Shaping Community Health Together


On November 16th, the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan hosted two events to help residents from Yorkton and area learn more about dementia and what a dementia friendly community means. Read about the insight we gained from people’s lived experiences with dementia here.

Alzheimer Society and Yorkton Public Library staff standing in front of a magazine rack.

60% of people living with dementia are living in their homes in our communities and want to continue doing so as fully and as long as possible. However, people living with dementia and their care partners often face barriers of stigma and accessibility that can prevent them from participating in community life to their full capacity.

On November 16th, as part of the Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan project, we held two events to engage community members and important stakeholders in Yorkton and area. The goal of both events was to help local residents see themselves as our valued partners in creating more dementia friendly communities.  

We invited community leaders, along with representatives from Yorkton businesses, organizations, and shared interest groups, to a Community Stakeholder Luncheon and discussed some of the exciting dementia friendly work that is already underway in the area and how to keep the success moving forward, together. Themes that emerged from the conversation were centred around the need for more education and training around what dementia is and how to support individuals living with the disease, as well as the need for more caregiver supports and programming for people living with dementia.

Our Public Awareness Coordinator with members from Heritage Baptist Church's 55+ Group.
Members from Heritage Baptist Church's 55+ Group at our Community Stakeholder Luncheon with our Public Awareness Coordinator. The Group recently hosted us to facilitate our Dementia Friendly Communities presentation.
Two representatives from Yorkton Public Library sitting at a table after lunch.
Coralee Danyluk and Amber Harvey from Yorkton Public Library at our Luncheon. Yorkton Public Library has recently been selected as one of the top four finalists for an award through the National Dementia-Friendly Communities Awards Program for their ongoing efforts in and dedication to becoming more dementia friendly.

A member of Yorkton Tribal Council’s Health Services Department discussed how certain cultures prefer to keep aging family members at home, rather than explore other options for care, and how it can lead to more burn-out, exhaustion, and isolation. Other attendees shared examples of the stigma and fear that still exists around dementia, which can also cause feelings of loneliness for both people living with the disease and the people who care for them.

Representatives from Yorkton Public Library and the Society for the Involvement for Good Neighbours identified options for rapid counselling in Yorkton and noted how caregivers are included in this service. Other attendees at the Luncheon were appreciative of the additional supports and resources they received and could now offer to individuals and families they interact with.

Our Dementia Community Coordinator with Sgt. Burton Jones, Yorkton RCMP Detachment Commander.
S/Sgt. Burton Jones, Yorkton RCMP Detachment Commander, with our Dementia Community Coordinator, Jackie Hofstrand. Sgt. Jones shared how dementia-specific training and education is important for the police force so they can respond to people affected by dementia using the most up-to-date and supportive techniques.
Our Public Awareness Coordinator and Dementia Community Coordinator with numberous representatives from Yorkton's Dominion Chapel Ministry
Shawna Green from the Canadian Red Cross and Peter Laniya and other representatives from the Dominion Chapel Ministry, pictured with our Dementia Community Coordinator and Public Awareness Coordinator.

We also hosted a Community Public Forum at Yorkton Public Library, during the evening of November 16th where we talked with attendees about their lived experiences with dementia and shared information about Alzheimer Society programs and services.

Both events were an opportunity to introduce attendees to Carolee Zorn, our new First Link® Coordinator for Yorkton, Melville, and the surrounding rural communities. Carolee provides individualized support, information, and education to people living with dementia and their care partners as early as possible and throughout the progression of the disease. She also helps connect people to healthcare professionals and other community agencies and works with local health practitioners to build awareness about the benefits of referring their patients to our First Link® Program.

Our First Link Coordinator, Carolee Zorn, presenting at our Public Forum on Nov. 16th.
Our First Link® Coordinator, Carolee Zorn, sharing information about how she can help individuals and families live well with dementia.

Thank you to everyone in Yorkton and area who attended our event(s) to learn more about dementia and to those who provided insight into their lived experiences with dementia. Community changes everything when it comes to supporting people with dementia and their care partners. 

Join us for Understanding Dementia - A Community Presentation, featuring Dr. Andrew Kirk MD, FRCPC. Made possible by Conexus Credit Union.

January 24, 2023 @ 7 pm
Online via Zoom

Click here for more info and to register!

If you would like to learn more about Alzheimer Society supports and services, please contact our Dementia Helpline. The Dementia Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Call 1-877-949-4141 or [email protected].

To find out how you can get involved in our dementia friendly communities initiatives, please visit our website.

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

Logos of participating partners in the Dementia Supports in Rural Saskatchewan project.