A Brief History of Our Chapter
The Alzheimer Society of Chatham-Kent was started by a group in 1983 that was affected by Alzheimer's disease. It was identified that there was a lack of resources and support services available. Informal meetings were first held at the home of Grace LaMarsh.
In 1986, the Alzheimer Society of Chatham-Kent received its charitable registration number and achieved full chapter status. The first office opened that year with funding secured from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The first Board President was instrumental in advocating for funding for the Day Program.
After much negotiating and several moves, we are proud of our locations at both 36 Memory Lane in Chatham and 212 Elizabeth Street in Wallaceburg. The Chatham location houses our Day Program, Support Services and administrative staff. The Wallaceburg location houses our Day Program for residents in the northern part of Chatham-Kent.
The Rising Tide Study, published by the Alzheimer Society of Canada in 2010, clearly demonstrates that the need for our services is increasing steadily. With the assistance of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, we now have First Link™ funding from the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). This province-wide program is designed to make connections with clients earlier in the disease process in order to provide the best supports at the best time and avoid a crisis situation.
In January of 2012, the Alzheimer Society of Chatham-Kent was selected to be the Lead Community Agency for the Behavioural Supports Ontario Program for the Erie St. Clair LHIN. The amount of $2.41M of new annualized funding has been dedicated to the program creating 25 new jobs to assist those with responsive behaviours in our communities. In March of 2013, an additional $200K was added to sustain the program.
The Alzheimer Society of Chatham-Kent is grateful to the Erie St. Clair LHIN for its continued support in ensuring that those affected by Alzheimer's disease or related dementias have much-needed services available to them.