The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s signature fundraiser, the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, is returning to Delta after a two-year hiatus on in-person events.
The fundraiser — happening Sunday, May 29 at 10 a.m. at South Delta Secondary (750 53rd St.) — enables the society to continue to provide crucial programs and services to British Columbians affected by dementia, while also creating awareness of the impact of dementia in the community.
“There is something very powerful about seeing community members join together and walk in support of people affected by dementia,” Cathryn France, the charity’s director of resource development, said in a press release. “The support services we are able to provide are made possible thanks to the generous support of our donors, who provide over 70 per cent of our funding.”
From now until May 29, every gift made online to the Delta walk will be matched by its patron, the Aune Foundation, and another generous donor, up to a total of $10,000. To donate, or to register a team, visit walkforalzheimers.ca.
The organization typically holds more than 20 walks in communities across B.C. as part of the event, with each dedicated to an individual or group who has been affected by dementia or who has made valuable contributions to the lives of people living with the disease.
This year’s Delta walk honours Aly Devji and the Devji family.
|(from left) Salim, Aly and Jane Devji. (Alzheimer Society of B.C./submitted photo)
“I was essentially raised by residents and their caregivers,” Aly said, adding he was brought to work at his parents’ care home when he was just six days old.
In the early days, Jane, a registered nurse, took on the role of hospital administrator while Amin, who passed away in late 2021, focused on maintenance and expansion. Aly and his elder brother Salim worked in the Delta care home, helping with housekeeping, meals, maintenance and administration while learning from their parents that there was a better way to care for people living with dementia.
Jane mapped out her vision for a purpose-built environment for dementia care, and under Amin’s direction the family built and opened the 80-bed Delta View Habilitation Centre on their property in East Delta. Using the gentle care philosophy and a mission to reduce and eliminate both physical and chemical restraints, the “Hugs Not Drugs” approach to person-centred care began at Delta View and continues today.
“People living with dementia and their caregivers will experience many changes and it’s important for them to feel a part of the care home family,” Aly said.
He believes that when a visiting caregiver is having a difficult time, they should feel supported by the care home and its staff members.
“It is a journey we are part of,” he added.
Now CEO of Langley Lodge, Aly encourages people to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
“We need more people to understand and face dementia together,” Aly said. “A lot of people are afraid to address the concerns they have and don’t realize that they can make a difference.”