The Brain Canada Foundation and the Alzheimer Society of Canada have teamed up to offer Dementia Talks! Canada, a series of free educational webinars.
Many Canadians are impacted by dementia — not only the 600,000-plus people living with dementia in Canada right now but also their friends, family members, colleagues, and care partners. Dementia is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in Canada, and it’s estimated that one in five Canadians have experience caring for someone living with dementia. These numbers are only expected to grow.
Despite the prevalence of dementia in Canada, there remains a lack of awareness of the disease and a lot of stigmas associated with it. Fortunately, people living with dementia and their family care partners have places to turn to for support and community.
Living with dementia or caring for someone with dementia can feel isolating and overwhelming. Although dementia is increasingly common, finding safe and trustworthy sources of information — as well as community hubs that bring people together — can be a challenge.
Mario Gregorio of Burnaby, B.C., found out that he had dementia caused by vascular cognitive impairment with a possible diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2008, at the age of 57. He has since become an advocate for those living with dementia, especially people with early-onset cognitive impairment. “Because of the stigma associated with the disease, there’s a lot of misconception and fear about dementia,” he says. “Fortunately, with a little help from my friends, I can still live well in my community.”
The Dementia Talks! Canada webinar series provides a practical, reliable method to learn more about dementia in Canada through a collection of topic-focused conversations led by researchers, people living with dementia, and family care partners.
Let’s talk about dementia
Aside from the assistance of his friends, one of the resources that Mario is utilizing is Dementia Talks! Canada, a monthly webinar series presented by the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Brain Canada Foundation, two of Canada’s leading national non-profit organizations focused on brain diseases such as dementia.
“The Dementia Talks! Canada webinar series provides a practical, reliable method to learn more about dementia in Canada through a collection of topic-focused conversations led by researchers, people living with dementia, and family care partners,” says Kaitlyn Jaggers, Research Lead of the Research Program at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. “It’s meant to be a conversational type of platform to delve into important topics.”
Topics covered include young onset dementia, 2SLGBTQIA+ in the dementia space, assistive technologies, and more. The webinars are free for all to attend, and participants can learn directly from people affected by dementia, like Mario — who participated in a recent Dementia Talks! webinar on the importance of an active lifestyle.
Participants can also learn about the latest research findings, which instills hope, as well as available resources and supports. But, most importantly, they can know that they’re not alone on their journey with dementia.
“This webinar series allows people with lived experience of Alzheimer’s disease and dementias to engage directly with researchers working in the field,” says Dr. Viviane Poupon, President and CEO of Brain Canada. “We’re proud to partner on initiatives like this that lead to advances for patients and their families.”
Dementia Talks! Canada has been made possible by the Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF), an innovative arrangement between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada), the Brain Canada Foundation, and the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Minister of Health or the Government of Canada.