Campaign will help Canadians who are living with dementia

Published on June 13, 2015

Martie Murphy, from left, president of the Alzheimer Society of P.E.I., joined Egmont MP Gail Shea, the society’s past president Lynn Loftus and CEO Corrine Hendricken-Eldershaw to launch Dementia Friends Canada in Charlottetown

©Submitted photo

A new campaign called Dementia Friends Canada aims to engage Canadians in understanding what it means to live with dementia and how better to support those affected within the community.

Over the next two years, Dementia Friends Canada will focus on two streams — workplaces and individuals — with the goal of engaging one million Canadians in a dialogue that will shed light on this disease.

Canadians will be encouraged to visit the website, view a short, informative video and register as a Dementia Friend, committing to an action as part of the process.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and Martie Murphy, president of the Alzheimer Society of Prince Edward Island, officially launched Dementia Friends Canada recently in Charlottetown to support the growing number of Islanders living with dementia.

“Dementia is increasing in prevalence in this country and it’s very costly to our health-care system, along with the other effects it has within our communities,” Shea said.

Simple actions such as being patient, speaking slowly and calmly, and asking short, simple questions, can help someone living with this disease to feel connected and supported.

Murphy said, “We’re passionate here at the Alzheimer Society of P.E.I. about making a difference in the everyday lives of people in our community. This is an exciting day for us and we’re really going to get behind Dementia Friends Canada in Prince Edward Island.”

Workplaces of all sizes across the country are encouraged to visit the website and contact the Alzheimer Society so that they too may become involved.

Dementia Friends Canada is modelled after Dementia Supporters in Japan and Dementia Friends in the United Kingdom.

The initiative will be run by the Alzheimer Society with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada.