Categories: Arts & Culture

Programs help seniors remember

Do you remember when? Memory is the name of the game for a series of workshops being held at both the St. Albert Public Library and the St. Albert 50+ Club (formerly the senior citizens’ centre).

Tara Burnett, the outreach co-ordinator at the club, explained that they’ve had courses like this in the past and they’ve always had a very positive reception from the people in attendance, to the best of her recollection at least.

“We all have memory problems,” she stated. “We’ve had these senior memory courses (and a few others that Alberta Health Services offers) for a number of years and they’ve ended up being very popular. It gives you little tips and ways of dealing with that.”

The club offers a wide variety of programs, many of which are geared toward those in their senior years. In the city’s recently released census figures, the demographic sector that grew the most between 2010 and 2012 was the 65 to 69 age group, while the 45 to 49 age group diminished by 584.

Burnett suggested that memory is something that all adults should be concerned about. Many club members say that a poor memory is just a part of getting old.

“I hear it all the time. They use it as an excuse. I think the boomers are more pro-active, shall we say? Memory is just one of those things that people think, as we get older, we lose our memory. It isn’t necessarily true.”

The six-week sessions will be facilitated by Rosanna Wegner, occupational therapist with Alberta Health Services and will start on March 12. The sessions are open to all, not just the members of the club. They will deal with different facets of the problem, even the way that people perceive it. She compared memory loss to chronic illness and said both can have similar forms of treatment.

“Heartburn, if you have it consistently, is a chronic illness.”

Lori Jack of the local Primary Care Network is the main facilitator of the sessions being held at the St. Albert Public Library. She said that her four-week course includes discussions involving nutrition, memory games, and how pharmaceuticals can affect memory.

Jack said that while people can attend any single session, it is much preferable for them to attend all in order to get the broadest perspective and most benefit for their own personal use.

“We try and build on information already presented. There are so many different factors that influence memory.”

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.