In the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington region, there are over 4,000 people diagnosed with dementia, a figure that is expected to double by 2030.
To break that down a little further, a dementia diagnosis impacts three out of every four people in our community. Around the world, someone develops dementia every 65 seconds, and in Canada alone, over half a million people are living with dementia.
It’s statistics like these that make the services offered by the Alzheimer Society of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) so important. And in order for those services to continue and expand, fundraising is imperative.
With World Alzheimer’s Day taking place on Saturday, Sept. 21, the local Alzheimer Society is kicking off its fundraising season. Locally, the municipal councils in both Kingston and Napanee have declared September 21 ‘Dementia Friendly Day,’ and the Alzheimer Society of KFL&A is asking residents to wear blue on the day to help raise awareness and challenge the stigma associated with dementia.
Kingstonians can begin their support for the local Alzheimer Society with a simple stop on their way to work. On Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, the Alzheimer Coffee Break will take place at all area McDonald’s. The local McDonald’s will donate 50 cents from every coffee sold between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Additionally, volunteers will be on hand for a portion of the day, both in-store and manning the drive-thru, accepting donations and handing out information.
Then, throughout October, Coffee Break events will be held by individuals, community groups, employee groups, and business to help raise awareness. Anyone interested in hosting a Coffee Break at their workplace, business, or in their home can contact the local Alzheimer Society for more details.
Additionally in October, the Society is launching a new fundraising initiative: ‘Forget Me Not’ mini family portrait sessions in both Kingston and Napanee. For $75, residents can have a family photo session with professional photographer Rob Mooy, with proceeds going to the Alzheimer Society of KFL&A. On top of that, Camera Kingston will offer a free 5×7 print, as well as discounted processing of the portraits.
“This new fundraising initiative is unique and gives families an option to preserve special family moments and get ready for holiday gift giving while supporting the Society in your communities,” said Lesley Kimble, Fundraising Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of KFL&A.
Photography sessions are open to anyone, and scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday Oct. 6, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Kingston, and for Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Napanee. You can book a session by calling the Society office at 613-544-3078. More dates will be announced as spaces fill up. As part of the fundraiser, retirement/long term care homes may also call the Society to book a photo day for their own residents to participate.
But more than anything, the local Alzheimer Society wants to encourage area residents to learn as much as they can about dementia by taking part in Dementia Friendly Community Training, which is offered for free by the Society. The training is available to any individual, community group, business or workplace employee groups that would like to learn more about dementia so they can better support family member, co-workers, residents, or customers impacted by the disease.
“Dementia Friendly Day is a great opportunity for us to recognize and support those in our families and communities who are affected by dementia. A lot of people still don’t really understand what dementia is or how it affects people. Many think that your life is over once a diagnosis is made,” said Vicki Poffley, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of KFL&A. “The way to understanding and acceptance is through knowledge and having open discussions.”
Get your blue duds ready to show your support of Canadians living with dementia this Saturday. For more information, go to www.alzheimers.ca/kfla.