Are you a caregiver to someone with dementia?


In an effort to raise the voice of caregivers, Carers Canada and the Canadian Home Care Association are seeking friends and family members who care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to share their experience by completing a private and secure on-line survey. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

  • Feedback received from this survey will be used to inform the federal government in advancing Bill C-233, an Act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. This Act directs the federal Minister of Health to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy for the care of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementias, as well as their families and caregivers.
  • Please note that the survey closes on February 5, 2018.

The Magic of Music?

Have you ever noticed how your mood can change when you put in your earbuds or turn on your stereo? Have you ever been at a concert and, with the first down beat, felt more energized than you had only moments before? Have you ever been in a room full of people and witnessed how the heaviness and tension that was once present seemingly disappeared when music began filling the air? If situations such as these have left you wondering if there was something magical about music, you may wish to take a few minutes to watch this video.

Restraints as a Last Resort

“There’s a new provincial policy soon to be released in Alberta, ‘Restraint as a Last Resort,’ that will limit use of restraints to the least restrictive, as a last resort. There is a belief that lap belts in chairs keeps people safe (they fasten from behind), but the experience of being restrained is distressing – and can actually lead to more injurious falls and increased antipsychotic use. In addition, the restrained person can’t get to the bathroom, and may experience skin breakdown, loss of muscle strength, loss of independence and delirium (an acute brain injury).” Verdeen Bueckert, Practice Lead with the Seniors Health Clinical Network

Click here to read how an orthopedic team in Alberta reduced the use of restraints by 84%!

News Flash – AUA Expansion

A new provincial policy is seeing the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) initiative expanding in Alberta. In particular, the policy addresses the use of restraints in all Alberta Health Services’ facilities and partners. The four types of restraints included in the policy are pharmacologic, mechanical, physical and environmental Click here to read more about “Restraints as a Last Resort” and other important topics in the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) Winter 2016 Bulletin.

“We Are Detectives” – Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in LTC

In 2013, Alberta Health Services (AHS) funded a pilot project that focused on the use of antipsychotics in long-term care facilities. Starting with 11 early-adopter sites, the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Long-Term Care Project has now been implemented in all of the 170 long-term sites across the province. The results have been very positive for all involved – residents, families, and staff. Click here to explore the AUA Toolkit, where you can find news and resources relating to the AUA project.

Current volunteer opportunities – Alzheimer Calgary

If you live in or around Calgary and are interested in dementia, the Alzheimer Society of Calgary has a number of volunteer opportunities that may be of interest to you. These include such things as visiting a person living with dementia, educating others about dementia and Alzheimers and participating in special events. Click here for current opportunities.

Curbside Consultations – Learning From and With Each Other

curbside consultationThe following was written and submitted by the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) project team.

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Long-term care (LTC) sites often wait months for expert consultation on very challenging responsive behaviours (or send the person to hospital). Last November we experimented by throwing out an open invitation to our LTC contacts to help out with a case study from North zone. There were many insightful suggestions from more than 30 callers (and no one said, “Have you thought of adding more drugs?”) We wrote the case study and ideas into a report and shared with the sites. Curbside consultations have grown in popularity with 30 – 50 callers (some representing groups of up to 10 staff members) at noon and 2 pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. This is helping residents and staff get more timely help, is educating and empowering staff to try new ideas, and has the potential to take some pressure off the very stretched mental health consultants.

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Click here to learn about the AUA team and their initiatives.