In January, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada celebrates and acknowledges Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects 747,000 Canadians. Here in the Guelph community, individuals living with early forms of Alzheimer’s can seek help through St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph.

St. Joseph’s has four different programs for people living with Alzheimer’s. These include the Social Club day program, the Dinner Club afternoon program, the Fergus Day out program, and the Huron Out ‘n About program.

These programs provide participants with an opportunity to socialize, to receive memory care and reduce the sense of social isolation that can often be associated with the disease. They also improve the participants’ balance and mobility, which decreases their risk of falling. They can also provide valuable respite time for care-givers.

Each year, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation Guelph raises funds to provide a grant of $20,000 to support the Health Centre’s Day Programs at the Westmount, Huron and Fergus sites. The grant is used to provide transportation from the homes of program participants to the program and back. This is especially important for people living with Alzheimer’s who may not have friends or family members who can drop them off at the day program, or who, for various reasons, may not be eligible or able to access other transportation services.

“Funding from the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation allows us to provide rides to people who wouldn’t be able to get to our program otherwise,” said Brandy Nellis, Director of Community Support Services at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph. “It means that we’re able to help some of our most isolated and vulnerable seniors to access the care they need and reap all the benefits that the program offers.”

The St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation Guelph is proud to support the transportation initiative for the Alzheimer’s Day Program through this grant.

Visit the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph website for more information on each of the day programs and to see each program schedule.