Community Connections | Aging Population

Alzheimer Society of Calgary

The Alzheimer Society of Calgary has been a source of knowledge, support and care for local people impacted by dementia for almost forty years. There is no known cause or cure and regardless of race, gender, family history, occupation or social status, anyone can be affected.

Our Story

Why We Exist

Caregivers experience better outcomes when they have access to emotional support and resources, early in the process. We help local people like Colette who after a phone call and an in-person meeting, had a new outlook on the future and her husband’s condition.

Preparing to downsize to a condo and travel the world, everything was suddenly in jeopardy as their worst 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 the Alzheimer Society of Calgary for help.

Colette and Rod found hope when they thought all hope was lost

Colette connected with the support team at the Alzheimer Society of Calgary, where she received emotional support and practical advice. She discovered new resources to help her and her husband manage.

Over the years, the Alzheimer Society of Calgary has stayed in touch with Colette and her husband. They have adjusted to their new reality and living well together.

Read about other local lives transformed – with help from the Alzheimer Society of Calgary

Meet Judy: Judy cared for her mother, Winnie – an indomitable spirit who put 110% effort into everything she did. She was only in her 60s when she first started exhibiting early signs of dementia. Read her story here.

Meet Samantha & Shawn: Shawn was the mother that all of Samantha’s friends wanted to have. The one you could talk to about anything. At just 56, Shawn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Samantha became her primary caregiver – at 27. Read their story here.

Meet Angela & Clyde: Soon after Clyde retired at age 55, Angela began noticing subtle changes. “Our social worker at the Alzheimer Society of Calgary was such a calming presence. She helped me access lots of resources for now and for the future.” Read their story here.

Our Impact

What We Do

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.

For thousands of families in Calgary and surrounding area, you are helping provide this hope and comfort.

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.

Our Impact | Report to the Community – Fiscal 2019 (April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019)

2018/2019 was a year of real progress – of convening the best people to tackle complex and pressing issues around dementia head on; of putting practices learned into action; and of speaking out to ensure those impacted have a credible, knowledgeable voice to stand up for them.

  • The groundbreaking symposium Dementia Re-imagined brought world-renowned, international speakers to Calgary to discuss developments in dementia care.
  • Conversation Cafes – which give social, agenda-free spaces to anyone impacted by dementia – gained momentum and expanded across the city.
  • Our partnership with Gordie Howe C.A.R.E.S. enabled more Calgarians to access public and professional education programs and enhanced creative programming benefiting people with dementia at our Club 36 Adult Day Program.
  • In October 2018, the Alzheimer Society of Calgary became the first Canadian Training Centre for Opening Minds through Art (OMA) helping other organizations with dementia programming learn how to facilitate the OMA program within their own care setting. This is part of a capacity-building approach the Society is taking to ensure the rising needs of the community are met over the coming years.
  • More than 2,000 members of the public attended educational sessions provided at locations around the city. Revered experts such as Dr. Hogan presented leading edge information on research and care to an audience of local families and caregivers.

None of this would be possible without your support. Your gift improves the lives of local people affected by dementia and for this we are grateful.

For thousands of local families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, this is where community, insight and empowerment begin. The Alzheimer Society of Calgary is committed to supporting local people impacted by dementia – enhancing quality of life and building community capacity to support and care for them.

Jeanne Bentley founded the Alzheimer Society of Calgary in 1981. She, along with a small group of volunteers, were determined to provide resources and support to families, like their own, who needed help and support throughout their journey of impact.

View more personal stories of impact here:  2019 Report to the Community

Our Programs

How We Do It

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or alone – no matter what you’re facing, or how dementia has impacted your life. It’s never too early or too late to reach out to the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. Our team is here to support you along the way.

Contact us

Support: Connect with a friendly voice or explore local support groups. Take advantage of confidential one-on-one support sessions with registered social workers.

  • 2019 Results: 3,200 people received over-the-phone and in-person support and 56,000 people accessed education and information on the Alzheimer Society of Calgary website

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 the exclusive licensees of the Best Friends™ Approach in Alberta.

  • 2019 Results: 96% of public education participants increased their knowledge and understanding of dementia

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.

  • 2019 Results: 95% of people feel that Club 36 is assisting the member to continue to live in the community, and delay or prevent placement in a care facility

Club 36 is a favourite for people with dementia and their caregivers in Calgary.

“By giving me a chance to ‘recharge my batteries’, I have more energy to care for my husband at home.”

– A local caregiver

Our Requests

What You Can Do

70% of our funding comes from the continued support of donors, funders and corporate supporters just like you. Your gift supports our ability to respond to the increasing essential needs in the community, like confidential phone support; caregiver education; awareness-building and respite care.

Why Your Gift Matters

Learn more about how much impact your gift truly has in the local community and make a donation online. Click here for info.

Your gift is:

  • immediate
  • tangible
  • and stays 100% local

You’re helping to give real emotional support and practical advice to local families – contributing toward a future where all people impacted by dementia can live life well. We are truly grateful for your support.

There are many ways to give. Click here for more info.

Becoming a monthly donor is one of the easiest ways to help change local lives and even small contributions every month add up to significant impact over time.