Support for Those Living with Dementia

Alison Kennedy provides one-on-one cognitive stimulation and emotional support to clients living with dementia. This is her story.
 I was once hired to work with a client in a locked personal care home unit who was sleeping excessively. My first challenge was to get him to wake up! The unit nurse suggested I start reading to him when I visited. I did. A few weeks later another nurse on the unit popped her head in the room, called to my sleeping client who to all appearances was comatose and told him to wake up as I was there. He rolled over opened his eyes and told her that he was listening to a great story, did she mind??  I almost fell off of my chair!
Eventually he was staying awake. One day I gave him a set of letters and had him spell “Thanksgiving” on the table.  I then said we are going to take turns creating original small words out of those letters. You go first and create five words. He did as I wrote them down. Then it was my turn.  We went back and forth for an hour. Do you know that between us we created 102 original words out of those letters! Towards the end he was starting to squirm in his seat. He did not want to lose to a woman!
He came to life and made me marvel at the hidden talents in sleeping bodies in nursing homes. You know something else…he could do math faster than I!

Visit Alison's website Kennedy Cognitive Services, Inc. 

Finding Help

Resources for Caregivers of Seniors in Manitoba

1. Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat

Description: The Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat is part of the department of Health, Healthy Living and Seniors. It acts as a central point of contact for seniors, their family members and organizations. Website: Review: This updated site is a goldmine of information. Save it as a favorite! You will want to come back here again and again on your caregiving journey.
Focus: Caregivers of seniors
Where to start: Begin with the Home Page.
Don't Miss: The publications page. You will want to have your own hard copy of A Guide For Caregivers. Order it. Read it. Fill it full of Post-It notes.

Best Pages:

Who Knew?  That there is a Seniors Information Line, an information and referral line for seniors, family members and caregivers and professionals working with seniors. In Winnipeg: 204-945-6565 Toll-free: 1-800-665-6565 Email:

2. Caregiving with Confidence (Formerly Rupert's Land Caregiver Services)

Description: Caregiving with Confidence is the non-profit organization that supports caregivers in Manitoba.


Review: When you need someone to talk to, this is THE organization that will give you one-on-one personal support.
Focus: Caregivers of seniors
Where to start: Call (204) 452-9491 and talk to the caring, informed staff.  

Services Offered:

· Time-out for Caregivers: A volunteer trained as a respite companion comes to the home for a few hours so the family caregiver can have a break
· Telephone Support: Providing information, support and encouragement for caregivers
·  Ring-A-Ride: Assisted transportation for caregivers and recipients anywhere in the city limits by prior arrangement. Note: Ring-a-Ride users must live within postal codes, R3L, R3M, R3N, R3P, and part of R3T.
·  Support Group for Caregivers: Rupert’s Land Caregiver Services hosts a support group every second Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at 168 Wilton Street.
· Information & Referral: A resource bank of information about services  available throughout Manitoba
Who Knew?  That there is an organization that offers free support to Manitoba caregivers. For more information call (204) 452-9491 or email

3. Safe To Ask Toolkit (Manitoba Institute of Patient Safety)

Description: The SAFE toolkit has information, tips and resources that can help people learn to be more involved in their healthcare.

Review: This site is about much more than safety. S.A.F.E. stands for Self-Advocacy for Everyone. It is full of information on how to advocate for yourself and others with our healthcare system. This site is essential for those who have been diagnosed with a serious illness.
Focus: All Manitobans
Don't miss: The Safe to Ask Medication Card
Best Pages: (Read the summary and the full article)
   1. Know Your Patients Rights
   2. Choose Your Patient Advocate
   3. Know Your Healthcare Plan
   4. Access Your Medical Records 
Who Knew: That anyone can appoint a friend or family member to act as their Patient Advocate to help them navigate the system.
Be sure to complete the Patient Advocate Form.

    Adaptive Clothing

    April Showers and Taxes

    Be sure to maximize tax credits and deductions:
    • Primary Caregiver Tax Credit
    • Disability Tax Credit
    • Eligible Medical Expenses

    Clothing for Seniors with Disabilities

    Many seniors with physical and mental limitations have unique clothing needs. When my mom's dementia became severe she frequently stripped off her clothes. Fortunately, I discovered anti-strip underwear which allowed her to wear her own clothes and also protected her dignity. I recently visited the Adaptive Clothing Store at 1320 Portage Ave. In my experience they have quality adaptive clothing for seniors and are extremely helpful. I invited them to share information with us.

    Adaptive Clothing Store in Winnipeg

      Adaptive Clothing is a relatively new term, that’s why you’ve probably never heard of it. So what is it? Adaptive Clothing is medical device that is specifically designed to aid the dressing process for people with limited mobility. Adaptive Clothing simplifies the process of putting on and taking off clothes for both staff and patients, relieves stress and anxiety levels associated with the process as well as shortens the time of the procedures. Due to Adaptive Clothing being a medical device, the purchases are Tax Exempt if a doctor’s prescription is present. The following are the examples of the features unique to Adaptive Clothing.

    We can also carry wrap-around skirts and capris, bermuda shorts and many other clothing items for both men and women. These are just a few of the options that can provide a solution for arising challenges that are associated with the dressing.
    Another unique feature of Adaptive Clothing that comes usually without mentioning is the material that garments are made out of. Majority of our clients reside in personal care facilities, meaning that their clothing will be washed in the industrial machines using high temperature and harsh detergents. A regular garment will not withstand that and Adaptive Clothing will. Special designs will hold its shape and will not deteriorate and color pallet will remain vibrant longer as well.
    There can be a lot more said about adaptive clothing but it is best to see it with your own eyes to understand its benefits and feel the difference for yourself. We invite anyone who would like to learn more about Adaptive Clothing to stop by our store located at 1320 Portage Avenue, where our friendly staff will educate you and help you select the right option for your loved one if necessary. Our Spring Summer 2015 collection is already here, so there is no better time to stop by then now!
    Nadia Tuhari 
    Adaptive Clothing Store Manager