Nanaimo residents can explore the sensory challenges of dementia

When people think about dementia, they usually think about its impact on a person’s memory, ability to communicate or unusual behaviour they may show.

There are other symptoms though – including changes to movement or hearing. People may experience changes with their gait (walking pattern) or have trouble differentiating conversation from background sounds like wind or traffic, or see objects or people that are not actually present. In an upcoming Alzheimer Society of B.C. webinar, Nanaimo residents can get useful information on how sensory changes affect a person’s ability to interact with the surrounding environment and perform routine tasks. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, March 29, at 2 p.m. PT.

During the webinar, participants will have a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from Granville Johnson and Myrna Norman, sharing their insights on managing sensory changes as people living with dementia. They’ll talk about how they live a positive life while coping with the changes.

“Taking the time to observe someone’s abilities can help us better understand the support they need,” says Lori Kelly, Provincial Coordinator, Program Operations at the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “If you notice someone having difficulty maintaining their balance due to changes in gait, for example, one interim solution could be hiking poles, which might be more acceptable than a cane or walker.” Regular check-ups and thinking creatively about using aids and equipment can ease some sensory challenges.

To register for the webinar, please visit

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.