over our uneasiness about dementia and start to recognize and talk about it more openly,” says Jill, who lives with John in Vancouver.

“Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affect thousands of families in British Columbia,” says Health Minister Terry Lake. “Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn more about how we can support people in our community who are living with the disease.”

Quick facts

•Dementia doesn’t define a person. They’re still the same individual as they were before their diagnosis.

•People with dementia can continue the things they love and remain active in their communities with the right help and support.

•Alzheimer Societies across Canada provide programs and support services to help people with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and their caregivers to live as well as possible.

•The Alzheimer Society is a leading Canadian funder of dementia research. Since 1989, it has invested over $50 million in bio-medical and quality-of-life research through its Alzheimer Society Research Program.