Dementia Resources in Alberta: Supporting Loved Ones and Caregivers

Mallory J Greene
Mallory J Greene
May 16th 2024 - 6 minute read
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Navigating dementia care can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several resources in Alberta that provide support to individuals with dementia and their caregivers. This blog explores the available dementia resources in the province.

Dementia is a challenging condition that affects not only the individual diagnosed but also their loved ones and caregivers. As the population ages, the number of people living with dementia in Alberta continues to grow. Navigating the complexities of dementia care can be overwhelming, but fortunately, there are numerous resources available to support those affected by this condition. In this blog post, we will explore the various dementia resources available in Alberta, providing guidance and support for both individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

Understanding Dementia

Before delving into the available resources, it is essential to have a basic understanding of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of progressive brain disorders, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common. Symptoms of dementia may include memory loss, difficulty with communication, changes in behavior, and a decline in cognitive abilities. While there is currently no cure for dementia, early diagnosis and appropriate care can significantly improve the quality of life for those affected.

Dementia Resources in Alberta

1. Alberta Health Services (AHS)

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is a primary resource for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. AHS offers a wide range of services, including:

  • Dementia assessment and diagnosis
  • Memory clinics
  • Geriatric assessment programs
  • Home care services
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Respite care
  • Caregiver support programs

To access these services, individuals can contact their local AHS office or visit the AHS website for more information.

2. Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, education, and advocacy for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, as well as their caregivers. Some of the resources offered by the Alzheimer Society include:

  • Support groups for individuals with dementia and their caregivers
  • Educational workshops and seminars
  • Helpline for information and support
  • MedicAlert Safely Home program for individuals at risk of wandering
  • Minds in Motion program, which combines physical activity and mental stimulation

The Alzheimer Society also provides valuable online resources, such as fact sheets, brochures, and a resource library, which can be accessed through their website.

3. Dementia Advice Alberta

Dementia Advice Alberta is a telephone service provided by AHS that offers information, support, and referrals for individuals with dementia, their caregivers, and healthcare professionals. The service is available Monday to Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and can be reached by calling 811.

4. Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network (SCN)

The Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) is an initiative by AHS that focuses on improving the health and well-being of older adults in Alberta. The SCN has developed several resources related to dementia care, including:

  • The Alberta Dementia Strategy and Action Plan
  • Best practice guidelines for dementia care
  • Educational resources for healthcare professionals
  • Research initiatives to improve dementia care

5. Dementia Network Calgary

Dementia Network Calgary is a collaborative organization that brings together individuals, organizations, and communities to support those affected by dementia in the Calgary area. The network offers a variety of resources, including:

  • Community events and education sessions
  • Support groups for individuals with dementia and their caregivers
  • Dementia-friendly programs and activities
  • Resource directory of local services and supports

6. Covenant Health

Covenant Health is a Catholic healthcare organization that operates several continuing care facilities across Alberta, many of which specialize in dementia care. These facilities offer:

  • Specialized dementia care units
  • Personalized care plans
  • Recreational and social activities
  • Spiritual care services
  • Family support and education

7. Seniors' Centres and Community Organizations

Many seniors' centres and community organizations throughout Alberta offer programs and services specifically designed for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. These may include:

  • Day programs and respite care
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Support groups and counseling services
  • Educational workshops and seminars

To find local resources, individuals can contact their municipal government or search online for seniors' centres and community organizations in their area.

8. Online Resources

In addition to the organizations and services mentioned above, there are numerous online resources available for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Some reputable websites include:

  • Dementia Connections (dementiaconnections.ca)
  • Dementia Journey (dementiajourney.ca)
  • Dementia Friends Canada (dementiafriends.ca)
  • Alzheimer's Association (alz.org)
  • Dementia Care Central (dementiacarecentral.com)

These websites offer a wealth of information, including educational materials, coping strategies, and support forums.

Supporting Caregivers

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be emotionally and physically demanding. It is crucial for caregivers to prioritize their own well-being and seek support when needed. In addition to the resources mentioned above, caregivers in Alberta can access the following supports:

  • Caregiver support groups
  • Respite care services
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Caregiver education programs
  • Caregiver financial assistance programs

Caregivers are encouraged to reach out to their local AHS office, the Alzheimer Society, or other community organizations to learn more about the support services available to them.

Planning for the Future

As dementia progresses, it is essential for individuals and their families to plan for the future. This may include:

  • Advance care planning
  • Legal and financial planning
  • Long-term care options
  • End-of-life care

Resources such as AHS, the Alzheimer Society, and legal professionals can provide guidance and support in navigating these important decisions.

Dementia is a challenging condition that affects many individuals and families in Alberta. However, with the right resources and support, it is possible to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia and their caregivers. By accessing the various services and organizations available in Alberta, individuals can find the help they need to navigate this difficult journey. Remember, you are not alone – there is a strong network of support ready to assist you every step of the way.

If you or a loved one are in need of dementia resources in Alberta, we encourage you to reach out to the organizations and services mentioned in this blog post. At Eirene Cremations, we understand the challenges faced by families affected by dementia, and we are here to provide compassionate support during difficult times. If you have any questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our caring team.

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