Deanna Breuker

Deanna Breuker

Local woman earns Purple Angel distinction

Deanna Breuker is working to establish programs in Parksville Qualicum Beach

A local dementia advocate has become one of the first Purple Angel Ambassadors in the province.

“I have been inducted as a Purple Angel Ambassador from the official Purple Angel Dementia Awareness movement in the UK,” local resident Deanna Breuker said waving her certificate.

“It’s a true honour and I see this as yet another opportunity to advocate and bring awareness of dementia and the epidemic.”

Breuker, who works with a dementia day program in Parksville, is working on establishing a similar program in Qualicum Beach, which she points out has the oldest population in the country, and therefore many people suffering with dementia.

The organization was founded by Norman and Elaine McNamara in England after Norman was diagnosed with dementia in 2008 at age 50. They aim to improve awareness and understanding of dementia around the world, according to their website (www.purpleangel-global.com).

Breuker said, she like other Canadian ambassadors, is emulating their UK counterparts by working on a national dementia strategy.

She is also working with other local groups on various initiatives like pamphlets and a decal system “to make people living with dementia feel more comfortable while out in the community.”

She said that while she is still in talks with the Town of Qualicum Beach about the possibility of using a town- owned house, she is confident the day program “is actually going to happen now regardless of location.”

She is in the process of officially establishing the Purple Angle Society of B.C.

Breuker said anyone, especially businesses, who would like to be Purple Angle supporters and/or learn more can call her at 250-607-7606.

“This is the future of customer service training, to build understanding so businesses can grow and have successful encounters and have patrons feel welcomed and supported,” she said.