January is Alzheimer Awareness Month and what better organization to feature than the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County. Keep reading to find out more about how you can get involved.
The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County has been serving the community since 1980. Demand for their services has sharply risen with now over 2500 newly diagnosed cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias per year in our region. Volunteers are more than ever needed to support the work of their chapter.
Volunteer roles span a wide range of skills and opportunities. They seek volunteers interested in the following areas:
- Education: to help with their Volunteer Speakers Bureau (making presentations and managing booths within the community), School Education Program (delivering curriculum to students from kindergarten to grade 12), and Partnership in Transitional Care Program (helping with workshops for families preparing to place their loved one in long-term care).
- Support Services: to convene social gatherings for people in the early stages of dementia and their caregivers and to facilitate monthly caregiver support groups.
- Fundraising: to help raise awareness and participate in events to secure funds in support of the programs and services of the Alzheimer Society. This may involve planning, public relations, preparation and assistance on the day of fundraising events. Their main fundraising event is the Walk for Memories held in late January.
- Office Administration: to provide essential support in many areas of administrative and computer services.
- Communication: to raise awareness of the disease, chapter programs and/or profiles of people supporting the work of the Alzheimer Society through articles.
- Board of Directors: to set the goals and direction for the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County.
An office volunteer shared her thoughts on volunteering:
“My Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a number of years ago. She lived close to my sister in Victoria, so I felt I wanted to do something to contribute to supporting people with Alzheimer’s disease, even though I was a long way away. Volunteering at the local chapter has been very fulfilling and I can see the difference that I can make.” (Family member, 2011)
One of their clients also had this to say about Caregiver Support Groups:
“I cannot say enough about the value derived from these support groups – to be able to connect with others who understand only too well, the give and the take, the shared support. You need not feel isolated.” (Family member, 2011)
Visit the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County website at www.alzheimer.ca/ottawa to learn more about volunteer opportunities and to complete your volunteer application on-line. You may also contact Debbie Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-523-4004 ext. 148.
Please join the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County for two Alzheimer Awareness month activities:
Walk for Memories – January 29, 2012 at Carleton University Fieldhouse for Ottawa’s premier indoor fundraising walk in support of families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Register today at www.walkformemories.ca.
“Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia” – Public seminar with featured speaker Dr. Andrew Frank, Cognitive and Behavioural Neurologist, and Medical Director of the Memory Disorder Clinic on January 18, 2012.