Panel of experts to discuss dementia issues

Forum will provide valuable advice

The Oceanside Healthy Aging Initiative (OHAI) invites everyone to a public forum for people living with a loved one with dementia, or who want to learn more about healthy aging.

The forum will include a panel of experts with an update on dementia and care and a chance to discuss things like safety, programs and services available, aging and driving, explained Marc Lefebvre, one of the organizers.

The panel will include a physician and representatives from the Alzheimer Society, RCMP community policing, VIHA and Vancouver Island University.

With an older demographic than other areas in the country, the topic of healthy aging is significant on Vancouver Island and especially in the Oceanside area.

According to the Alzheimer Society there were 68,910 people with dementia in B.C. in 2008 and that is expected to more than double over the next 30 years.

The forum is being hosted by OHAI, which is a collaborative committee formed in 2008 by residents, seniors’ organizations, government agencies and various partner groups, focused on healthy aging and education, aiming to integrate and apply existing knowledge to enrich the lives of older adults.

“The Vancouver Island Health Authority’s (VIHA) strategic plan acknowledges that the health authority has an opportunity to become a leader in seniors’ care service excellence by delivering a full spectrum of services across the continuum,” said VIHA geriatrician Dr. Marilyn Bater in a press release. 

“This will be accomplished by enhancing partnerships with community agencies, implementing best practices, and engaging in ongoing research, education and training.”

Displays open at noon and the forum is from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, May 14, 2011 at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. 

Space will be limited and people are asked to RSVP to 1-877-888-8334. 

There will be complimentary coffee, tea and snacks at the free event.

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