The past and the present and Alzheimer’s in the community: a presentation with the Alzheimer’s Society York Region

September 6, 2013 in Alzheimer's & Dementia, Community, Events |

The September frenzy of presentations continued Thursday:

I had the pleasure of partnering, for a presentation, with Andrea Ubell from the Alzheimer’s Society York Region. It was at a church in Richmond Hill which had been built in 1872.  In 1964 when it was rebuilt, the older structure was preserved and incorporated into the church complex as a chapel.  I found this neat and a good example of how we can combine both the character and integrity of age with the strength and vitality of youth in a community setting.

We had a lovely afternoon.  We were served coffee and tea before the presentation and later were served a tasty sit-down lunch.  Well, you do not often get a good meat pie, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy.  Lovely!

As always, I had a chance to speak with many interesting people including the minister and the parish nurse.  You know, while we may not be aware of it, community is happening all the time.  At its heart it is about social interaction, and beyond this interaction it is about co-operation, and from that learning to live together for the greater benefit.

But back to the presentation:

I talked about the “First Link Memory Cafe” program at Mosaic’s Community Resource Centre, a program which is in its second season you could say.

Andrea talked about the Alzheimer’s Society, but brought her own family’s experience with Alzheimer’s since one of her own family members had succumbed to it.  The relative in question was once an impeccable sewer who forgot, amongst other things, how to thread a needle or to use her beloved sewing machine.  Poignant.

I think it important that we as a society become more aware of Alzheimer’s, so that as a community we can work together to help at the very least those families coping with Alzheimer’s.

At this presentation, the conversation was opened up to allow people to speak in a safe non-threatening environment about their friends or family going through the same illness.  This is very much the frame in which the First Link Memory Cafe is run.

Andrea also talked about activities and foods that will help keep your brain stimulated and active.

Examples of activities: learning a new language, visiting the art gallery, playing cards/chess/brain games/crosswords/word find games.

Examples of food and drink: a glass of red or white wine within reason everyday; dark high cocoa content chocolate; eating a Mediterranean diet and of course exercise.

I  find Andrea’s presentations relaxed, open, informative, educational and friendly.   She is just the right type of person who helps other people open up about sensitive yet very important issues.   With what is in many respects a very difficult topic she also brings the necessary humour and lightness into her presentation, which made the audience feel very comfortable.

Andrea and I have many more presentations booked in the community including many more more church groups and Community Care Access.

For your information

Regarding the First Link Memory Cafe program-

If you are interested in memory related issues?  Individuals who have been diagnosed with Early Alzheimer’s disease and/or related dementias, their Care Partners as well as those who worry about memory problems.  This program runs the last Tuesday every month starting September 24th, October 29th and November 26th, refreshments are provided and this is a free program to the community.  Provided by The Alzheimer Society of York Region and hosted at Mosaic Home Care Services & Community Resource Centre.  For more information contact www.alzheimer-york.com or call 888-414-5550 and ask for Trevor.


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