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Fraser-Fort George caregivers invited to share how arts strengthen their resiliency

A caregiver plays an important role in the life of many people living with dementia. While it can be a rewarding process, it can also be stressful and demanding.

Finding interests and passions beyond caregiving can help reduce emotional stress and avoid burnout. A connection to arts across different media, for example, may help Fraser-Fort George caregivers support their health and resilience on the dementia journey.

“I have found that being creative helps me get to deep areas of my being, where fragile emotions reside and are difficult to explain or even acknowledge,” says caregiver Lorraine delaMorondiere, who has years of experience caregiving for family members on the dementia journey. “Allowing myself to sink into the creative process enables me to gently reveal, validate and soothe those raw feelings.”

In B.C. alone, more than 50,000 care partners – family members, friends or neighbours – are currently supporting people living with dementia. Almost 68 million support hours have been provided in 2022.

delaMorondiere is one of the speakers in an upcoming Alzheimer Society of B.C. webinar available to residents of the Fraser-Fort George region and throughout B.C. The presenters will discuss the value of having a creative outlet. They’ll also provide suggestions about how to get started with artistic exploration as a way of coping and finding meaning as a caregiver for someone living with dementia.

“We hope to encourage all caregivers to find unique ways to relieve caregiving stress,” says Lori Kelly, provincial coordinator at the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “Artistic and creative activities can help you understand and reflect about yourself, which is a way to embrace self care. By sharing your art with others, you also receive community support, encouragement and inspiration so that they – and you – don’t feel alone, isolated and withdrawn.”

The webinar, “Lived experience: Caregivers’ creative expression of the dementia journey,” takes place on Wednesday, November 23, at 2 p.m. PT. To register, visit alzbc.org/caregiver-creativity.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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