If you have a loved one who's been showing signs of dementia, you are probably scared or lonely. Fortunately, there's a range of services available in Drumheller to help you feel a little bit less alone.
Jackie Whiffen-Peteres works with the Drumheller & District Seniors Foundation. She explained that, although the Alzheimer Society doesn't have a physical presence in the Drumheller area, residents can still get benefit from the group's support.
"The Alzheimer Society of Canada does a lot with online education and classes, basically to inform people that there are so many different kinds of dementia other than actual Alzheimer's."
If you suspect that a loved one might be showing signs of dementia, cognitive testing by a health care professional is your next step.
If the tests result in a diagnosis of dementia, don't despair. Fortunately for Drumheller residents, Hillview is a long-term care facility right in town that can house people with dementia and keep them close to their family.
"So, you have to be assessed [by Home Care] to live at Hillview," Whiffen-Peters said. "You can't just fill out an application and come live with us. Hillview is a higher level of care."
The higher level of care offered at Hillview Lodge is supportive care, but medical care is also available.
"Supportive living means we have staff on 24 hours a day, but our clients, many of them have dementia, but they have to be able to feed themselves still," explained Whiffen-Peters. "We look after their accommodations and Home Care looks after their medical needs."
January is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month in Canada. More information about the society, along with tips for living with and having dementia diagnosed, can be found here.