Advertisement

Three regional Alzheimer Society chapters will unify in July

Article content

Three regional Alzheimer Society chapters will be unifying in July to provide better support for people living with dementia and their care partners.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

As of July 1, Alzheimer Society chapters in Oxford, Elgin-St. Thomas, London and Middlesex will become Alzheimer Society Southwest Partners.

The Walk for Alzheimer’s, a signature fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford, will keep its local flavour.

“We’re still keeping it local,” said Shelley Green, who will become the Director of People & Culture – Oxford Lead.

“That is part of my role as the Oxford Lead… to have an eye on Oxford. So I will have an eye regionally, in my new position of Director of People & Culture, but as the Oxford Lead I have an opportunity to look at Oxford specifically and make sure that we have a local focus, local content reflected in our communications, our social media. I am looking at times specifically of the needs of Oxford, as all the rest of our staff will be too. We’re all going to be committed to the people living in our region with dementia and their care partners, and we have a commitment and a focus to make sure that the local communities are not only just as well served as they’ve been in the past, but the goal is that we can do even more.”

“As a care partner for my husband, I am so very grateful to be both a client, a board member, and an advocate,” said Deb Weber in a media release. “I speak for many other families and friends out there with whom I have contact. They too are grateful for your work on behalf of all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

Alzheimer Society Southwest Partners will be better able to serve more people, provide more services and reach a broader audience throughout the region.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

While maintaining a strong regional team, Southwest Partners plans to serve “locally,” and, over time, expand the reach into more communities.

Unification benefits include better access and support for people living with dementia/Alzheimer’s and their care partners; the ability to serve more people; improved staffing and organizational strength; and it will contribute to simplifying the healthcare system by streamlining delivery of dementia programs and services.

“That is the hope, that is the aim, that is the goal, that is the vision,” said Green.

“That through gained efficiencies, through the use of technology, and the coming together, that we will find efficiencies so that we can serve more people.”

Instead of three organizations doing separate but similar work, they are coming together as one, said Green.

Public education might be one example where they can share work, leaving time for people not working on that specific project to focus on program delivery.

“We would now have a team of public education co-ordinators for the region, but they’re going to be working together.”

The unification officially begins July 1, and at that time Carol Walters will become the CEO of the Unified Society; Green will become the director of People & Culture – Oxford Lead; and Christine Poier will become the director of Operations – Elgin Lead.

“We know that the numbers of people being diagnosed are increasing,” said Green. “And we know that is going to be a significant strain on the organization in the coming years, so we’re preparing for the future as well as looking at how we can better serve clients today.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“It’s twofold. We are looking to the future saying ‘how are we going to respond to the increasing number of people being diagnosed?’ along with the increasing number of people who are aware and wanting to reach out for services.”

Green said that’s a result of increasing Alzheimer awareness, and children who have parents that are being diagnosed with dementia are more likely to reach out for support.

“It’s about a sustainable model, it’s about preparing for the future and the wave of people being diagnosed. It’s also about doing not only what we are doing today, but doing more.

“We have an amazing team of staff across the region that are passionate about who we serve and are passionate about the work we are doing. They are committed to not only continuing the excellent service locally, they are excited moving forward and gaining for our clients now working as a region.”

There have been no job losses related to the unification.

“That was our commitment right from the get-go,” said Green. “This is not about loss of jobs.”

cabbott@postmedia.com

Latest National Stories

Advertisement

Story continues below

News Near Tillsonburg

This Week in Flyers