Fall 2019

A special thank you to our valued donors

Pauline Tardif, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada

Thank you for supporting this important work!

You’ve been so vital to our achievements—with your support, we’ve witnessed so many inspiring results from our programs, services and research projects across the country. I’m thrilled to share some of these stories and good news with you in our latest newsletter. Each article illustrates just how important your continued support is in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Your commitment gives me hope that one day, no one will have to face this devastating disease. Thank you for all that you do to help improve the lives of thousands of people across Canada.

- Pauline T.

It's here! Announcing Canada's first-ever national dementia strategy

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor (4th from left); Pauline Tardif, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada (2nd from right); and members of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia: Isabel Petit (3rd from left), Mary Beth Wighton and Jim Mann (4th and 5th from right).

History was made this summer as the federal government officially announced Canada’s first national dementia strategy: A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.

The strategy sets out three national objectives: preventing dementia; advancing therapies and finding a cure; and improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers.

This is fantastic news for the more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today—and the thousands more who will develop the disease in the years to come. For the first time, we have a strong foundation for a coordinated and targeted national approach to tackle dementia.

The Alzheimer Society has long advocated for a national dementia strategy to enhance research efforts and ensure Canadians have access to quality care and support. We are very grateful to our donors for supporting our advocacy efforts.

Now, much work lies ahead to ensure the strategy brings about immediate and lasting changes for Canadians affected by dementia. The Alzheimer Society will continue to advocate for complete funding and speedy implementation of the strategy.

With the upcoming federal election, it’s also important that we maintain the momentum and make sure that dementia remains top of mind for our politicians. That’s why we’ve launched an online advocacy campaign. Visit alzheimer.ca/NationalDementiaStrategy to see how you can get involved.

How DIY projects help Paul challenge his brain

“The success of my new life is due in part to how I challenge my brain.”

Paul and his latest DIY project, a custom dart board area.

Paul Lea lives in Toronto, Ontario. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2009 after having several strokes.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve accomplished things that no one would have expected because I found ways to challenge my brain.

Fixing up my apartment is just one example. After I was told that I had dementia, I was given the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCa) test. I first scored 9 points out of a possible of 30. But I later retook the test and got 15. Still not satisfied, I took it one more time and scored 28.

How did my scores improve? I made sure to work my brain. In addition to fixing up my apartment, I play games such as word search and solitaire, and I speed-test them to give my brain more of a workout. I always find a way to challenge myself. I’m told by medical professionals that I’ve compensated well for the deficits that vascular dementia brings because I’ve worked my brain.

From our mail bag

Words of inspiration from our supporters:

“This is NOT the end of your life as you know it. It is the beginning of a change in the way you cope with the world and your life in it.” - Sarah

“Dementia requires more than tolerance – it requires acceptance. Even though the disease can rob someone of their voice, it’s still important to have a conversation with them.” - Roseanne

“When my husband Ray was diagnosed with dementia, the news was devastating for both of us. But thanks to the Alzheimer Society’s learning series and support groups, I was able to get informed about dementia. I truly believe that knowledge is power.” - Pauline

Donor dollars at work: Memory Cafés

The Memory Café is a monthly program launched in 2015 in New Brunswick to provide support and socialization opportunities for people affected by dementia of all ages and along all stages of the dementia journey. Led by community volunteers in 16 locations across the province, the program welcomes people living with dementia, caregivers, family and anyone from the public interested in learning more about the disease.

Each gathering includes an educational presentation on a different topic, followed by entertainment, socialization and refreshments. Participants have the opportunity to share their experiences and make important connections within their community.

If you’d like more information about similar programs in your area, visit alzheimer.ca.

Reduce stress for better brain health

Experiencing some stress is part of everyday life, but when it persists over time, it can cause vascular changes and chemical imbalances that damage the brain and other cells in your body. By managing or lowering your stress, you can improve your brain health and reduce your risk of dementia.

How to reduce stress

  • Take personal time for yourself. Exercise, relaxation, entertainment, hobbies and socializing are key.
  • Identify unrealistic expectations and try to accept what cannot be changed.
  • Seek and accept support from family, friends or health care professionals.
  • Be prepared – new or unfamiliar situations can create stress and anxiety.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Laugh.
  • Reduce the harmful effects of stress on your mind and body through meditation, deep breathing, massage or physical exercise. The key is to explore a variety of techniques and find those that work for you.

Pharmacies to become an important resource

Uniprix, a leader in the Quebec pharmacy retail industry, and the Alzheimer Society will be partnering on an exciting new Alzheimer’s education and fundraising campaign this fall.

Promoted this year through Uniprix pharmacies in Quebec, the campaign will take place throughout World Alzheimer’s Month in September, leading up to World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st.

In-store information sessions, educational materials and an outreach program are just some of the events planned. For more details visit alzheimerquebec.ca.

Monthly Donor Corner: Why I give

Francine became a monthly donor to honour her late sister Lorraine.

“My sister, Lorraine, had Down syndrome and later developed Alzheimer’s disease. In her case, after the diagnosis, her situation deteriorated very quickly. She died in 2013 at the age of 63, about two years after her illness was discovered. I became a monthly donor to honour her memory.” - Francine

To become a monthly donor, use our secure online form or contact Dana Lecours at 1-800-616-8816 ext. 2951.

Your legacy starts with passion

Leaving a gift to the Alzheimer Society in your will is easy and meaningful.

Are you thinking about building your charitable legacy, but not sure where to start? Strategic philanthropy is the idea that your charitable giving reflects your personal passions and goals. After all, when you donate, you’re not only helping others, but yourself as well. Besides the feelings of generosity and happiness that donating can give you, you may also be surprised to find how simple and rewarding charitable giving can be.

Linda is passionate about supporting Alzheimer’s disease research. Her father, uncle, aunt, great-grandfather and brother all passed away due to Alzheimer’s and other dementias. “This disease has taken the lives of so many of my family members. At each funeral, I’ve always requested donations to Alzheimer’s research in lieu of flowers.”

Linda has also generously included the Alzheimer Society in her will. “I am 77 years old, and in my lifetime, I have hope that I’ll see treatments improve,” she says. “I also feel good knowing that my money will make an impact long after I’m gone. This is the most important thing in my life right now.”

Please note that laws and legal terms vary from province to province. For more information, contact your local Alzheimer Society or visit alzheimer.ca/GiftInYourWill. Speaking with a lawyer is also helpful.

RBC Wealth Management Royal Trust is a proud partner of the Alzheimer Society of Canada Legacy Giving initiatives.