‘Finally, there’s something available in English’

Laval Alzheimer’s Society launches first English workshops for loved ones

By Robin Della Corte

The Laval Alzheimer’s Society, in the midst of its first English workshop for caregivers, has already planned another, come fall.

Founded in 1995, the non-profit organization has for many years held workshops for French-speakers. They recently added the English workshop to their repertoire of public courses.

“It’s nice to have these services available, at last, in English,” said participant Marguerite Greco. “It’s a very stressful time. For people for whom French isn’t their first language, it’s very hard to communicate in a language you don’t use every day, so the English workshop has been very helpful.”

“We know there are many English-speaking home-caregivers in Laval” said director Lise Lalande. “We wanted to address that need and, after we did, we heard people remarking ‘finally, there’s something available in English’. Until now, Laval’s English-speakers had to go all the way to Montreal to get help.”

The English workshops were launched after APPUI Laval agreed in December to fund the outreach, which included publicity and translating the textbooks.

”It was a lot of money,” Lalande said. “Translating just two chapters cost us $2,000. But we continued our pitch to APPUI Laval because we recognized a clear need for these English workshops.”

The first two-hour session began May 1. Eight people signed up for the eight-week course, which Lalande claims is “a sizeable number of people for such a group.”

The next eight-week English workshop will commence the first Wednesday of September.

Lalande claims that these workshops take participants through every aspect of caregiving.

“It’s very much like a support group,” she observed.

During the workshops, caregivers explore topics such as: medical information about Alzheimer’s disease, self-care and Alzheimer’s care, communication, day-to-day activities, providing a safe environment and long-term care.

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