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January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and to commemorate this, we’d like to shine the spotlight on the efforts being made in the face of this terrible disease. Nearly 750,000 Canadians live with Alzheimer’s, and though there is no cure as of yet, researchers are working hard around the globe. For now, there are medications to mitigate the effects and cognitive therapy techniques are being continually refined.

At The Hamlets at Penticton, we are proud to report that our Dementia Care Unit was updated last year to accommodate some of the newest findings in the field. For tactile stimulation, there is touchable, textured wall art—placed at all levels to be wheelchair accessible. Our space now contains a train station area, a fishing shack, and a toolbox area as well. Our aim was to provide an area for residents to actively engage with their surroundings and their fellow residents.

We hold activities on a regular basis, with an emphasis on immersion and creativity. Art therapy has proven to be a great exercise for those living with dementia. Holding a paintbrush allows them responsibility over their canvas, and they can tap into sentiments that might otherwise be difficult to convey. Musical therapy offers similar benefits via a different sense. Hearing a familiar song can open up neural pathways from years ago, and residents have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the music. These innovative therapy approaches bring rewarding smiles to both residents and caregivers.

Though Alzheimer’s continues to be a worldwide problem, we are continually making progress. Both around the world and locally, we are striving to stand up to this disease.

The Hamlets at Penticton is a supportive, long-term care and assisted-living community in the beautiful Okanagan area of BC. In a compassionate environment based on the tenets of Christianity, The Hamlets of Penticton offers security and independence for seniors in their retirement years.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our community, please get in touch with us by phone, email, or using the handy form on our Contact Page.