Alzheimer Society of B.C. unveils Dementia-Friendly Communities Toolkit at UBCM Convention for World Alzheimer’s Day
Today is World Alzheimer’s Day and municipal planners from around the province will be participating in the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM)’s 2015 Convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre. As part of the Convention, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. will promote Dementia-Friendly Communities, an initiative that launched in 2014 and has so far earned B.C. the first Dementia-Friendly Legislature in Canada.
“The Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative is an important opportunity to reduce stigma, as well as social and physical barriers that have a real impact on the quality of life of the people in our communities who are living with dementia,” says B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake.
In B.C. there are 70,000 people living with dementia, this number is expected to grow to 177,684 by 2034. The question of planning for the needs of people with dementia is becoming more important, because ensuring that people with dementia have opportunities for involvement and social interaction is critical. Municipalities have a key role to play, particularly in making sure that civic infrastructure is responsive to the needs of people with dementia.
“People with dementia may face challenges when shopping, banking, using transportation or visiting the post office,” says Maria Howard, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “However, with information, compassion and community engagement, there’s an opportunity to change this. UBCM is a great place to highlight the success and age- and dementia-friendly communities, exemplified by municipalities like New Westminster.”
The Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites British Columbians to think about how they would like to be remembered, as part of World Alzheimer’s Day. For more information about Dementia-Friendly Communities, visit alzbc.org/dementia-friendly-communities.