People with dementia can teach us

By Linda Bird, Director, Programs and Services Faye, Anne and Sandra
This year, we are bringing something new and exciting to Family Night: the launch of an 18-minute video featuring three remarkable woman, all living with dementia.

Not everyone with dementia is able to tell us what their life is like, how they are experiencing the symptoms, and what they do to compensate for their changing abilities. So when someone is able to, and willing to share their stories and struggles publicly, that is a real gift, an invaluable gift.

These women – Faye, Anne and Sandra – have been involved with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia over many years. And they have taught us a lot. I am a pretty visual learner and I remember Faye demonstrating a story about coming into the room with her sweater buttoned wrong. A well-meaning family member started to undue the buttons to fix the problem. Faye was startled and stepped back, saying, “I can do this myself, thank you very much.”

I love this story because it is a great example of how we sometimes want to help but don’t stop first to consider: Is this the best way? Is this what is needed? Is there a better choice?

In this video, these three women teach us lots of lessons about what helps them and how, in turn, we can offer support to them in meaningful, considerate ways. It will make you, as it did me, stop and think about how we respond to people with dementia, and how we would like to be treated if we were in their shoes.

We are hosting this public presentation on Monday, Oct. 23, at the Doubletree Hilton on Wyse Road in Dartmouth. The event is no cost, thanks to our sponsor, Northwood. The doors open at 6 p.m., with light refreshments and a chance to visit all the displays, pick up resources and talk to people in the field. From 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., we will have a public launch of our film, followed by a panel of specialists who can answer your questions.

And who knows, maybe some of our “stars” will be there as well! For more information, call 902-422-7961.

Last Updated: 10/17/2018