Sport and Community
Updated: Sep 2
There was an article in the Globe and Mail recently titled Program in Ottawa helps adults with dementia maintain social and physical activities. It was all about these really great programs in Ottawa and Calgary that allows people with early onset dementia to get together and participate in recreational sports like badminton, swimming and other social activities. This is a really great example of how sport can help people have a sense of community and belonging.
Dementia can affect a lot of a person’s day to day life, causing disruption to their work and home life. In the article, the person being interviewed said that it is a really safe space because they can just be themselves without having to worry about things like asking the same question more than once. Sport is the facilitator.
This is another example of how sports can have a social impact. Sport is all about participation, and this program really speaks to that. I truly believe that sports are for everyone. Having to retire early and give up many of the old social and physical activities that you used to enjoy before must have a really profound effect on people, so this program is truly amazing in that regard. It allows people to move forward with some of the activities that they did before and also gets them engaged in a new community.
Policy makers can use sport as a way to help create more inclusion and community for people with dementia.
Some of the challenges of providing this program were that the clients sometimes have very different types of dementia so their needs are very different. The article also noted that the lack of programs like this also pose a challenge because it has become very popular so they are running out of space.