Say yes to brain health this September

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Editor's Note

This article is sponsored by The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County

Sure, being brainy can be an asset; but being BrainyActive can be life enhancing. This September, The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County’s BrainyActive Challenge can help you to make your brain more resilient to dementia.    

Dementia has a significant impact on the Canadian population—greater than many of us imagine. The Government of Canada reports more than 419,000 Canadians aged 65 years and older are currently living with a diagnosis of dementia. In Ottawa and Renfrew County, there are 24,000 living with this challenging disease. This figure is expected to double by 2030. Even though dementia has no cure, we now know that we can take action to prevent and delay the onset of some dementias.

The BrainyActive Challenge is inspired by just that: we can exercise our brains to fight dementia. The brain loves to be challenged. This September, you can get BrainyActive while helping those in our region facing dementia.

Dementia

And getting BrainyActive is easy. All you have to do is register and pick a brain-boosting activity to do for just a few minutes each day. It can be anything that challenges your brain: jog, sing, dance, knit or swim, do whatever your brain pleases!

Last year, the inaugural BrainyActive Challenge was introduced as a COVID-safe initiative, replacing The Dementia Society’s popular 20-year Walk for Dementia. The community rallied and raised over $118,000 which allowed The Dementia Society to continue to offer its support services free of charge. This year, the BrainyActive Challenge goal is $125,000.

Supporting dementia now is more crucial than ever. People living with a diagnosis of dementia and their caregivers have been particularly hard hit in the pandemic. Often social distancing has meant deep social isolation, and—in the best of times—isolation worsens people’s ability to deal with the disease. Lack of access to programming, support, and respite during the pandemic has stretched the reserves of caregivers to the limit and accelerated symptoms for many people living with dementia. To overcome these obstacles, the Dementia Society successfully remodeled its programs to virtual offerings; has created new programs to connect those most isolated with trained volunteers;  and now also provides free internet-enabled devices and technology training to support those most in need.

"My experience with the Dementia Society has been so good! Dementia Society’s volunteer and I talk about absolutely everything. I won't remember what we said, but I do remember the feeling, and what I really like is that someone listens to me,” says Daniel, a participant in the Dementia Society’s Make a Connection virtual visiting program.

Daniel
Daniel, person living with dementia
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Misia McCallum, Daniel's Dementia Care Coach 

The BrainyActive Challenge supports people like Daniel and thousands of others in our region living with dementia, their caregivers and families through support and programs that help them to stay active, get social and live meaningful lives.

To exercise your brain and support The Dementia Society, go to www.BrainyActiveChallenge.ca.

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