Minds in Motion will soon start up again in Steinbach, connecting people who are on a journey with dementia. 

“It is a fun morning of connecting with people living with dementia and a care partner,” explains Meg Pfeifer-Brandt, regional coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. “So, it could either be their spouse or a person that's working with them.” 

She says people come together for a morning of different activities such as exercises. 

“It could be anywhere from lawn bowling to ladder golf to playing trivia games or all sorts of cognitive games like that,” Pfeifer-Brandt says. “And we just have a really fun time together.” 

Recognizing that some caregivers might be hesitant to join a group because their partner’s behaviour could be unpredictable, she says Minds in Motion is a safe place to visit. 

“It is absolutely safe for anyone who's coming that lives with dementia, is on the dementia journey and experiencing those changes,” she says. “We are a place that is loving and caring, and we all understand.” 

People can expect this weekly program to offer support with no judgement. 

“There's really actually no expectation. We just want you to come and have fun and connect with other people who are on the same journey.” 

She says this program offers socialization in a way that encourages people while having a fun time. 

“Oftentimes, we can talk about dementia and about the changes and about being a caregiver, but you don't really know it until you're in it and you experience it, and the feelings that come along with it.” 

Being able to share those mixed feelings with other people who can relate, Pfeifer-Brandt says that helps to remove some of the loneliness that frequently accompanies dementia. 

“To share that with other people you know exactly what you're going through, who get those feelings, who are able to empathize with you... you're seen, and you're heard.” 

In the previous Minds in Motion sessions in Steinbach, Pfeifer-Brandt says there has been a positive response and she encourages more people to experience this type of support. 

“After somebody has participated in the program, they will go home and I hear from the care partners themselves, they were like, ‘Wow, my person was so stimulated, and they were able to have so many different kinds of conversations that we haven't been able to have in a long time.’ So, it's really good for both people to have that connection together and to get that brain stimulation.” 

One of her favourite comments comes from a care partner who referred to the weekly Minds in Motion sessions as their ‘date nights’ because it was an enjoyable time out of the house. 

 “If you want to know more about it, you can call me. My number is 204-326-5771 and I can tell you a bit about what we do. And if you want to register, you can call the Pat Porter Active Living Centre at 204-326-4600 and they will take your registration. It starts April 3rd, we run for eight weeks. We will miss the May 22nd, which is May long weekend, and then we will continue. It's $65 a pair (and sessions run) from 10 in the morning till noon.”