The need for closeness is a very important and natural part of our lives. It’s also an area that can be affected when a family member lives with dementia. To help Saanich families whose relationships are impacted by dementia, the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. brings two workshops to the area next month as part of its Dementia Dialogues series.
The first, Coping with Changes in Behaviour, runs on Tuesday, March 6 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
“Behaviour is an attempt to communicate,” explains Meriel Randerson, one of the society’s support and education co-ordinators for Greater Victoria. “But understanding why a person living with dementia is behaving in a certain way can sometimes be a challenge.”
The workshop helps families meet the challenge by reviewing a four-step problem-solving method and applying it to everyday situations caregivers may encounter.
“You will leave feeling more confident that you can care for your person in a supportive manner that helps reduce their stress and yours,” said Randerson.
The second workshop, Changes in Intimacy as Dementia Progresses, takes place on Monday, March 12. It is only for spouses/partners of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
The 90-minute session will help participants who have noticed their feelings toward their partner have changed when it comes to intimacy. They may not be sure what to say or how to respond any more.
The workshop will explore the impact dementia can have on a couple’s relationship, and offer tips on how to maintain closeness in ways that respect their own feelings.
It runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Alzheimer Resource Centre, 202 – 306 Burnside Rd. West. Pre-registration is required by contacting 250-382-2052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshops are offered through the Society’s First Link dementia support. Dementia Dialogues are interactive learning opportunities for family caregivers to connect with one another and increase their knowledge about dementia and caregiving skills. Each session is an opportunity to learn about a different caregiving topic followed by a guided discussion.
The informal sessions are facilitated to allow caregivers to share their experiences and to take home practical information.