Yorkton and surrounding area selected for University of Regina-led dementia project

News Release Release Date: April 6, 2020 12:00 p.m.

Yorkton and its surrounding region has been chosen as the area of focus for a five-year project that will fund 3 to 4 organizations to deliver services that support greater social inclusion of older adults living with dementia and their caregivers. The project is being conducted through the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU), a research centre based at both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan.

The Interventions to Enhance Social Inclusion of Older Adults with Dementia in Saskatchewan project was made possible thanks to a contribution from Employment and Social Development Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. The project is being led by Dr. Bonnie Jeffery, a professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina’s Prince Albert Campus. The team also includes Dr. Tom McIntosh, professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies, and Dr. Nuelle Novik, associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work.

"We believe that Yorkton and the surrounding communities are ideal places to explore what interventions can best enhance the quality of lives of people with dementia that live in smaller communities and rural areas,” says Jeffery. "We are also confident that services and supports that are shown to be effective in this area can be expanded to other rural communities in Saskatchewan.”

Gord Grant lives in Moosomin and sits on the advisory committee for the project. He lives with dementia and knows that this project will help Yorkton and the surrounding communities to better understand the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers.

"This project can give groups or programs the support, training, and awareness they may need to better provide assistance for those living with dementia in rural communities", says Grant. "When there is more community awareness, this will hopefully reduce the stigma that prevents people from seeking help and support.”

This project will also help to support caregivers for those living with dementia. Edna Parrott, also an advisory committee member and a former Director of Homecare for the Sunrise Health Region, cared for her husband who lived with dementia. She knows first-hand how important socialization is, for both caregivers and those living with dementia, and hopes this project will help individuals to realize that they are not alone in their rural communities.

"This project will allow us to have programs developed by rural Saskatchewan people, for rural Saskatchewan people", says Parrott. "Saskatchewan is a diverse province with many different cultures, so we can take that into consideration and implement programs suitable for specific areas.”

The project team is collaborating with the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan on the Interventions to Enhance Social Inclusion of Older Adults with Dementia in Saskatchewan project. Given our recent experience with COVID-19 we have all become more aware of the importance of this project in addressing the social isolation that can be experienced by older adults and especially those living with dementia. The team will be holding meetings in Yorkton and area at a later date when it is safe to do so for organizations interested in participating in the project. In the meantime they are offering a webinar on April 22 at 1:30 p.m. to provide information on the project. Organizations who are interested in attending the webinar session can contact Michelle Harazny, Project Coordinator at michelle.harazny@uregina.ca or 306-337-2228.


About The University of Regina:

The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,500 students study within the University's 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.


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