FALL 2020

Thank you for standing with us

I hope you and your family are safe and healthy as we continue to feel the impact of COVID-19. While the pandemic has affected us all, the isolation many of us are feeling is even more challenging for people with dementia who don’t understand why loved ones can’t visit. And, without in-person support, there is little respite for caregivers.

During this crisis, and always, the Alzheimer Society remains committed to ensuring everyone who is impacted by dementia receives the care and support they need. And this is because of loyal donors who make our work possible.

With your support, we’ve enhanced and accelerated our phone and online counselling and support services. You are behind every answered phone call and email that helps someone feel less alone. And as more and more people reach out to us — from those personally affected to critical care workers looking for trusted information — we will continue to listen, adapt and respond. Dementia doesn’t stop and neither do we.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stephen McCullough
Chief Executive Officer
Alzheimer Society of Canada

The best memory: Josh’s story

Josh, 28, is a fulltime caregiver for his dad

My dad, Ron, is a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan. A few years ago, when he was only 48, Dad was diagnosed with Lewy body disease, which is a form of dementia. Thinking of my dad’s lifelong dream to see a live Leafs game, I tweeted former NHLer Paul ‘Biz’ Bissonnette. I never expected to hear back, let alone that he’d come for a visit!

Biz presented my dad with three tickets to see a Leafs game in Toronto with my brother and me. It was amazing! My dad got to fist pump the players as they went onto the ice and after the game he met his favourite player, who signed Dad’s jersey and gave him the stick he used to score the winning goal.

It was a dream come true for my dad and the best memory I think I’m ever going to have in my life. I’ll never, ever forget this.

After my dad was diagnosed with Lewy body disease, I started looking after him so my mom could go to work. Lewy body is a terrible disease — it’s sort of like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s put together. It affects you physically, emotionally and cognitively. Some days my dad is lucid and then the next day the clarity is gone.

Being a caregiver is both the toughest and most rewarding job out there. It’s good to know that the Alzheimer Society is there if I need help or even just someone to talk to.

To find support programs and services in your area, visit alzheimer.ca.

Monthly Donor Corner: Carmen’s story

My husband, Gerry, and I lived by a lake for 14 years and were truly happy there. Gerry loved picking up wood for the fireplace and stacking the logs neatly behind the shed. He was happy as a lark! But then he started to lose interest in these things, and his driving worried me. We moved to a seniors’ residence and about a year later, Gerry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At first, he was able to attend a day program, but eventually he had to move to a long-term care home. I visited him every day until he passed away. I became a monthly donor to honour his memory.

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

If you are a monthly donor, we would love to hear your story and reason for giving. Please contact Dana at dlecours@alzheimer.ca.

Meet our researchers: Dr. Jacqueline Rousseau

Dr. Jacqueline Rousseau has developed a new tool, called HoPE, to help health-care providers assess how a person with dementia is managing in their home environment. The tool analyzes human interactions, such as with a spouse and/or caregiver, as well as the physical space. The health-care provider can then make suggestions for adapting the home environment to better support the individual’s needs and quality of life.

For more on the research you make possible, visit alzheimer.ca/Research.

Adapting to your needs: Online support

The Alzheimer Society’s number one priority is to provide support for people living with dementia and their caregivers. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we’ve had to suspend in-person counselling and support groups, we’re still here for you over the phone, by email, or via video conferencing. Our team continues to offer safe and confidential counselling where you can talk about your experiences, learn about dementia, and gain practical coping strategies.

For tips and resources to help you navigate the pandemic, visit alzheimer.ca/COVID19

This year’s IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s was online

The Kuiper Family at the 2019 Walk

Fred Kuiper and his family participated in one of the January IG Wealth Management Walks for Alzheimer’s as a way of honouring Fred’s Oma (grandma) who had Alzheimer’s disease. After her diagnosis, Fred’s Opa became her main caregiver. The demands of caring for his wife eventually took a toll on his health. “It’s easy for people to get lost in the support of their loved one and not take care of themselves,” says Fred. “If we can help other families cope with this condition, it’s a win!”

This Spring, the Walk was an online event due to the pandemic. Tens of thousands of Canadians tuned in for the live broadcast on May 31, helping to raise millions of dollars for vital programs and services in communities across the country.

Words of inspiration from our donors

“I would like to thank the Alzheimer Society for all the help and understanding when my mother was going through it. They are an amazing group of people and will help you every step of the way.”

“I think it’s important to have photo albums so everyone can look at them and remember special times.”

“I lost my godmother to this terrible disease a year ago. We must definitely support research!”

Boost your brain

Doing puzzles like sudoku, crosswords and word searches is a great way to keep your brain active.

For more about brain health visit alzheimer.ca/BrainHealth

Make a lasting impact with a charitable bequest

By remembering the Alzheimer Society in your will, you can help make history. Your generous bequest will support important research towards a cure. You’ll also make sure support is available for every Canadian affected by dementia — one of Canada’s fastest growing diseases.

A gift in your will has many practical benefits:

  • It is simple and easy to arrange
  • It can be made at any age and for any amount
  • It is a highly effective way to reduce taxes on your estate after death
  • You can make a general gift, or choose to designate it to a specific program such as research, education, awareness, or caregiver support

For more information, please contact Dana Lecours at 1-800-616-8816 ext. 2951, by e-mail at dlecours@alzheimer.ca, or visit alzheimer.ca/ GiftInYourWill.

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