Calgary seniors and people living with dementia are at higher-than-usual risk of crisis during the COVID-19 outbreak. Families have lost essential respite options such as Adult Day Programs and home care, resulting in increased emotional and physical stress. Caregivers and/or the person with dementia can sometimes end up in hospital during crisis situations. It is vital that we help families stay at home and avoid additional strain on our healthcare system.
The Alzheimer Society of Calgary is building internal capacity to help more local caregivers and families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia during this time.
To respond to the increasing need for support and education at home during the pandemic, we are transitioning many of our programs and services online. There is a demonstrable appetite for digital education and support, evidenced by the responses we have received since moving our services online in April, as well as a growing number of people accessing information on our web site (almost 60,000 people visited www.alzheimercalgary.ca in 2019). We need to be equipped and ready to meet this growing need.
Currently, our ability to deliver programs and services digitally is hindered by our dated IT infrastructure. Staff working from home are experiencing issues with connectivity, speed and access to files and data.
Upgrading our current system will significantly increase productivity for our team, ultimately allowing us to reach a larger number of impacted people, including those living in rural areas. Being able to respond quickly is absolutely essential for our team right now. Without a strong IT infrastructure, we are worried about our ability to continue responding quickly to the growing and complex number of requests we expect to receive in the next few months.
This upgrade is essential to reaching families and caregivers during this pandemic and will empower us to continue delivering critical services and programs to a wider audience for years to come.
Thank you for considering this application by the Alzheimer Society of Calgary.
The Alzheimer Society of Calgary (Alzheimer Calgary) supports local families impacted by dementia. With the help of donors like you, we strive to enable local people impacted by dementia to have an enhanced quality of life. Alzheimer Calgary also builds the capacity of the community to support and care for those living with dementia.
A dementia diagnosis can be overwhelming for families, and the question of ‘now what?’ often comes to mind. Fear, loss and anger are only a few emotions people experience following a diagnosis. Knowing there is support available provides hope and comfort when faced with a future of many unknowns.
Our Story – Why We Exist
Donors like you are providing hope and comfort for thousands of families – local people like Colette.
Preparing to downsize to a condo and travel the world, everything was suddenly in jeopardy as a feared nightmare became a reality. Colette had become aware of Rod’s memory troubles a few years ago, but the severity didn’t sink in until she was forced to take action after an upsetting event disrupted one of their vacations.
On a trip to the Dominican Republic, Rod found himself disoriented and unable to follow the tour guide on an expedition. This lead to him getting separated from his group and becoming lost on a remote Caribbean island.
No longer able to ignore the signs and symptoms, Colette took Rod to see a specialist as soon as they got home. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia.
Devastated and unsure of where to begin, Colette became depressed and felt alone. She turned to Alzheimer Calgary for help.
Colette and Rod found hope when they thought all hope was lost.
Colette connected with the support team at Alzheimer Calgary, where she received emotional support and practical advice. She discovered new resources to help her and her husband manage.
Over the years, Alzheimer Calgary has stayed in touch with Colette and her husband. They have adjusted to their new reality and living well together.
Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, families facing a dementia diagnosis know they are not alone.
Our Impact – What We Do
There are 17,000 individuals in the Calgary zone living with dementia and this number is on track to double over the next decade. With each diagnosis, a further 10 – 12 people are directly impacted – family members, friends, coworkers, community members and more.
For thousands of local families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, Alzheimer Calgary is where community, insight and empowerment begin. Thanks to donors like you, local people impacted by dementia are supported, enhancing quality of life and building community capacity to support and care for them.
Your gift improves the lives of local people affected by dementia.
For more details on our impact, visit our most recent Annual Report: 2020 Report to the Community.
Our Programs – How We Do It
Support: Connect with a friendly voice or explore local support groups. Take advantage of confidential one-on-one support sessions with registered social workers. This became exceptionally important in 2020 when families were faced with a global pandemic that shifted visiting opportunities at long-term care facilities, increased isolation and created complexities in care never seen before.
Meaningful Education: This is where people of all ages come to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; the warning signs; prevention and risk reduction. We teach people how to become exceptional caregivers. And we offer workshops for anyone employed in all types of dementia care, too. We are also the exclusive licensees of the Best Friends™ Approach in Alberta.
Care: Our Club 36 Adult Day Program provides people with dementia the opportunity to make new friends and participate in meaningful, success-oriented activities while their caregivers enjoy a break from their responsibilities. In 2020, Club 36 launched an innovative, outstanding virtual adult day program to continue supporting families.
“By giving me a chance to ‘recharge my batteries’, I have more energy to care for my husband at home.”
– A local caregiver
We need your help.
70% of our funding comes from the continued support of donors, funders and corporate supporters just like you. Your gift helps local families find connection, hope and empowerment.
Learn more about how much impact your gift has in the local community and make a donation online. Click here for info.
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Thank you for your support of local families!