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.
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.
Alzheimer Society of BC
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.
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.
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.
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)