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WorkSafeBC

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Dementia information session to assist health care workers and employers

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Richmond, B.C., October 4, 2010 —WorkSafeBC is hosting an information session to support the health care industry in defining care practices that will keep workers safe when caring for people with dementia. The session will take place on October 5th in the Alice MacKay room at the Vancouver Public Library.

“This session features experts in the field who will provide some tools and strategies to help workers and employers care for people with dementia,” said Donna Wilson, WorkSafeBC Vice-President of Industry Services and Sustainability. “Each year, 1 in 10 workers in residential care miss time from work due to a work-related injury.”

Dementia affects about one in three people over the age of 85 years. About 70,000 people in B.C. live with some form of dementia, and more than 15,000 new cases are diagnosed in the province each year. The cognitive and physical losses caused by dementia are the main reason why people move into residential care, and more than 80 percent of people in residential care live with some level of dementia. Symptoms of dementia include challenging behaviours, and it is critically important that health care workers understand proper care techniques and learn how to use good practice guidelines.

“As the population ages, the number of people suffering some form of dementia will dramatically increase,” said Jean Blake, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., a keynote speaker of the session. “With awareness, knowledge, and proper planning, health care providers will gain the education they need to provide high quality, evidence-based care, as well as the skills to facilitate respectful interactions that ensure the dignity of a person living with dementia in residential care.”

The information session will be videotaped and available online, along with WorkSafeBC’s DVD, Working with Dementia: Safe Work Practices for Caregivers, and the handbook, Dementia: Understanding Risks and Preventing Violence. To find these items, visit the Safety@Work Centre for Health Care at www2.worksafebc.com/Portals/HealthCare/Violence.asp.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.3 million workers and more than 200,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.


For more information, contact:

Heather Young
Manager, Public Affairs
WorkSafeBC
604 214-5441(office)
604 818-0020 (cell)