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Dementia and Families

About Dementia

The word dementia is a general term that refers to a cluster of symptoms caused by physical changes to the brain. To learn more about dementia, please visit:

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia (Alzheimer Society of BC)

Deconstructing Dementia (Island Health Magazine)

Getting to Know Dementia (UBC)

Dementia Disorders – Frontotemporal (.pdf) (National Institute on Aging)

Research on Dementia Care

The Cognitive Health Initiative (CHI) on Vancouver Island is a five-year, innovative clinical research program supported through a generous donation from a Victoria family with significant matched in-kind support from Island Health and the University of Victoria.

The collaborative partnership between Island Health, the University of Victoria, University of BC and Island Medical Program will integrate leading-edge research into the advancement of evidence-based practice to improve cognitive health for our aging population.

Caring for a Loved One

Caregivers usually say that their most important goal is to care for their loved one. However, it is also important to remain physically and mentally healthy in order to care for others. The following materials are available to help families care for themselves and their loved one:

Grief, Loss and Dementia

Much of what caregivers express as burden is actually unresolved grief. The following videos and workbook for caregivers and families provide information about common losses related to caregiving, their potential negative impact and the importance of acknowledging and supporting grief.

Order the DVD: The following videos and workbook, plus a fourth video “Supporting Dementia Caregivers” are available on DVD. To order, email MediaSales@viha.ca.

Download the workbook: Understanding and Managing Loss and Grief (.pdf)

Watch the videos:

Part 1: A Thousand Subtractions

Part 2: The Long Goodbye

Part 3: Strength for the Journey

Local Resources

Alzheimer Society of BC

Please visit the Alzheimer Society of BC to learn about dementia and supports available in your community. Be sure to visit their Vancouver Island page for local events, resources and news.

Family Caregivers Network Society

The Family Caregivers’ Network Society serves the Greater Victoria area and the Southern Gulf Islands. They offer some support groups and provide advice on resources available to families. They also provide a listing of other supports across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands and a resource toolkit with links to other agencies.

Respite Care

Some caregivers may need a temporary break from looking after their family member. Visit the Respite Care and Adult Day Services pages to find out what is available through Island Health and how to apply.

Care Options

There may come a time where you can no longer provide the amount of care your loved one requires. Visit the Island Health Home and Community Care page for information about assistance at home and other services.