With an aging population Kitimat is only too familiar with the effect that dementia has on individuals, families and the community.
Kitimat Valley Housing Society (KVHS) spokesperson Doug Thomson says this devastating disease eventually touches all families in one way or another.
“Our journey with this devastating disease, whether manifested in ourselves, a family member or a friend, is made easier when we are armed with knowledge,” said Thomson.
In order to give people an idea of what it’s like for someone to live with dementia, KVHS will host the Journey Through Dementia conference in Kitimat, a free one-day conference dealing with dementia, sponsored by LNG Canada.
The conference, which will be held at Riverlodge Recreation Centre on Wednesday, March 11, will feature expert presenters who will address participants on the disease, which currently affects over half a million Canadians.
Laurie De Croos from the Alzheimer Society in Prince George will share her extensive knowledge about dementia.
Dr. Shannon Freeman, associate professor at the University of Northern BC, will introduce participants to new technologies that can be of great help to both people living with dementia and their caregivers.
Local physiotherapist Angela Pace will present Four Pillars of Fall Prevention and representatives from Better at Home, Home Support and Mountainview Lodge will be there to discuss how their services can provide support to both people living with dementia and their caregivers.
The day will end with Thomson and fellow KVHS executive member Corinne Scott engaging attendees in a two-way conversation about the design and operational philosophy of the Dementia Care Home to be built on Loganberry Street in Kitimat.
The conversations will also be an opportunity for the public to forward suggestions, ask questions and tender opinions regarding the pilot project.
Registration ahead of the conference is essential, especially for anyone who would like to participate in the Virtual Dementia Tour.
The event begins with registration at 9:30 a.m., presentations beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continuing until 4:30 p.m. A free lunch donated by Horizon North will be provided to all registered participants.
A limited number of participants will also have an opportunity to experience a Virtual Dementia Tour, a window into the world of dementia through evidence-based dementia simulation. The tour requires registration and is limited by time to 60 participants.
Register in advance by phoning Riverlodge at 250-632-8970.