Lifestyles

Alzheimer conference held June 5 at Ramada

A day-long conference on Alzheimer's disease is coming to Abbotsford next month.

Hosted by the Alzheimer Society of B.C., (ASBC) the June 5 event is titled "The ME in Dementia: Increasing Understanding Along the Dementia Journey," and will take place at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre on North Parallel Road.

On average, one in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 live with dementia – and that means their families and friends live with its impact too.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in increasingly impaired memory, thinking, reasoning, and behaviour. Age is the single biggest risk factor: while dementia can affect people as young as 40, the risk doubles every five years after 65.

And approximately 14 per cent of the Abbotsford-Mission population – more than 24,000 people – is already 65 or older.

The first step to coping with this health issue, said Jan Robson, provincial coordinator of programs and services for ASBC, is education. "Greater awareness can reduce fears that many people still have about dementia."

The full-day session covers brain health, dementia and personal planning, and is designed to benefit all residents concerned about dementia, she emphasizes.

Presentations during the day include:

n "Heads Up” for a Healthier Brain: Strategies for improving the health of your mind, body and spirit;

n Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia: The difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and how the brain and behaviour are affected;

n communication and behaviour along the dementia journey: Explore ways to communicate with the person with dementia and understand how behaviour forms part of communication;

n personal planning: Legal options for planning ahead for the time when the person with dementia can no longer manage his or her affairs;

n research: Dr. Robin Hsiung from UBC will review some of the scientific progress being made in Alzheimer's disease research and its potential future clinical directions.

The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza & Conference Centre (36035 North Parallel Rd.). Pre-registration is required by May 30. For information call 1-855-742-4803 or email jrobson@alzheimerbc.org. Cost is $20.

For more information visit alzheimerbc.org.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.