Guests were Mollie Cole, Manager for the Seniors Health Stretegic Clinical Network (Alberta Health) and Sylvia (missed last name) who does a lot of work with groups gathering information/understanding needs.
General discusion in the group regarding driving - what to do when you are concerned about your partners continued ability to drive. Options include Drive-Able or a private drivers testing. Also, AMA offers individualized reviews, classes for the over 55, and you can arrange to take an informal drivers test where they will tell you how your driving is. Must be a member of AMA - look up driving and testing on their website.
Mollie outlined what her group does - trying to ensure all parts of the province have access to programs - theory is that they look for Best Practices and then try to get them in other areas. This group is the Big Picture group - and trying to look outwards by a few years so they really don't work on programs we need in the next year. Still, Mollie was very kind, and I think, tried to hear our concerns. One of the questions was in regards to care facility. Currently, when our partners can no longer be at home they go into care facilities that are typically full of people much older than they are. Most of us find that very difficult. Programming is very limited, activities are for people who are not active, the focus just does not meet our needs. Mollie asked whichis more important - common denominator of diagnosis or age: is it more important that people with dementia are kept together or more important that younger people, regardless of diagnosis are together. The group in attendance favored age feeling that someone with dementia can help someone with Parkinsons or MS - they can push a wheelchair! and the person in the wheelchair can direct them where to go!
We also had some new additions to our group. A mother and brother of a Early On Set dementia. This is something I have not considered before - a parent whose adult child has been diagnosed and the parent is the primary caregiver. Still, their issues and needs will be very similar to ours, and they are very Welcome to our Southwood Group.