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

The five per cent proposed tax increase for Princeton homeowners amounts to about $30 a year, says Princeton CFO James Graham. (Contributed)
Proposed tax increase for 2021 amounts to $30 for the average household

A five per cent tax increase, proposed by Princeton council in the… Continue reading

grapes.
Morning Start: Grapes light on fire in the microwave

Your morning start for Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

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

Grey Man recovering after having his leg amputated. AlleyCats, Facebook.
Cat allegedly shot by pellet gun in Oliver has leg amputated

Kelowna Veterinary Hospital performed an emergency surgery to remove the leg

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

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

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

The stage will be full as the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra takes the stage with Verdi’s Requiem - 2019, file photo (OSO photo)
Okanagan Symphony launches new season amid COVID-19

The new season will be live-streamed starting in 2021

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Trial begins for driver accused of fatal 2018 Highway 33 crash in Kelowna

An officer who pursued the vehicle said he saw the occupants of the car ejected upon impact

Revelstoke City Hall. (File)
Revelstoke COVID-19 cases spike to 46

Mayor Gary Sulz expects positive cases to increase

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Jessie Simpson’s mother is asking for Christmas cards to cheer her son up this holiday season. (Sue Simpson - Facebook)
Kamloops mom asking for Christmas cards for son

Jessie Simpson was beaten with a baseball bat in 2016 and now lives in a long-term care facility

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

Most Read