Dementia is everyone’s concern

The Penticton Community Centre is home to a new program offering physical and social activity for people living with dementia and caregivers

January is Alzheimer Awareness Month and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. has launched a new activity program in Penticton at the Community Centre.

Every year, thousands of British Columbians receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. But it’s not just about numbers. Friends, family members, colleagues, and others in Penticton also experience the personal and social impact of dementia.

“It’s about making dementia not just someone else’s problem but everyone’s concern. Dementia should be a cause that we can all rally around because we embrace people living with the disease,” said Maria Howard, chief executive officer for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.

In time with Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the society has launched a new Minds in Motion program in Penticton.

Minds in Motion is a weekly exercise and social activity program for people living with early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia along with a family member or care partner.

The new program began earlier this month and takes places at the Penticton Community Centre.

“Staying physically active and socially engaged can be very important for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia,” said Mary Beth Rutherford, program co-ordinator for the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

Minds in Motion includes 45 minutes of light physical activity guided by a certified fitness instructor, followed by games and social activities.

“It’s a great way of connecting with other people on the dementia journey,” said Rutherford.

People in the early stages of dementia and care partners can register by contacting the Penticton Community Centre at 250-490-2426.

To learn more about support, education and information offered by the Alzheimer Society of B.C., visit People who would like to volunteer with the society can learn about volunteering opportunities at the website.

Throughout January, you can also use the hashtag #InItForAlz to spread the word that “it’s not just their disease. It’s ours too.”

Related: Couple copes with Alzheimer’s

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