Verna Pierce got to visit with Bisquit the dog and owner Sandra D’Arcy at a recent Careforce Alzheimer Café in Kentville. - Wendy Elliott, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Wendy Elliott
“One quarter of all people over the age of 80 will develop dementia,” says nurse Nancy Blezy.
Every month, the Careforce Alzheimer Café is an opportunity for family members living with Alzheimer’s or memory loss to gather in a social setting.
The monthly café is designed to support individuals, family members or caregivers. Careforce organizer Nancy Blezy says the gathering is meant to be uplifting, informal and non-judgmental.
Blezy says dementia is an umbrella term for a number of ongoing gradual brain disorders that affect all areas of someone’s life. Alzheimer’s is the most common form, but there is also vascular dementia, lewy body dementia and frontal lobe dementia.
According to Blezy, whose mother has dementia, there are health causes for dementia related to diet and the risk of simply living a long time.
She added that there are genetic causes and brain trauma from sports is also thought to result in dementia.
“Research has shown that exercise helps reduce the risk,” Blezy said. “If you have a good heart, you’ll tend to have a good head.”
At the monthly café, she noted, “we celebrate the fact we have another day, because you never know from day to day. Information really helps people to adapt to their own individual situation.”
Participant Donna Taylor, who lost her husband to dementia, advises seniors to “get social and enjoy every day.”
“That’s right,” said Blezy. “We need to keep engaged with people.”
The café takes place on the second Tuesday of each month from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Kings Riverside Court in Kentville.