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Busy January for Alzheimer Society

By Randy Thoms Jan 2, 2024 | 6:03 AM

Alzheimer Society for Kenora-Rainy River Districts information pamphlets. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

The Alzheimer Society of Kenora-Rainy River is hosting a number of events in the Fort Frances area this month.

Every January is designated Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Client Services Coordinator Mary O’Connor says there will be a free information session on January 15 for retailers on how to be dementia friendly.

“Our goal in doing this is helping the frontline staff know how to interact with people with dementia so everybody has success. It’s all about letting these people come in and enjoy a retail experience,” says O’Connor.

“What we’re going to be looking at are communication tips specifically geared to retail. We’re going to look at the ten warning signs so that if somebody comes in, you can identify, you’re not looking to make life difficult for people. But if you think that there’s somebody that might be having dementia, we are going to talk about the warning signs so you will have an idea. And as any person with dementia, especially frontline staff with retail, once they go, oh, so maybe this is a dementia, I better change what I’m doing.”

The session is open to any store owner, no matter how small the business.

There will also be three virtual sessions for the public.

One on Thursday, January 10 will discuss how to communicate better with somebody with dementia.

The next one on January 18 will focus on wandering and how to keep a person in the early stages of dementia safe.

The third one is on January 25 and will talk about how to have a great visit with somebody with dementia.

“We also are starting a learning series on January 16. This one is geared only to families who have a loved one with dementia. This particular learning series is called Care Essentials. It’s for the midstage. This is where behaviours and language are starting to become apparent, and what can we do as people around our loved ones with dementia to make things better?”

For more information or to register for any of the sessions, call the Alzheimer Society’s office at 1-800-682-0245 or email O’Connor at mary@alzheimerkrr.com.

Also coming up in January will be the Forget Me Not Dinner.

The event raises money to continue the many programs and services offered at no cost to people with dementia and their families.

“Our Forget Me Not Dinner has been on hold for several years with COVID, and this year we’re going to start it again. We’re absolutely thrilled and delighted to be able to host this here in Fort Frances again.”

The January 20 event will include penny tables, draws and entertainment.

Tickets are now on sale at Northwoods Gallery and Gifts.