Important voices in the dementia conversation: Delia Visscher
2016 marks the 35th Anniversary of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. As we celebrate throughout the year, we’ll be featuring interviews with important voices in the conversation around Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – people with dementia, caregivers, volunteers, donors and sponsors – who have worked with the Society to support the 70,000 British Columbians affected by the disease.
For May, we’re featuring Delia Visscher, one of the top fundraisers for the Scotiabank Half-Marathon & 5K. We interviewed Delia about her experience with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. Delia also recently participated in an episode of Boomer Life, talking about her experience of the disease and why she fundraises.
How did you first connect with the Alzheimer Society of B.C.?
When my husband Jans was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, we decided to seek as much information as possible for what lay ahead. Therefore we went to our local Resource Centre and met a wonderful staff member who spoke very knowledgably about the illness and gave us brochures on the various stages of the journey to come.
Is there something that stands out for you in your time with the Society that has meaning for you?
The monthly support meetings offer the atmosphere needed by the participants to vent and to learn from others of problems which might arise but which they have not yet had to face.
What keeps you connected with the Society?
The support groups keep me connected, access to new information, and the possibility of connecting any time when help is needed.
What do you hope the next 35 years will bring for dementia awareness?
I hope we see an understanding and appreciation of dementia as well as the needs of the people living with it, their caregivers, family and friends.
What would you tell others about dementia or the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.?
I would tell others not only to acquaint themselves with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, but would emphatically stress the need for knowledge and understanding of what a people living with dementia is going through to better help them on this journey.
I would urge them not to hesitate about contacting someone at the Alzheimer Society of B.C. with any questions or concerns. They would always find a compassionate ear and empathy along with knowledge of how best to proceed with resolving any problems.