Jun 13, 2018
Pam Lemke has worked in social services in Sharbot Lake and Northbrook for almost 25 years, most recently for Land O’Lakes Community Services. As of March 9th, she has been working for the Alzheimer Society of Kingston, Frontenac Lennox and Addington. Some days she works out of an office located in the Lion’s Hall in Northbrook, some days she is at the Rural Frontenac Community Services Adult Centre in Sharbot Lake, but she could be anywhere in between visiting with families all over the region.
While the Alzheimer Society has had workers in ‘the North’ before, Lemke brings a wealth of local contacts and a commitment to serving the community where she lives.
“It has gone extremely well, and I’ve been very busy from the day I started,” she said when contacted from Northbrook early this week. I have received a lot of referrals and been able to meet with people living with dementia and their families. I can help them get connected to services such as Adult Day Programs, and I bring all the resources of the Alzheimer Society as well.
Much of the work of the Society is centred on support for caregivers and that part of the job is important to Lemke.
“It can be a family member, a neighbour or a friend, and I am happy to meet with them to see what they need.
The Society has been, and remains active at Pine Meadow Nursing Home. Volunteers with the Golden Girls and the Old Pharts have been visiting the home once a month for several years, interacting one on one with residents in the home.
“It’s great to work with them at Pine Meadow. They have so much knowledge that I can tap into.”
The most recent initiative of the Alzheimer Society is called “Dementia Friendly Kingston”. “Dementia Friendly Kingston” is modelled after a similar program in Bobcaygeon, and is intended to help people with dementia feel included, independent and supported in the community. Through training sessions, that are about one hour in length, local businesses and other service providers will have the opportunity to become “Dementia Friendly”. These training sessions are intended to improve the community’s awareness and understanding of dementia, and improve services for those who are diagnosed with dementia. Businesses and organisations who have been trained will be identifiable by the blue umbrella window decal
The blue umbrella, with its many points, signifies the various forms of dementia. Businesses with this decal will have been educated about the type of assistance someone with dementia may need.
Individuals with dementia will be offered the choice of wearing a blue umbrella pin. Wearing the pin lets businesses and service providers know that you have dementia. This allows them to provide improved customer service to suit your needs. The Alzheimer Society recommends wearing the pin in a visible location so that service providers can see it, such as on a jacket lapel or the front of a t-shirt.
Implementing “Dementia Friendly” communities throughout the region is the next goal that Pam Lemke will be taking on.