The City of Westmount partners with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Caregiver Crosswalk Inc. to educate its citizens on the reality of dementia
As the number of dementia cases increases with our aging population, more and more families will be called upon to manage an array of challenging behaviours and cope with the progression of declining cognitive and physical functions of their loved one. To educate and empower its citizens, the City of Westmount has partnered with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Caregiver Crosswalk Inc. to offer a free public lecture, Understanding and preparing for the reality of dementia.
Leading experts will come together on May 15 th at 7 p.m. to share their knowledge and expertise with the community and to provide essential information that will help families understand and access the resources needed to navigate Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases. Dr. Serge Gauthier, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit at the McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging will discuss the medical aspects and impact of the disease including the behavioural and psychological symptoms, Dr. José A. Morais, Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at McGill University will share his advice on aging well and discuss risk and prevention strategies in dementia, and former caregiver and Certified Alzheimer Care Consultant Claire Webster will share her personal journey and lessons learned.
“Westmount is proud to bring this discussion to the forefront. The care of our seniors needs to be part of all our decision-making, from the community services we offer to the roads we build,” said Mayor Christina M. Smith, emphasizing the importance of this event. “We are very grateful to McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and to Claire Webster for educating us on how we can improve the lives of those battling with this disease, as well as provide support to their caregivers.”
“The key to navigating the journey of dementia is education and support,” explains Claire Webster. As a former caregiver to her late mother, she has firsthand experience in dealing with the overwhelming emotional and physical impact that the disease places on the individual and family members. Claire firmly believes that from the moment a person receives a diagnosis, they need a prescription of care: “A caregiver who is properly educated and well supported will ensure the quality of care and safety of their loved one as well as their own health and well-being.”
This public lecture provides a snapshot of what is being taught during monthly community dementia caregiver education workshops that are offered in both French and English and take place at McGill’s Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, the workshops focus on the most important elements that caregivers need to know regarding dementia and its associated behavioural and psychological symptoms. A theory component helps family members prepare for the journey of caring for someone who has the disease, including best practices for ensuring their own well-being as caregivers. The workshops also include a real-life scenario component in the simulated apartment to educate caregivers on how to create a safe home environment. Simulation provides the ideal venue for caregivers to gain experience and manage difficult and delicate situations such as those encountered by patients with dementia.
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 10 faculties, 12 professional schools, 300 programs of study and almost 41,000 students, including more than 9,700 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,000 international students making up 30% per cent of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 20% of our students who say French is their mother tongue. www.mcgill.ca
About Caregiver Crosswalk
Claire Webster is the Founder and President of Caregiver Crosswalk Inc., a consulting firm that provides education and support services to help individuals navigate the journey of Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia related illnesses. She is a Certified Alzheimer Care Consultant (PAC), Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA), as well as a Conference Speaker and Educator in the field of caring for an individual with dementia.
About the City of Westmount
Westmount, a small urban enclave of 21,000 residents, sits on the southwest slope of Mount Royal at the heart of Montreal Island. Founded in 1874, the City is known for its tranquil residential neighbourhoods, its well-preserved collection of heritage buildings and its vibrant and diverse community. Occupying 4 square kilometres, it boasts an urban forest, numerous parks and playgrounds, as well as many cultural, religious and educational institutions.