THUNDER BAY – The Alzheimer Society asks the Thunder Bay community to join together to create a safe environment – as the number of Ontarians with dementia is expected to rise from the current 200,000 to 255,000 in 4 years. A Finding Your Way® Town Hall Meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, from 8:30am-12:00pm at the Victoria Inn’s Kensington Room. This event is stemming from last year’s meeting and we look to continue a community conversation as updates occur. We will provide an opportunity to discuss and share the issues surrounding dementia and wandering, learn about the local efforts already in place, and assist in creating a future action plan to increase community effectiveness to reduce risks in our neighbourhoods.
Finding Your Way is a new provincial program developed by the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and funded by the Government of Ontario. Aimed at educating community partners and the general public on the basics of dementia, it is also an important resource on how to keep people with dementia safe in our communities. 60% of people with dementia go missing at some point, and half of those who go missing for longer than 24 hours end up injured or dead. Finding Your Way gives information that covers all aspects of keeping people safe – from proactive safety measures and what to do when someone has gone missing, to proper procedures if you find someone who seems lost.
“We all have a part to play in keeping people living with dementia safe in our community”, says Public Education Coordinator Deanna Bessel. “A few years ago, my Grandmother left her long term care home wearing only a light jacket and slippers in the rain. She made it 4 km before someone finally stopped to help her – and that was only after she had fallen and was lying on the sidewalk. We need to be more vigilant!”
The Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay is taking the lead in sharing this resource with the public and key partners, as they too play a vital role in the safety of people in our community. For information and to receive helpful tools, visit the Finding Your Way website at www.findingyourwayontario.ca, or call 807-345-9556. In addition to the online platform, the Society offers in-person seminars that cover Finding Your Way, and have a number of printed resources.