Pam Morey knows dementia is random, relentless and frighteningly common.
Speaking from her administrative office at Frontenac Arena in mid-January, Morey is passionate about building a strong and healthy community, one issue at a time.
“I think we should all share more information. It makes us more united,” said the 49-year-old.
Known for her work as President of the Harrowsmith and District Social & Athletic Club, and the Chair of South Frontenac Recreation 2017 & 2018, Morey is working to increase the community’s awareness of dementia.
“I want to let people know there is support out there,” she explains. “To give people better tools to communicate and understand people with dementia.”
Considered a serious health problem in Frontenac County and across Canada, dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, making up 50 to 70 per cent of cases. Common symptoms include emotional problems, problems with language, and a decrease in motivation
“We’re inviting people to learn about dementia, behaviours, how you can help to reduce stigma, support those living with dementia and their families,” says Morey about the free dementia friendly training at the club’s hall in Harrowsmith on Jan. 24.
“This training is for everyone who works or volunteers in the community,” she explains. “If you deal with the community, you should be at this meeting. It is also open to anyone interested in being more educated about this disease.”
Grateful to call Harrowsmith home, Morey hopes to make Frontenac County closer and stronger with education and communication.
“I love being a part of this community,” she confirms. “I’m proud to be a part of the Social and Athletic club which offers local entertainment and recreation. These activities bring us together and give us opportunities to meet our neighbours.”
Married with children, she adds, “I feel we should all be involved in our community so we can support and help each other. This training is a good education piece because the rate of aging people is going up. Young people need to be better educated about this issue and how to relate to people with dementia.”
The workshop is being held in January to coincide with Alzheimer Awareness Month. The community is encouraged to show its support of the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Alzheimer Society by joining a coffee break at the Frontenac Arena this Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 20 and 21). Coffee proceeds from 7 am to 10 pm will be donated to the society.