Alzheimer’s Society of N.S. hosts a special talk series at the Central Library

By Steve Gow

When it comes to dementia, a lot of people have no idea where to go for answers or to find help.

That is why the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia has decided to come to the people instead.

New this year, the leading not-for-profit organization working to improve the quality of life for those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia has launched a week-long series of community events across the province to spread the truth about dementia.

“There’s all kinds of myths and misconceptions,” says Sacha Nadeau, the organization’s program director. “So we clear up what we can and make sure people don’t feel alone on this topic.”

Entitled Community Week, the events have been spread from one end of the province to the other with planned talks in Sydney, Baddeck, Truro, Port Williams, Antigonish, Milton and Yarmouth.

Here in Halifax, the event will take place from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24 in Paul O’Regan Hall at the Central Public Library on Spring Garden Road.

“All of our events are free,” notes Nadeau. “What we ask is that people register just so we have a sense of how many people are joining us (and) we make all our events hybrid now so if anyone prefers connecting virtually, there’s a live stream as well.”

Following the theme of ‘connecting changes everything’, the Community Week event will feature presentations from such experts as Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who is the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia’s client services and FirstLink outreach coordinator.

She will also be joined by the society’s manager of education and belonging, Kirstie Creighton as well as Erin Morice, a collection development librarian with Halifax Public Libraries.

“(This) is really just to join and learn from other people in their particular community, to learn how to live well with dementia and what some local resources are that could help,” adds Nadeau.

Doors will open early at 1:30 p.m. so people can browse tables that will showcase information and community resources about dementia.

According to Nadeau, there are around 17,000 Nova Scotians living with some form of dementia and those numbers are projected to double over the next 30 years.

For that reason, she says more support and awareness is needed in order to combat the myths and misinformation about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

She says events such as these grassroots community initiatives are well worth the effort to get more information to the public.

“Our doors are open to anyone, whether they are directly impacted, whether they work in this domain or whether they are just a member of the community or thinking about their own personal brain health,” says Nadeau. “It’s really important that people have a sense of not only the numbers, but things that they can do to empower themselves and reduce their own risk of dementia.”

To register or for more information about the Alzheimer Society’s Community Week events, visit the website.

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