Did you know that January is Alzeimer’s Awareness Month? The Alzheimer’s journey can be challenging, so we’d like to provide some resources — particularly local resources — that can support those who are caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Alison van Schie of Alongside Caregiver Consulting is a Certified Caregiving Consultant and retired social worker who observed the need for more supports for caregivers, especially those who care for folks with dementia. She started her business to provide professional support and resources for caregivers. When the pandemic halted many in-person supports, she started the Island Treasures podcast for caregivers, which highlights caregiver stories to provide wisdom, insight, and resources that her caregiving guests have found helpful. Many of the podcast episodes address caring for a loved one with dementia or an elderly relative.
She is also a co-host of The Self-Caregiving Strategies podcast. Borne out of her co-host’s caregiving experience, the podcast offers a unique perspective to enhance the caregiving experience and help caregivers prioritize their own well-being, cope better, and avoid burnout.
The Alzheimer Society of BC offers many supports, including some local ones:
- First Link® Dementia Helpline – toll-free phone support for anyone affected by dementia
- Alzheimer Society of BC’s Minds in Motion® – a fitness and social program for people living with any form of early-stage dementia to attend with a family member, friend, or other care partner (available online and in person in north and central Vancouver Island)
Alison has graciously provided some additional links to local supports for caregivers helping family members and loved ones who are living with dementia.
- Caregiver Support Group – for information on dates and times, contact Alison through her website
- Comox Valley Senior Support Services – offers caregiver support and caregiver respite, amongst other programs
She also recommends the following:
- The DAWN Method – a strength-based approach to dementia care
- Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care – provides a wide variety of services to enhance awareness and increase dementia care skills
- The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss, by Nancy L. Mace, MA and Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH – considered by many to be an essential guide, this book provides practical and compassionate advice for those caring for memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias (there are 2 copies of the 2021 edition available through the Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Thank you, Alison, for helping to build our awareness of caregiver supports.