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Hantsport care home celebrates new full-time day program while raising funds for Alzheimer Society


HANTSPORT, N.S. — The sun was shining down brightly on the Rose-Marie Care Home in Main Street in Hantsport as a violin played sugary tunes and beef patties were being grilled on a barbecue.

Baked goods were also being sold, with all funds raised heading to the Alzheimer Society of Canada — a cause that is dear to Dee Joof's heart.

July 8 was a big day for Joof, who is the care home’s CEO, and her staff — not only was it the Nursing Home Challenge fundraiser, they were also celebrating their fifth anniversary.

But perhaps the most important aspect of the day was the launch of a new full-time day program, which will provide daily or semi-daily respite care for those in need.

“It’s full-time, which is quite unique; many others only offer part-time now,” Joof said. “In order to keep people in their own homes, that’s the infrastructure we really need.”

Joof said the day program is versatile enough to meet client’s needs so that caregivers are able go to appointments, continue working, or run errands.

“It needs to be just like day care so you can get on with your life,” she said.

Joof said there are already a few people enrolled in the extended day program, adding that demand for these types of programs is high.

“It’s a win-win situation because it allows the person being cared for to go to a safe environment where they have companionship, meals and their medication,” she said. “The caregiver can have some normalcy in their lives and prevents caregiver burnout at the end of the day.”

Dementia on the rise

Marcy MacPherson operates Still Alive Inside, a dementia training, coaching and consulting company.

She came to the event to support the Rose-Marie Care Home’s Nursing Home Challenge and she wants to see more action from the province on the dementia issue, which she says is growing.

“The prevalence of dementia is on the rise, so we will be seeing many different forms of dementia and many more getting it,” she said. “It’s important to raise awareness and to try and help people who are caring for those living with it.”

Dementia is an umbrella term, with more than 100 different varieties. The one that’s most well known is Alzheimer’s disease.

“We haven’t reached the widest part of the aging bubble, and when we reach that, a large number will be affected by dementia,” she said. “Either by having it or having a family member who has the disease.”

She wants to see action taken now to address the issue.

“We’re not doing enough, I don’t think any province is doing enough when it comes to understanding it,” she said. “Hopefully in the future we’ll see that we’re going to start taking it more seriously.”

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