On May 17, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario hosted a reception at Queen’s Park to unveil a five-point action plan called Focus ON dementia. “The time has never been more right to make a real difference in the lives of Ontarians affected by dementia. Our report offers five achievable solutions that are aligned with current government priorities, but more importantly, get to the root of the issues facing our health-care system today,” said Gale Carey, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.
Gale was joined by other Alzheimer Society staff from across Ontario, caregivers and people living with dementia to raise issues and talk solutions.
The reception was generously sponsored by Donna Cansfield, MPP Etobicoke Centre, who spoke passionately about how dementia has impacted her family.
MPPs who attended the event got the chance to speak with caregivers and people with dementia from their local ridings to learn more about the disease and how they can lead positive change for their constituents affected by dementia.
Sharon Osvald, whose mother has Alzheimer’s disease, was among the caregivers at the reception. She made a point of stressing that overcoming and managing dementia is a collaborative effort. “It surprises me how unifying the shared experience of serving and loving someone with dementia can be. Within minutes of swapping stories with Alzheimer Society staff, MPPs and other caregivers, my burden felt a little lighter. I was especially touched by the story of Judy Southon. Just knowing you’re not alone in your loss and that you’re working for change is so empowering.”
Sharon also enjoyed the opportunity to meet with her MPP Rob Milligan. “Before we left, I found myself face-to-face with him, talking about my mother and our journey with the disease. I was surprised at how comfortable and attentive he was. It’s always a positive experience sharing my mother’s story with people who want to make things better for families living with dementia.”