New Westminster and Valemount set to become dementia-friendly

The cities of New Westminster and Valemount, B.C. have become B.C.’s first dementia-friendly councils. Councillors from the City of New Westminster participated in Dementia Friends training hours before councillors in Valemount did the training.

New Westminster city councilors at January 2015 dementia training

“We are working with municipalities, professionals, corporations and volunteers to better support people with dementia through our Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative, and we are thrilled that the cities of New Westminster and Valemount are leading the way to have their city councils receive our dementia training,” says Maria Howard, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Sixty per cent of people with dementia live in the community by themselves or with a caregiver. Although many people with dementia live well in the community for quite a long time, staying engaged in the activities a person once enjoyed can become more difficult as their cognitive abilities change. Meanwhile, stigma, as well as social and physical barriers, can make it harder for people with dementia to feel supported and remain involved in their communities.

People with dementia often face challenges when going shopping, doing their banking, eating out at a restaurant or going to their local post office. They may also have difficulties using transportation, going on holidays, maintaining social contact or enjoying hobbies out in the community.

However, with information, compassion and community engagement, there is an opportunity to change this. The Dementia Friends education and training offered by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. will help everyone to take part in creating accessible, inclusive spaces for people with dementia. Contact Rebecca Morris at [email protected] to learn more about helping us to spread the word about the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Dementia-Friendly Community initiative.

Last Updated: 11/08/2017