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Weekly Round-Up

Your Guide to Meaningful Brain Healthy Activities

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

At the Dementia Society, we often talk about the 24,000 people in our region that have a diagnosis. But for each person with a diagnosis, there is a ripple effect that the illness has on those around them.

1 in 5 of us has experience caring for someone living with dementia.

And 1 in 5 caregivers of a person living with dementia “agrees” that they sometimes feel embarrassed to be seen in public with the person they care for.

This January 2021, we’ll be talking about dementia—what is it, how can you recognize it, and how to live well with a diagnosis. We’ll also be talking about the stigma of dementia for people living with dementia and for caregivers. Stay tuned to learn more on our social channels, in this weekly newsletter, and in some special webinars where you can learn more about what you can do to help make our community more inclusive for people living with a diagnosis of dementia and their caregivers.

Let’s not let stigma stand in the way of understanding and living well with dementia.

Your Community of Support Online and In-Person

Support Groups will resume the week of January 4th. During this time our support line will still be open on a reduced schedule: 888.889.6002

Dementia support line staffed | Ligne de soutien ouvert: 28 – 31 Dec
8:30am - 4pm | 8h 30 – 16h        
888.889.6002 or|ou DementiaHelp.ca

With support groups not being able to meet in person at this time, we have consolidated in-person groups to the following virtual meetings:

  • Tuesdays:  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Wednesdays:  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Thursdays:  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Themed support groups will continue to meet once monthly, online. These groups support the needs of:

You can attend as many meetings as you find helpful. Like all our support programs during the pandemic, there are no fees.

Join our Thursday Peer Connection Group to speak with people that are experiencing similar situations as yours. 

Research Opportunities

We See You. We’re here for you. And we’d like to work with you!
As a person living with a diagnosis of dementia, we value your input and want to be sure your voice is included in our program and service design.
If you are interested in sharing your opinions through an email discussion group, focus groups, reviewing proposals, and sharing your experience as a person living with dementia, please contact Dean at dhenderson@dsorc.org, or call 888.889.6002. Commitment and frequency to be determined based on participant interest and availability.

The Dementia Society Client Survey: Coming Soon!

Each year, the Dementia Society conducts a client survey to help evaluate and plan services and programs. We will be launching this survey shortly and want to hear about your experience with our programs and services. Really, we do. Your answers to our questions will help us to know if we're on track and where we can do better.

In the coming days, you can expect to receive an email with an invitation to complete the survey. This online survey will be available to you for a few weeks to allow everyone a chance have their say. This year, we’ve added a few questions to help us understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on you and the value of our services in this unprecedented time. If you do not receive an email, we will also be inviting newsletter readers to participate in a future edition. 

As a gesture of our appreciation for your participation, the first 250 respondents to complete the survey will receive a Dementia Society-branded, non-surgical, 100% cotton, washable, made-in-Canada facemask.

Thank you for your time to complete this very important survey. Your participation will help us to ensure that no one faces dementia alone in Ottawa and Renfrew County.

Did You Know?

  • Holidays can be a stressful time of the year, particularly if you are a caregiver. The one thing we know is that this year will be different. But social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. We can find new ways to celebrate and connect with each other, and maybe even start a new holiday tradition! If you’re worried about this year’s holidays, this tip sheet can provide you with strategies to manage expectations, tend to your self-care, and allow you to enjoy the holidays - instead of just surviving them. Here are some strategies to help.

Music stimulates memories, reduces anxiety, and provides opportunity for shared activity with loved ones.

Monday's @ 10:30 am - Join Musical Connections with Chris White - To register and for more information click here

Tuesday's  @ 3:30 pm - Join Anne for Musical Connections and Joyful Song To register and for more information click here

Every Second Wednesday @ 6:00 pm - Musical Connections - Arabian Tunes - sing both familiar and popular songs, accompanied by the Arabic Music Leader Sam Himmat and the singer Marsil Al Sulaiman.To register and for more information click here.

Thursday's @ 3:30 pm - JoinMusical Connections with the Key to Happiness - To register and for more information click here

Always-On Programming

The Dementia Society offers a wealth of on-demand programming available to you on your own time. Education, entertainment, and dementia-tailored activities are just a click away, when you need and want them.

As we move into a new year and new beginnings why not add brain health to your New Year Resolutions. Check out this webinar Mind Your Brain Health for brain healthy tips that can help prevent or slow down dementia. (25 min:59 sec.)Click here to watch this video on our YouTube Channel.

In-Home Programs

Make a Connection, Take a Break! 

With in-person programs suspended, people living with dementia currently have few options for social connections.  That's why we developed the Make a Connection, Take a Break program; take a break from isolation and connect with a new friend.  We match a person living with dementia with a compatible volunteer who will regularly make time to connect by phone or any number of virtual platforms like ZOOM - or whatever works best.  With your input, our trained multi-lingual volunteers can engage meaningfully with their match, so everyone feels valued and safe.  For more information and to register, click here.

Interested in volunteering and connecting with someone? Click here for more information on how you can volunteer in our Take-a-Break Program.

Activity Packages - Looking for a fun activity package, but don't know which one to pick? Try our "Surprise! Meaningful Activity Package"! You'll get a random variety of brain-stimulating activities to work on, all in a convenient pickup package. There are so many different games, activities, and projects that you could get in your Surprise! Meaningful Activity Package. 

Fidget blankets are a great tool to help fight anxiety and keep you engaged!
Each blanket comes with a variety of buttons, zippers, buckles, and other fun trinkets to keep the hands busy while restoring calm and peace of mind.
Product images courtesy of Hillcrest Stitchery; Special thanks to Hillcrest Stitchery for supporting the Meaningful Activities program!

Pedal Power - One of our most popular programs, Pedal Power is a foot pedal loan program that sets you up to cycle in the comfort of your home. We provide the pedals and you’re on your way – it’s easier than riding a bike and with the cold weather approaching it's a great alternative! To learn more click here.

On-Demand Activities

For the joy of music join in for the Circle of Song, our on-demand music program. Join Jennifer Noxon for a sing-a-long style music program featuring your favourites at any time that suits you. Find her playlist on our YouTube Channel here. Music lifts the spirits and helps us to reminisce.

Get crafty! A series of Arts and Minds classes are now available on the Dementia Society’s to view them please click here.Pick from (painting, drawing, specific examples) classes to find the instructor-led session that best suits your interests.

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If you look up the definition of ‘volunteer’, it simply states, “Freely offer to do something.” Although true, this doesn’t sufficiently capture those who volunteer. I’ve been a Volunteer Coordinator with the Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew  Cou

The statistics are alarming: one of the greatest risk factors for dying of COVID-19 is dementia. The reasons are many and potentially complex, but the need to prioritize the 24,000+ people diagnosed with dementia in Ottawa and Renfrew County and their

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Make a Connection, Take a Break! Dementia can be highly isolating and the recent social distancing requirements haven’t helped. Make a Connection, Take a Break is an opportunity for people living with dementia to enjoy a regular, safe visit w

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