At the Alzheimer Society, we talk a lot about the importance of becoming more dementia friendly and we recognize that, sometimes, the best way for people to get started in their own communities is to see what other local businesses and organizations are doing or have done.
Here are a few recent examples of dementia friendly work happening in Yorkton, Melville, and the surrounding rural areas that we are proud to share with you:
Gallagher Centre, Yorkton
The Gallagher Centre and City of Yorkton have worked with the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan and other collaborating organizations of the Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan project on several dementia friendly initiatives, including a dementia friendly audit of 11 City of Yorkton facilities and hosting a Dementia Friendly presentation for Gallagher staff from customer service, maintenance, and other departments on World Alzheimer’s Day.
Recently, Dale Brock, the new Facilities Manager of the Gallagher Centre, met with our Dementia Community Coordinator to do a walk-through of the building using a dementia friendly lens.
During the walk-through, Dale noted that reviewing recommendations from the City of Yorkton’s facilities audit - and implementing dementia friendly considerations identified in the audit - is his first big undertaking since starting in this role.
So far, Dale has a spreadsheet prepared that lists every location in the Gallagher Centre he wants to add wayfinding signs to, and he has installed a bench in the entry-way of the pool area for individuals who may need a place to rest or organize their belongings before entering. He added our Alzheimer Society tip sheets to the Gallagher staff’s electronic bulletin boards, so the tip sheets can be referenced often. Dale said there are also plans to install assistive lifts near the hot tub and lap pool in the Centre to help ensure all people can access them.
Thank you to Dale and the City of Yorkton for recognizing the value in making your environment(s) more welcoming and inclusive to people living with dementia and their care partners!
Eaglestone Lodge Personal Care Home Inc., Kamsack
After hearing about some of the dementia friendly work that’s already underway in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, the Recreation and Activity Director of Eaglestone Lodge Personal Care Home reached out and requested our ABC’s of Dementia presentation for their residents and families. After the presentation, our Dementia Community Coordinator answered attendees’ questions, provided additional rural-specific resources, and distributed our Friendly People Healthy Communities Guide to staff so they can incorporate ideas into their daily routines with Lodge residents.
Anytime Fitness Esterhazy and Yorkton locations
The owners of Anytime Fitness Esterhazy arranged a meeting with our Dementia Community Coordinator to learn how they could become more dementia friendly in their space and programming. During the meeting, they reviewed our Friendly People Healthy Communities Guide for recreation and leisure centres and identified several areas in which they could enhance accessibility in the gym.
Upon reviewing our Guide, the owners of Anytime Fitness realized that they have an opportunity with their new Moosomin location - that is currently under construction - to incorporate dementia friendly considerations from a structural standpoint.
After the meeting with Anytime Fitness Esterhazy, our Dementia Community Coordinator was also invited to tour their Yorkton location to help identify what they are doing well to serve their patrons who are living with dementia and/or their care partners, and areas that could be improved.
We commend Anytime Fitness’ willingness to learn more about dementia and incorporate dementia friendly concepts into all stages of their business, and we look forward to collaborating with them more in the future.
East Central Newcomer Welcome Centre, Yorkton
Last month, the East Central Newcomer Welcome Centre hosted our Dementia Community Coordinator for an orientation about dementia for their staff. Newcome Welcome Center Staff received our Alzheimer Society Guide and Toolkits for program planning, along with information from the Alzheimer Society of Canada about dementia in culturally diverse populations. The Centre hopes to arrange a public education opportunity with us about the warning signs of dementia in the future.
To help support community members, business representatives, and organizational leaders in becoming more dementia friendly, the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan has created numerous guides and checklists for specific sectors and environments, like libraries, pharmacies, and recreation centres.
If you would like more information or to learn more about how you or your organization can get involved, please email: [email protected]
About Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan:
Over the past three years, the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan has been partnering with the University of Regina in a project called Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan (DSRS). The project is focused on increasing the social inclusion of people living with dementia in rural communities. The project area is centred around Yorkton, Melville, and the surrounding rural communities.
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.