Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Sparking conversations

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of Penticton for their encouraging response to January's annual Alzheimer Awareness Month and to our new social awareness campaign, "I live with dementia. Let me help you understand."

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of Penticton for their encouraging response to January’s annual Alzheimer Awareness Month and to our new social awareness campaign, “I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.”

Our campaign aims to spark conversations and encourage residents to see dementia differently. Stigma significantly affects the well-being of local people living with dementia. In order to build a dementia-friendly society, we need to move away from fear and denial of the disease, towards awareness and understanding.

This is a very pressing health issue for our aging population. Families across British Columbia are affected by Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Today, more than half a million Canadians have dementia and that number is expected to nearly double in the next 15 years.

You can still visit ilivewithdementia.ca. Find tips on how to be more dementia friendly, as well as resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to affect every single one of us. You can also use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.

We would like to thank our local staff and volunteers for their work. We also appreciate the Penticton media’s coverage of dementia issues. The stories help foster a better understanding of the impact this disease has on local families.

Mary Beth Rutherford, support and education co-ordinator, Alzheimer Society of B.C., South Okanagan and Similkameen.

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