Launched in September of 2019, the Intergenerational Learning program aims to reconnect the youth with the elderly population with the hope of bridging the gap between generations. Our youth volunteers engage in technology-focused seminars that aim to educate senior citizens on the digital age, and in turn seniors are asked to teach our youth volunteers about something meaningful to them, such as life or career advice. The interactions allow both groups to learn from each other and to reduce the social isolation that many elderly people experience.
The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic brought on many challenges, but it especially impacted low-income families and seniors’ access to fresh and healthy food. The Healthy Food Healthy Brain food donation program was launched in partnership with IGA Extra Duchemin (Saint-Laurent) and Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent Ms. Emmanuella Lambropoulos, to ensure that seniors and families in Saint-Laurent would have continued access to healthy food throughout the pandemic and afterwards. Hope for Dementia knows that maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is one way to help reduce the risk of dementia. Through this program we not only provide people with healthy and complete meals, but also educate people on the importance of eating healthy food for a healthy brain.
The Just Connect & Tablet Donation Program seeks to inspire people to call or safely check up on loved ones, friends or someone in the community. Social engagement and connection are essential parts of maintaining a healthy brain, that is often forgotten. Connection does not require face to face or physical interaction, but simply a listening ear.
Electronic tablets not only function as a method of communication for seniors, but also as a new medium they can use to challenge their brains. Brain games and other apps offer a new way to maintain their brain health and learn new skills.
Our tablet donations allow seniors in Saint-Laurent and the Montreal Island area to stay connected with friends and family during the pandemic and afterward. With the rise of social isolation caused by the pandemic, it was more important than ever for seniors to have a way to stay connected.
With the help of many generous donors, such as Pfizer Canada, Ms. Emmanuella Lamprobolous (MP), Mr. Pierre Arcand (MNA), Ms. Marwah Rizqy (MNA) and Mrs. Christine St-Pierre (MNA) and the Government of Canada’s New Horizons Program, Hope for Dementia raised enough funds to finance more than 150 tablets that were distributed to senior care homes and CHSLDs.
Starting in spring 2023, the Busy Box. Better Brain. project is being implemented over a 2-year period throughout the province of Québec. Funded by the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québecois d’expression anglaise and deployed through the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), the project aims to reduce the risk of cognitive decline among vulnerable seniors who have limited access to services in English in remote areas, through the regular delivery of activity kits, training in digital skills and the distribution of information materials on the prevention of dementia.
In spring 2023, Hope for Dementia in partnership with People before Patients and The ABC Centre (Centre d’Action bénévole et communautaire St-Laurent), launched the Mindful Eating for Healthy Minds project in Ville Saint-Laurent. The project aims to teach seniors to eat mindfully to mitigate risks of dementia, while reducing social isolation through their active participation in group meal preparation. This project is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada’s New Horizon for Seniors Program and a generous grant from the Gloria Baylis Foundation.
Hope for Dementia is currently participating in a research project led by Martin Arguin, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, at the Université de Montréal. The project, entitled Exploring the ability of cognitive screening test results to predict cognitive decline in older adults in the future, aims to discover early indicators of possible future cognitive decline due to progressive neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.