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Cornwall community stepping up to become Dementia Friends

Cornwall community stepping up to become Dementia Friends

One of our core objectives here at the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District is to continue to look for new ways to make life better for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  One way we are looking to bring people closer together is through the Dementia Friends campaign.  As many of you already know, a Dementia Friend is someone who learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into simple actions that can help people with dementia live well.

We are moving this initiative forward with the goal of combining it with the Dementia Friendly Communities campaign.  A dementia-friendly community is a community that focuses on stigma reduction and the inclusion of people with dementia.  Its community members are educated about dementia and recognize that people with dementia may sometimes experience the world differently.  They foster understanding about dementia and encourage people with dementia to participate in their communities to the fullest extent possible.  In a dementia-friendly community, people living with dementia feel supported by their community members even when they face potential challenges.

We have seen the success of this marriage between the two initiatives.  The one hand encourages people to learn more about dementia and commit to an action; the other hand effectively puts that action into play.  We continue to receive outstanding support from all sectors of the community, from the police services, to local health and community support providers; from the restaurants, to sports organizations.

If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to visit, sign up and spread the word toyour family and friends.  Together we can make a difference!

All of the great Cornwall Communities that have stepped up to become Dementia Friends!


About the Author

Shelley Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District.
Shelley Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District.
Introducing the 2016 Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) Community Representatives

Introducing the 2016 Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) Community Representatives

This year the Alzheimer Society celebrates 28 years of funding research through the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP). The peer review panel meetings were held in February 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, and included the role of Community Representatives. Community Representatives are members of the general public who are not currently involved with research who are given the opportunity to comment on the intent, purpose and on the clarity of the language used within the lay summaries of research applications that are received by the Society. Their involvement in peer review serves as a mechanism for public accountability by providing feedback on the ASRP peer review process.

It is with great pleasure that we introduce our 2016 Community Representatives:

Neville-Chenoy“I was amazed at the breadth and scope of research projects which were received from researchers across the country. I had no idea of the extent of this endeavor but, on a personal level, very grateful that so much work is being done to identify the cause of the Alzheimer problem which may one day lead to a cure.

Even more impressive to me was the expertise and dedication of the panel members to review the various proposals. Each panel member must have spent countless hours doing so liaising with colleagues, analyzing what was being proposed and bringing to the table an informed judgment.

The process itself was unique in that it set out to be fair by applying a scoring system from the start and laying out ground rules for conflict of interest which were meticulously followed. Over the years I have participated in many organizations working to allocate their resources to new programs or research proposals but your Peer Review Process is truly tops.”

-Neville Chenoy, 2016 Community Representative, Biomedical Peer Review Panel
Neville is living with Mild Cognitive Impairment. He is a retired health care consultant living in Toronto and attends support groups hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.


Sherri-Russell“Funding research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is important to me because it is not a clearly defined or understood disease and more information is needed.

It was a pleasure being a part of the Peer Review Panel. Thanks to those who made us feel welcomed – a memory I shall never forget …I hope!”

-Sherri Russell, 2016 Community Representative, Quality of Life Peer Review Panel
Sherri is living with Mild Cognitive Impairment. She formerly worked in Real Estate. Sherri enjoys playing bridge, writing, exercising and staying social.





Des représentants de la collectivité participent au Programme de recherche de la Société Alzheimer 2016 (PRSA)

Le Programme de recherche de la Société Alzheimer finance la recherche depuis maintenant 28 ans. Des représentants de la collectivité ont participé aux réunions des comités d’évaluation par des pairs, qui ont eu lieu en février 2016 à Toronto (Ontario). Les représentants de la collectivité sont des membres du grand public qui ne participent pas actuellement à la recherche. Ils donnent leurs commentaires sur les intentions et les objectifs des projets de recherche soumis et sur la clarté du langage utilisé dans les résumés simplifiés. Leur contribution au processus d’évaluation par des pairs fournit un mécanisme de reddition de comptes auprès du public.

Nous sommes très heureux de vous présenter nos représentants de la collectivité pour 2016:

Neville-Chenoy« J’ai été frappé par l’ampleur et la portée des projets de recherche soumis par les chercheurs de tout le pays. Je ne m’attendais pas à une telle activité. Je dois dire que je suis personnellement très heureux de l’importance des efforts déployés pour mieux comprendre la maladie d’Alzheimer. Un jour, il sera possible de la guérir.

J’ai été encore plus impressionné par l’expertise et le dévouement des membres du comité chargé d’évaluer les divers projets soumis. Chacun des participants doit sans doute consacrer de nombreuses heures à cet exercice, pour assurer la liaison avec les autres membres du comité, faire l’évaluation des projets et apporter un jugement éclairé au cours des discussions.

Le processus d’évaluation est unique en ce qu’il applique un système de pointage pour assurer des conditions équitables, et des règles strictes pour éviter les conflits d’intérêts. Au fil des ans, j’ai participé à de nombreux groupes de travail chargés de l’allocation des ressources destinées à de nouveaux programmes ou à des projets de recherche, mais votre processus d’évaluation par les pairs n’a vraiment pas son pareil. »

-Neville Chenoy, représentant du public 2016, comité d’évaluation par les pairs, volet biomédical
Chenoy est atteint d’un trouble cognitif léger. Consultant en soins de santé, il est maintenant à la retraite et participe à des groupes de soutien offerts par la Société Alzheimer de Toronto.


Sherri-Russell« Le financement de la recherche sur la maladie d’Alzheimer et les autres maladies cognitives est important pour moi, parce que ces maladies ne sont pas clairement cernées ni comprises et qu’il est nécessaire de pousser plus avant.

J’ai été ravie de faire partie du comité d’évaluation par des pairs. Je vous remercie de nous avoir chaleureusement accueillis. Je n’oublierai jamais cette expérience… enfin je l’espère. »

-Sherri Russell, représentante du public 2016, comité d’évaluation par les pairs, volet qualité de vie

Mme Russell, qui est atteinte d’un trouble cognitif léger, travaillait auparavant dans l’immobilier. Elle aime le bridge, l’écriture, l’exercice et les activités sociales.


Henry volunteers to contribute to the community

Henry volunteers to contribute to the community

I’m Henry Duncan and I volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. I got involved because I was looking to do volunteer work after retirement and since my mother had Alzheimer’s disease I felt the Alzheimer Society would be the best fit for me.

I have been volunteering with the Alzheimer Society for approximately 15 years and although volunteer companion is my main role I also help out with a lot of different tasks. There’s always something that needs doing, whether it’s work on display booths, errands, set up for special events, shopping for office supplies, research presentations, phone calling and prepping newsletters for mailing.

My favourite moment from volunteering was when I took my volunteer companion to Caressant Care Nursing Home, where he joined a 92 year old resident and put on a jam session to entertain residents. He played a harmonica, I played the bag pipes and the resident played a guitar. Everyone had a blast!

Whatever you do as a volunteer is very worthwhile as the Society provides a great and needed service to many people in Oxford County. All volunteer work is greatly appreciated by the Society and clients and all volunteers are valued and treated well by the Society staff.  It has been an important part of my life for many years. I have met many interesting people, made many friends and have felt a great deal of satisfaction in helping people and contributing to my community.


Volunteer, Alzheimer Society of Oxford County

Volunteering at the Alzheimer Society Matters!

Volunteering at the Alzheimer Society Matters!

THANK YOU to everyone who volunteers!

We made this video to thank all of our incredible volunteers for their generous donation of time and energy. The work we do at the Society could not be done without the help from loyal and supportive volunteers, and for that, we are grateful.

Enjoy the video, and for more information about volunteering in Toronto, visit us here.

Stacy volunteers to meet new people

Stacy volunteers to meet new people

I’m Stacy — A.K.A. Super Stacy! —and I volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. I was born in Toronto and have lived here all my life. I like to keep busy and work hard.

I enjoy volunteering with the Alzheimer Society because I support their cause and want to help in any way I can. I have volunteered with the Alzheimer Society since June 2014, coming in once a week to help with various tasks in the office. Everyone calls me Super Stacy because I work so quickly!

To me, the best thing about volunteering is getting to know new people and working with others. I am also member of L’arche Toronto and volunteer with two law firms in the city.

When I am not working at my volunteer placement I enjoy going to the movies, going out for dinner, shopping and swimming! Recently I spent time with my family in Florida and really enjoyed helping my sisters with my little nephews.


Volunteer, Alzheimer Society of Ontario

Jaclyn volunteers for work experience

Jaclyn volunteers for work experience

My name is Jaclyn Turpin and I volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. I am a student at King’s University College studying Family Studies and Thanatology (bereavement and grief). Volunteering with the Alzheimer Society allows me to put my academic knowledge to practice. Additionally, I love working with people and supporting those who experienced loss.IMG_8064

I am a support services volunteer. The Alzheimer Society did an amazing job ensuring I had a position that met my interests as well as supporting their needs. I help review the current programming and research to its benefits to clients.

I also initiated a new program that is under development, called “Touch Quilts”, where memorable fabrics are crafted together to make a quilt for the client, meeting their comfort needs. My most memorable moment so far has been the opportunity to take part in the Fleece Festival and promote the Touch Quilt. This was such a rewarding experience, knowing that people were so interested in a program that you introduced.

Volunteering has helped me gain experience and knowledge, from both my research and the great people I have met from the agency, volunteers, and community members. I didn’t know how much you can do to help someone with dementia! I have also always wanted to work with people and volunteering for the Alzheimer Society has allowed me to so. But I do some “behind the scenes” work, which I have learned is just as powerful as working directly with an individual.

I would encourage anyone to volunteer for the Alzheimer Society. They look at your goals, expertise, talents, and passion to find you a position. They are also flexible with schedules, which is great for a full time student who also works and does a placement. The Alzheimer Society will be just as appreciative of your time as you will be of your experience!


Volunteer, Alzheimer Society of Oxford County

Will you be planting seeds of hope May 17th?

Will you be planting seeds of hope May 17th?

Every spring, I can’t wait to get my trowel in hand and bring my garden back to life again. It’s a ritual of rebirth that allows me to put even the worst of winters behind me. And it seems as if this interest has finally aligned with another passion: creating a world without Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

That’s what makes me so excited about our latest campaign. On May 17, we are encouraging Ontarians to plant Forget Me Not seeds.  Forget Me Nots are the official flower of the Alzheimer Society. They work great in pots or groundcover and come back year after year. But most importantly, we want them to become a symbol of hope for those affected by the disease.

We have a limited quantity of seeds available to distribute across Ontario. Whether you know someone who has been touched by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia or not, you can take part by pledging to plant #SeedsofHope, sharing with friends and family and planting your Forget Me Not flowers in May.


GaleGale Carey

CEO, Alzheimer Society of Ontario


Linda is a caregiver and an Alzheimer volunteer

Linda is a caregiver and an Alzheimer volunteer

When Linda Finkbeiner’s husband, Jim, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, Linda chose to volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Huron County, as she felt it was a great way to get connected and involved in helping Jim.  Volunteering helped her to better understand the disease process and provided her with the support she needed to face the new challenges she was experiencing with Jim.

Linda’s passion for helping those affected by Alzheimer’s disease extends to her peers, and she is a wonderful support to many people both associated with the Alzheimer Society and those in the community.   As a Dementia Champion, Linda is a spokesperson with our local MPP where she helps to advocate for services.  She is also the Face of Dementia for Huron County, and is not afraid to speak up for something she believes in.

She is extremely versatile and can step into any role, and thus has helped in every possible capacity at Alzheimer Huron.  She has been a vital part of all our fundraising events whether it be directing runners in our Glimmer in the Darkness Run, helping with Coffee Break, or sitting on the Dinner Auction Committee.

Linda has a particular forte for office work, and has spent numerous hours extending the work of the staff.  Most recently, she has been the backbone of the registration process for our Teepa Snow presentation.  She has come in to the office more often than would ever be expected, to ensure that the process continues to run smoothly and to assist on the forefront.

For 5 years, Linda organized the Jim Finkbeiner Walk for Alzheimer Awareness.  She spent countless hours planning this event, raised thousands of dollars, and increased the awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Huron County, specifically South Huron.  She is an integral part of our Walk for Memories sustainability, substantially growing the walk with Jim by her side.

Linda is a dedicated volunteer, all the while taking care of Jim and ensuring that he is maintaining the quality of life that he deserves.  Linda took it upon herself to become certified in Montessori.  This will help enable her to better interact with Jim as he progresses with his Alzheimer’s disease and help equip others with the know how to interact with those affected by dementia.

We truly love working with her and appreciate all the little things that she does to help us better deliver our programs and services.  Linda is an amazing individual with a huge heart and we can’t thank her enough for her dedication to the Alzheimer Society of Huron County.

Romina volunteers to make a difference in the community!

Romina volunteers to make a difference in the community!

Here at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, we have been incredibly fortunate to have support from volunteers from all walks of life. Whether it be a retired educator, aspiring graphic designer, student or advocate, we feel incredibly lucky to have a network of individuals who are passionate about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Below you will meet one of those incredible volunteers, Romina. An advocate, educator, student, professional and so much more, she has truly taken the AlzTunes project and made it soar. Romina has been a great asset to this organization and we are excited to further engage her with our work.

Romina, Volunteer, Alzheimer Society of Toronto
Romina, Volunteer, Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Name: Romina Oliverio

Nickname: Romi

Hometown: Toronto (Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Education Background:

Gerontology (Ryerson);

Working With Dementia Clients (Conestoga College);

Journalism (George Brown)

 What you wanted to be when you were a kid:  Archeologist

Where you volunteer (list as many as you’d like):

Baycrest Hospital (Behavioural Support Unit); AlzTunes ; See Me Effect

Favourite song and why: Too many to mention but I do love show tunes!

Why you volunteer: I want to make a difference and give back to the community that’s given so much to me.  Clichéd but true J

What project/task are you most excited about: I’m excited about co-managing the See Me Effect project. We’re promoting intergenerational connections using music, tech, and therapists. Also very excited to continue working on Alztunes and taking the project to another level!

If you could wake up tomorrow and change one thing about the world, what would it be? I would want there to be less suffering in the world.

What’s your dream job: Dementia Consultant and Educator.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years:  Doing the same thing than now! Spreading awareness on issues of dementia and intergenerational connections. I would also like to work on educational programs for youth on these issues.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given: Don’t see failure as having failed – see it as feedback and try again.

Meet our volunteer Cindy

Meet our volunteer Cindy

Meet Cindy. She has made a real difference for the Alzheimer Society. As FreshCo’s VP of operations, she has helped get her company to help fundraise for this important cause.

She been involved with the Alzheimer Society for over 15 years and even acted as its honorary chair. At first, she helped get FreshCo stores across the region involved in our annual coffee break fundraiser. Shoppers were encouraged to make a donation at the cash register and have their name displayed on a coffee break cutout in the store.

Seeing its success at local level inspired Cindy further and now the campaign has been rolled out across the province.  This was an easy decision knowing that the money raised at each FreshCo location is donated back to their community Alzheimer Society. This year, the campaign raised $28,000 in support of the Alzheimer Society.

Cindy plans to ensure FreshCo participates in the Alzheimer Society Coffee Break Campaign for years to come. It’s an extremely important cause to support with approximately 500,000 Canadians suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

FreshCo Photo 1