Ida's Story - Young-onset Dementia
November 6, 2018

When Discovery Co-op member Ida Ryhorchuk was diagnosed with young-onset dementia, she knew very little about the disease.

"I had no idea that there was even such a thing as young-onset dementia, so there's so much to learn. And even though I came from a family where my dad had Alzheimer's, I actually didn't know anything about it," said Ida.

By sharing her story, Ida is helping people in her community understand the disease, be supportive and combat the isolation dementia and Alzheimer's can cause.

One of the things she emphasizes is the importance of inclusion. When talking with a person with Alzheimer's or dementia and their caregiver, Ida recommends that both people be involved in the conversation.

"Even though you may have to address their caregiver with the information, there are ways to make them included in that conversation, and that, I think, is important," said Ida.

The connection that Ida feels to her local Co-op provides a source of comfort. Leanne Ducommun, Marketing and Communications Manager at Discovery Co-op, has known Ida for many years and recently had a chance to speak with her about her diagnosis.

"She shared her personal experience about how her Co-op still made her feel at home," said Leanne.

"In her days of confusion, when she would come to the [Discovery Co-op] mall, she still felt safe knowing that she was in a place where she knew she would be well taken care of."

Leanne and the Discovery Co-op Team Members decided to take an extra step to help Ida and many others in the community.

In honour of all of their members and customers who have been affected by Alzheimer's and dementia, Discovery Co-op will be selling paper Forget Me Not flowers to support the Alzheimer's Society of Saskatchewan. The flowers are on sale for $2 in November.

Watch the short video above to hear more of Ida's story.