Dementia Island Health

The word dementia is a general term that refers to a cluster of symptoms caused by physical changes to the brain.

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.

Watch Island Health's video series for caregivers

The following materials are available to help families care for themselves and their loved one:

Caregiver’s Manual - Dementia (Seniors Health Practice and Education, Island Health)
Getting to Know Dementia A Patients Guide
Caring for Seniors (Government of BC)
Caring for Someone with Dementia (Alzheimer Society of BC)
Family Caregiver Support Resources (Family Caregivers’ Network Society)
Become a Dementia Friend (Dementia Friends Canada)
Friends and Family Matter (Alzheimer's Australia)
Wandering and dementia (Alzheimer Society of BC)

Grief, Loss, and Dementia

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



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 of BC

Family Caregivers of BC serves the Greater Victoria area and the Southern Gulf Islands. 

FCBC offers FREE services for family and friend caregivers who provide unpaid care and support to people living with chronic disease, disability or frailty due to aging. Services include:

  • A Toll-Free Caregiver Support Line (1-877-520-3267) with one-to-one emotional support, health system navigation, information and referral, Brief Action Planning, and Caregiver Coaching by referral
  • Caregiver Support Groups in Greater Victoria
  • Caregiver Support Group Facilitator Training and Community of Practice for support group facilitators
  • Extensive online Caregiver Resource Center with resources and tools by caregiver topic; education and learning webinars, webinar recordings, e-learning modules, flip books and podcasts
  • Collaboration with community, health authority and government partners to include the family caregiver voice in health care policy and practice. 

Caregiver Support Line Toll Free: 1-877-520-3267 Fax 250-361-2660
#6-3318 Oak Street
Victoria, BC  V8X 1R1 

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.

Learn more

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 (National Institute on Aging)


News & Events

People unveiling a truth and reconciliation plaque.

Island Health Magazine Fall 2021

Read articles on building resilience in children; how loneliness impacts health; tips and recipes for healthy to-go lunches; information about IBD and a feature about patient partners.

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Primary care memory clinics to benefit Island Health seniors

Primary care memory clinics to benefit Island Health seniors

Two new primary care memory clinics, located in Victoria and Nanaimo, will provide support to adults concerned about cognitive changes, such as memory loss. These clinics feature an interdisciplinary team of family physicians, nurses, social workers, and occupational therapists, with back up support from specialists if necessary.

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Large red letters that spell "Emergency" in front of an emergency department

Island Health asks for public’s assistance in appropriate emergency department use

Island Health is asking people to do their part to ensure our hospital emergency departments can continue to meet the care needs of patients experiencing medical emergencies.

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