Staff with the Kenora and Rainy River Districts’ Alzheimer’s Society are working to end the stigma around dementia across northwestern Ontario.

Staff joined the community and Council members at Dryden City Hall yesterday as the city raised the Alzheimer’s Flag to celebrate January as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada and in the community.

Dryden’s flag-raising ceremony followed similar ceremonies in Kenora, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, Fort Frances and Ignace – with Sioux Lookout’s ceremony taking place today.

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Throughout the month, the society will also be hosting a number of awareness events, with the first being a coffee and cake break taking place at the Dryden Public Library between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., where staff have created safe spaces for people living with dementia and their care partners.

Other events include joining the Dryden Figure Skating Club at the Dryden Memorial Arena on January 15 between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. for a Skate For Alzheimer’s event, a Memory Lane Cafe at the Dryden Go Getters Senior Activity Centre from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on January 20.

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One in five Canadians have cared for someone living with a form of dementia.

Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. In Canada, 25,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and over 500,000 are currently living with dementia.

The Alzheimer Society states that 60 per cent of people living with dementia will go missing at some point in their lives. Residents are reminded to call 911 if a dementia patient has gone missing.