Brock panel focuses on demystifying dementia (POSTPONED)

NOTE: The Demystifying Dementia event scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15 has been postponed due to inclement weather. Anyone who had registered for the event will be given direct notice when a new date is selected. For any questions about the event, please contact Jayne Morrish at


To help raise awareness about the increasing prevalence of dementia in Niagara, Brock University is hosting a free public talk focused on the disorder.

Brock University’s Centre for Lifespan Development Research and the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences have partnered to host “Demystifying Dementia,” which will be held Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:45 p.m. in Brock’s David S. Howes Theatre.

“We shouldn’t assume that dementia is a normal part of aging,” says Lynn McCleary, Associate Professor of Nursing. “Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of disorders of the brain, where functioning decreases over time and it is important to break down the stigmas associated with them.”

With Niagara’s aging population, many agencies and partners across the region have taken on the roles of education, prevention, intervention and research targeting memory-related issues.

Thursday’s panel will see McCleary and Recreation and Leisure Studies Associate Professor Colleen Whyte join a panel of representatives from the community in providing an overview of what dementia is and what resources are available in Niagara.

“Lots of people in Niagara are affected and, as our population ages, that number will continue to grow. This impacts the whole community, as well as family and friends,” McCleary says. “Being able to identify when there is something wrong and the ability to get help early is important.”

At the event, the community panel will address the prevalence of dementia and how the likelihood of it developing increases with age, diagnosis and transitions in care. Findings from research will also be shared including how friendships are sustained for people living with dementia, as well as the role of music among older adults with dementia. 

“I hope this panel will become a platform for people to be able to talk with each other about their symptoms and how to have a good life with dementia,” McCleary says. “It’s important to not underestimate an individual’s ability. Unfortunately, many are afraid to tell someone they are having difficulty. We hope to shift this perspective.”

Panel members will also include: Melanie Elliott (MA ’17), Methologica Inc., Research Associate; Naomi O’Brien, Respite Services Manager, Seniors Community Programs for the Niagara Region; and Jessica Pace, Alzheimer’s Society of Niagara Region Education Co-ordinator. 

What: Demystifying Dementia — Lessons from research and community programming
Who: Brock University researchers and community partners. Event open to all.
When: Thursday, Nov. 15, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: David S. Howes Theatre, Brock University

The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP online at is required as space is limited. Parking is free for attendees in Lot D.

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