Help build a dementia-friendly province at the Climb for Alzheimer’s

Smiling faces at the Climb for Alzheimer's

 

Thousands of British Columbians are affected by dementia; nobody should have to face that mountain alone. That’s why the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is inviting people to register and fundraise for the Climb for Alzheimer’s at Grouse Mountain on September 29, 2019. 

On this fun, invigorating hike up the Grouse Grind®, climbers show their commitment to helping people affected by dementia face the challenges of the journey. If participants don’t want to hike, they can take the gondola up the mountain and take part in the Summit Stroll. Funds raised help ensure people affected by dementia have access to programs and services across the province; they also make it possible for local communities to better support and welcome people living with dementia.

One of those projects is the Dementia-Friendly North Shore, which allows the Society to work with three municipalities – the City of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver – as well as Vancouver Coastal Health, to bring a dementia-friendly lens to the entire region. 

“Helping people living with dementia to live as independently as possible is an important part of being a healthy and inclusive city,” says Heather Evans, Community Planner for the City of North Vancouver. “We want to raise awareness of dementia and spur community action.”

“The heart of the Dementia-Friendly North Shore is our action plan,” says Cristina Rucci, Community Planner from the District of North Vancouver. “It sets out a number of priorities for all three communities – including community education, advocacy and training.”

Since the action plan was originally created in 2017, the three communities have come together on multiple projects to help roll it out across the North Shore. These projects include awareness campaigns and a “train-the-trainer” program that allows the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to train municipal staff who then educate their front-line colleagues and volunteers on how to work with members of the public who are living with dementia. Throughout the region, where 500 municipal workers have already been trained, many of them have already been able to put that training to use, offering help in situations where they thought dementia played a role.

With 60 per cent of people living with dementia still living directly in the community, initiatives like the Dementia-Friendly North Shore are bringing the Alzheimer Society of B.C. closer to achieving its vision of a province where people living with dementia, their families and caregivers are supported, included and welcomed – a truly dementia-friendly B.C. “When we started this project, we thought about who we were trying to help,” says Jill Lawlor, Community Recreation Manager at the City of West Vancouver. “We wanted to create a community where people living with dementia could live well. We knew that the average person travels across all three municipalities without considering their borders, so we knew that we all had to play an equal role in creating a dementia-friendly community for them.”

By climbing or strolling, Climb for Alzheimer’s participants will help share the message of hope and will demonstrate they are a part of a community that cares about locals affected by the disease. “We have a vision of creating a community where people are aware, educated and have a desire to help,” says Jill. “Whether you’re participating and fundraising in the Climb for Alzheimer’s or seeking out more information about how you can be dementia friendly, you’re helping people affected by the disease.”

This September 29, committed supporters, friends and family will head to Grouse Mountain to show that people don’t need to make the dementia journey alone. Take the challenge! Register and start fundraising today.

Last Updated: 08/26/2019