Boosting Rural Collaboration


How Melville, Yorkton, and the surrounding communities are working to become more dementia friendly.

A group of yoga participants smiling and enjoying their class.

Imagine a neighbour choosing to stay at home instead of joining their friends for coffee because they’re worried they might get disoriented. Or, an anxious caregiver cancelling plans at the last minute out of fear they might be judged out in public. 

More than 60% of people living with dementia reside in their communities and want to do so as for as long as possible. However, statistics indicate that one in three people impacted by dementia may only leave the house once per week, which suggests stigma may exist and is preventing people living with dementia from fully participating in community life. Additionally, other barriers can be compounded in rural areas, due to challenges like public transportation, available services, and geographical distance.

Community changes everything when it comes to supporting people to live well with dementia. That’s why we are a part of Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan (DSRS) - five-year, federally funded project focused on increasing the social inclusion of people living with dementia in Yorkton, Melville, and the surrounding communities. And, that’s also why we have a Dementia Community Coordinator – Jackie Hofstrand – for the project area.

Jackie engages local businesses, organizations, and social clubs to build their knowledge of dementia and to explore considerations that could make it easier for someone with dementia to access their services. Here are a few highlights from Jackie’s most recent community collaborations:

•    This past week, Jackie was invited to attend a chair yoga class at the Yorkton Public Library to provide suggestions on how to make the program more inclusive for people affected by dementia. Both the instructor and the participants were eager to learn more about what dementia friendliness means and how they can apply it in their own communities. What’s more, the instructor expressed interest in developing a yoga class specifically for people living with dementia. Jackie plans to support the instructor throughout her development process.  

•    The manager of Yorkton Public Library said she sees great value in hosting our ABC’s of Dementia – Warning Signs presentation for their staff and other library personnel in the DSRS project area, as she feels it will help ensure all patrons receive responsive supports and services. Jackie and the manager have also discussed holding a dementia information session for community members in the new year.

•    Earlier this month, Jackie delivered our ABC’s of Dementia presentation to the managerial staff from the Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGNS). Staff from both their Yorkton and Kamsack locations were present and the feedback Jackie received is that the staff are hopeful they can use the information they learned to better support their clients. 

•    Jackie has also had several faith-based groups around Melville and Yorkton connect with her to get more information on how to become more accessible and welcoming for people living with dementia. In early 2022, Jackie will be making trips to more communities, including Kelleher, Langenburg, Melville, and Esterhazy, to continue our dementia friendly efforts. Watch for more dementia friendly resources popping up in a local business near you!

If you have questions about how you can become more dementia friendly, please contact:  

Jackie Hofstrand
Dementia Community Coordinator
Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan
(306) 783-6606

[email protected] 

The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

If you are looking forward to seeing family and friends this holiday season, you may want to be aware of the possibility that some of them may be experiencing changes in abilities, behaviour, and/or communication since you last saw them - changes that may be signs of dementia.

Join us for our ABC’s of Dementia – Warning Signs Presentation for Yorkton, Melville, and the surrounding communities:

Tuesday, December 21 - 1:00 – 2:00pm

Online via Zoom

Please click here to register


Related Links:


Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan is led by the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) at the University of Regina and is funded by the Government of Canada. 

Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan Partner Logos