Our Connections Matter
Alzheimer Society of Sarnia-Lambton

February 2022 - Issue 2

Connections That Matter

Hello, Friend!

We hope this newsletter finds you well. If you have questions about programs and services, please call 519-332-4444.

We also invite you to keep checking the online portal to learn about upcoming online events and programs.

Happy reading!

In this edition:

  1. What's happening in Sarnia-Lambton? Local events, social recreation programs, webinars, and more!
  2. Thank you for making kind-nections with us!
  3. Lisa shares her connection to the Alzheimer Society
  4. BrainsCAN survey shows Alzheimer Society support leads to $1.3B in health-care savings
  5. February is Black History Month
  6. Send a little love this Valentine’s Day!
  7. Tax Season is Upon Us! Are You Prepared?

What’s happening in Sarnia-Lambton? Local events, social recreation programs, webinars, and more!

Tips for taking care of the care partner

  • Learn about the illness
  • Be realistic…about the illness
  • Don’t try to maintain the impossible
  • What can change?
  • Be realistic about yourself
  • You can say “no.” Saying yes to others should not lead to saying no to yourself
  • Take time away, take a minute for yourself
  • Accept your feelings. Journal is a great way to do this!
  • Share & share the load
  • Be positive.
  • Coping statements like “this is hard but I know I will get through it, I have accomplished so much” vs. negative thoughts
  • Take care of yourself
  • Deep breathing, Move yourself
  • Get help and accept support from others
  • As your best friend what advice would you give yourself?
  • Accept help
  • Plan for the future
  • Look for humour
  • Self-care is important, and remember 98% of strategies are free!
  • Take care of yourself because the alternative is bad for your health!

  • Learn more about safety planning when caring for someone living with dementia

    February 23rd at 7pm - Safety Concerns for Dementia & the Finding Your Way Program.

    Email Christine at cwright@alzheimersarnia.ca to receive information on how to attend.

    Communication Tips

    Dementia affects a person’s ability to communicate. A person living with dementia may have difficulty expressing themselves and understanding what others are saying to them. This can sometimes cause frustration for the person.

    Some tips for communicating effectively with people living with dementia include:

    • Make eye contact
    • Remove background noise and distractions
    • Use gentle touch if appropriate
    • Respond to emotions instead of words if they are not clear

    Things to avoid when communicating with a person living with dementia:

    • Limit open ended questions. Try closed-ended question with yes or no answers or a choice between two options. E.g., “Would you like water or juice?” versus “What would you like to drink?”
    • Limit the use of negatives. Tell them what you would like to see instead. E.g., “Please sit over here” versus “Please don’t sit there”.
    • Do not quiz the person to see what they remember.
    • Do not talk with others as if the person was not there.
    • Avoid arguing or trying to reason with the person.
    • Don’t take it personally if the person gets upset.
    • Avoid conflicting verbal and nonverbal (body language, tone of voice) messages.

    For more Communication tips, view this short video: Click Here

    Topical Tuesdays with Christine: Tips on Caring or Someone Living with Dementia

    February 1, 3pm: Advice from the Experts

    February 8, 3pm: Relationship Changes

    February 15, 3pm: Approaching with your Agenda

    February 22, 3pm: Seps to Include the Person with Dementia Bonus Wednesday

    February 23, 7pm: Safety Concerns for Dementia & the Finding Your Way Program

    Email Christine at cwright@alzheimersarnia.ca to receive the information on how to attend. If this time and date does not work for you, still email Christine and alternatives will be looked at. Individual or family educational sessions can also be arranged.

    Minds in Motion®

    Minds in Motion® is an evidence-based program that includes physical activity, social and mind stimulating activities for people living with dementia and their care partners. The Alzheimer Society is currently recruiting participants to join our pilot project to learn about the impacts of Minds in Motion offered virtually (on the computer). The pilot program will begin at the end of February 2022. The program will run at least once a week for several weeks and will occur on a web-based platform such as Zoom.

    This will be a great environment to establish new friendships with others who are living with similar experiences. Combining physical, mental, and social stimulation improves brain health and may slow the disease progression. According to Regan et al (2019) for in-person Minds in Motion, “both participants with dementia and care partners reported an improvement in well-being following the Minds in Motion® program. In addition, social activity and social support also improve mood and decrease the risk of depression among both people living with dementia and their care partners” (p.280).

    The Alzheimer Society of Sarnia-Lambton will be hosting their sessions on Thursday mornings at 10:00am beginning on February 24th. Please contact Brooke at bsalenbien@alzheimersarnia.ca or 519-332-4444 ext. 234 to register.

    Day Program Happenings

    December was a busy month for the Day Program! Attendance was high and everyone was looking forward to enjoying holiday programming. Some of the highlights of the Day Program in December included Christmas tree and ornament decorating, theme days (Ugly Sweater Day, Red & Green Day), and special guests.

    The spirit of the holiday season brought a joyous feel to our programming. It was apparent in the consistent cheerful mood of all our participants and the contagious laughter throughout the day.

    A heartfelt thank you to our community partners at Home Instead who sponsored, organized, and delivered gifts for all day program participants.

    We would also like to thank our monthly guests who remained loyal to the Day Program each month and found new ways to deliver quality programming throughout the pandemic: Jason Andrews (Sarnia Library), Anna Miccolis (Alix Art Gallery), Alexa Schmidt (West Lambton Community Health Center), and Christina Skyrdoko (Lambton Oil Heritage Museum).

    We are very thankful for all our partnerships, and an amazing year at the Day Program! We look forward to what 2022 will bring!

    February Calendar

    Click here to download calendar

    Activities and Recipes

    Groundhog Day Word Search

    Valentine’s Day Crossword

    Super Easy Red Velvet Cake Truffles

    Thank you to Jackpot City Sarnia!

    A heartfelt thank you to our Community Partner Jackpot City Sarnia! Throughout the pandemic, we continued to receive funding from them, which has allowed us to continue providing quality programming to our clients and care partners.

    There are over 3,000 people in Sarnia-Lambton living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. If you factor in care partners and other family members affected, that number swells to 9,000. We are grateful for Jackpot City!

Thank you for making kind-nections with us!

Our first-ever Quest for Kindness was a huge success and we have YOU to thank!

Together, thousands of kind-nections were made across Canada, and thanks to the support of Healthing, we were able to stay connected virtually and see our communities light up the Kind-nections Map one act at a time!

Every dollar that was raised is going to make an immediate impact in your community by allowing people living with dementia, their care partners, and their families access the education, counselling, and social recreation programs they need most.

Thank you for choosing kindness for over 500,000 people living with dementia in Canada—a number that will continue to rise.

Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts. We look forward to seeing you again at next year’s Quest for Kindness!

Lisa shares her connection to the Alzheimer Society


There’s never a time when losing a loved one is easy. But over more than a decade that my dad lived with dementia, the sense of grief was uniquely devastating. Watching someone you love slowly disappear intellectually — their memory, their smile, their voice — while their physical being remains is a most exquisitely painful mourning process. It was the longest goodbye — and it took a huge toll on our family.

For my mom especially, who was my dad’s primary caregiver, it was the connections with others who shared our experience with dementia that helped her to not only keep her life moving forward during a very difficult time, but this support also guided us in navigating the long-term care system so that my dad, and others like him, could get better care. These connections also helped us to advocate for improved health policy around the treatments for brain diseases and raise awareness of the importance of dignity and humanity for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their families.

This is the mission of Healthing — connecting Canadians to the information, resources, and people they need to navigate the difficult health issues they and their families are facing, while inspiring the need to advocate for a better healthcare.

Check us out at healthing.ca, I’d love to hear what you think. And if you have a story you think we should be telling, we’d love to know about it.

Lisa Machado, Executive Producer, Healthing


BrainsCAN survey shows Alzheimer Society support leads to $1.3B in health-care savings

A new survey report from Western University’s BrainsCAN, in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, found programs and services provided by the province’s 27 Societies deliver savings of $1.3 billion for Ontario’s health-care system.

To access the full report and to hear Deb and Bruce’s story, click here.

February is Black History Month

Based on information collected from the US & UK, did you know that dementia impacts Black communities at higher rates with some studies showing they are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia?

This Black History Month, we honour all Black Canadians and those who may be living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. To learn more about the work we’re doing in regards to race and dementia in Canada, please visit our webpage here.

Send a little love this Valentine's Day!

Celebrate Valentine's Day by sending a heart to residents of long-term care homes in your community! 💕💖💘

Send a little love with our printable Valentine's Day cards and add in your own personalized message to show them how much you care.

  1. Download our free printable card
  2. Print and Cut out the card.
  3. Sign or share a caring message.
  4. Fold, stamp and mail to your desired Long-term Care centre!

Download your Valentine's Day card here: https://bit.ly/ValentinesCardEN

Tax Season is Upon Us! Are You Prepared?

It’s that time of year again—tax season. Whether you love it or hate it, the best thing to do is be prepared—especially if you’re a caregiver living in Ontario! You may even be eligible to receive tax credits.

Not sure what information you’ll need? Check out our blog series on everything a caregiver should know before doing their taxes!

Part 1: What’s the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?

Part 2: The Canada Caregiver Credit

Part 3: Your caregiver tax questions, answered

Donate Now

People living with Alzheimer’s and dementia are especially vulnerable at this time, if you are able to, please consider supporting the essential services and programs that benefit this community.

Our mailing address is:
420 East Street North
Sarnia, Ontario N7T 6Y5

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