Christmas can be a tough time for those suffering from dementia. (File photo)

Christmas can be a tough time for those suffering from dementia. (File photo)

Alzheimer’s Society helping Okanagan residents prepare for the holidays

Webinars look at new challenges COVID-19 brings and how that affects those with dementia

The winter season brings along with it many different festivals and holidays and, for many Okanagan residents, socializing with family, friends and our wider community. The current COVID-19 situation is presenting new challenges and uncertainty to what can be an already stressful time – a feeling that is even more acute for people affected by dementia in the area.

Remembering a grandchild’s name, being included in group conversations or visiting a new place are all experiences that may challenge a person living with the disease and affect their experience of the holidays. To increase awareness and provide strategies to help local caregivers and people living with dementia prepare for the holidays during COVID-19, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is offering two free webinars this month.

“The holidays can present difficulties for people living with dementia for a multitude of reasons,” Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s provincial coordinator Carly Gronlund said. “Large groups of people, different activities happening at the same time, background noise, unfamiliar places and visual stimulus like flickering candles – these factors can all easily lead to sensory overload for a person living with dementia.”

This year’s holiday gatherings will undoubtedly look different and that uncertainty can add additional challenges for people living with dementia, caregivers, family members and friends.

READ MORE: Vernon author documents dementia journey

In the first of the two webinars, caregivers will learn how to adapt their plans to minimize stress during the holiday season. This one-hour session will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. and will provide strategies on several topics, including gift giving and visiting in care.

The second session will be the first of the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s new ‘Lived experience’ webinar series which is created by people with lived experience of the disease. In this webinar, on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m., two people living with dementia will share the impact of COVID-19 on their preparations for this holiday season. This session will focus on the experience that people living with dementia have and explore why it looks different, including the differences for someone who lives with a partner compared to someone who lives alone in the community.

“It’s important to understand what a person may find challenging, so that we can adapt accordingly. Even small changes can make a big difference and ensure everyone has the best holiday experience possible,” Gronlund said.

The Society hosts free dementia education webinars every week for anyone affected by dementia or interested in learning more. Other upcoming webinars include:

  • Virtual visits: Making the most of video calling (Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m.): Explore strategies to maximize success when video calling.
  • Long distance caregiving (Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m.): Practical tips on providing meaningful caregiving support from a distance. For caregivers.
  • Driving and dementia (Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m.): Learn how dementia may affect a person’s driving abilities and strategies to ease the transition for driving cessation. For caregivers and people living with dementia.

To register for any of these webinars, visit alzbc.org/webinars.

READ MORE: Care home restrictions break Lake Country couple’s heart


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Alzheimer's DiseaseChristmas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Christmas Lights
This nativity scene at the home of Paul Biro, organizer of the Summerland Drive-By Light Up, was just one of many parts of his elaborate display. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
VIDEO: Summerland holiday lights on display

Drive-by light-up on Nov. 27 showed some of the many festive season decorations

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

The video was used for (KGH Foundation - YouTube)
Okanagan filmmaker, poet win at L.A. Film Awards

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and filmmaker David Nault produced the commercial

Okanagan College students Michael Ochoa and Tallin Gregoire, both members of the Okanagan Indian Band, raised the Okanagan Nation Alliance flag on July 16, 2019,  outside the Vernon campus. (Karissa Gall photo)
First Nations reconciliation personified at Okanagan College

President Jim Hamilton’s foresight has opened post-secondary education doors for Okanagan College’s Indigenous students

A Summerland municipal employee has tested positive for COVID-19. (Summerland Review file photo)
Summerland municipal employee tests positive for COVID-19

Employee now self-isolating and recovering at home

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Join Rob Dinwoodie and bandmates for a Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 11 and 12 at Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. Seating is cabaret style on the stage for an intimate concert. (Contributed)
North Okanagan cowboys go virtual for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas streamed Dec. 11-25

Vernon is getting in the Christmas spirit with many homes decorating with lights and extras. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Christmas lights tour mapped out by Vernon realtor

More than 20 of the community’s best lit houses make up annual tradition

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Salmon Arm RCMP say some patrons have been harassing local businesses over mask requirements. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses report being harassed over mask rules

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

Salmon Arm RCMP officers attended two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28.  (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Most Read