Stigma of dementia a barrier for families

Fort St. James families living with the impact of dementia are also coping with stigma, according to a new study.

Fort St. James families living with the impact of dementia are also coping with stigma, according to a new study.

Nearly three-quarters of people with dementia, and 64 per cent of family caregivers, believe there are negative associations for those diagnosed with dementia, says Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Another alarming statistic revealed in the ADI report: 40 per cent of people with dementia say they have been avoided or treated differently.

The report puts a spotlight on stigma as a real issue that impacts individuals and families who are living with Alzheimer’s disease,” says Leann e Jones, Support and Education Coordinator for Fort St. James and the Northern Interior for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.

“We want residents to know that there is hope and there are ways for overcoming stigma so that we can all better support families on the dementia journey and work with decision-makers to ensure that the rights of people living with dementia and their family caregivers are recognized.”

The Society offers education programs and support groups for both the individual who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia and their caregivers.

A free local support and information group serves as a forum for sharing practical tips and strategies for coping with the disease. It helps create support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.

For more information contact Jones at 250-564-7533, toll-free 1-866-564-7533 or ljones@alzheimerbc.org

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, visit the Alzheimer Society of B.C. website at www.alzheimerbc.org.

The Society leads a provincial effort to help transform dementia care in B.C. and gives the public tools to influence government and the health-care system to ensure that the delivery of services and community programs meet the needs of people affected by the disease and their families.