Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County and IBM Participate in Centennial Day of Service Volunteer Event

100 volunteers kick off 4-month volunteer project; Alzheimer Society receives IBM service grant of $10,000

OTTAWA, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County today announced that it is partnering with local IBM (NYSE: IBM) employees as part of IBM's Celebration of Service, a program designed for employees, retirees and business partners, to donate their time and expertise during the company's Centennial year. Hundreds of thousands of IBMers around the world are volunteering in their local communities, helping with civic challenges and societal needs.

The economic, social and healthcare costs associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are rising rapidly. Today, there are approximately 500,000 Canadians with Alzheimer's or related dementias. It costs Canadians $15 billion per year for dementia care and Canadians currently provide 259 million hours of informal care. Within a generation these numbers are expected to swell dramatically. Over one million Canadians are expected to be living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias at a cost of $153 billion a year. In the span of a generation, Canadians are expected to be providing more than 756 million hours of informal care, more than triple today's amount.

To prepare for the road ahead, a team of 100 volunteers (including 55 IBMers) are delivering a variety of professional activities to help the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County connect and modernize essential services. The project launches June 15, 2011 and runs until October 15, 2011.

As part of its centennial celebration, IBM is delivering hundreds of new service grants, valued at more than $12 million, which support employee-driven volunteer activities. The service grants include cash and equipment awards. These new technology and cash grants expand IBM's commitment to communities by 140 percent over the last year. The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County is one of three Canadian recipients, and amongst a prestigious group of 100 worldwide, who will receive a $10,000 service grant from IBM.

The local team's activities include:

  • Developing an E-learning Framework: Volunteers will help build an e-learning framework for two core educational courses.
  • Internet Education: Teams of IBM volunteers will attend support group meetings with Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County staff and volunteers to teach caregivers (spouses and families) how to use the Internet effectively and how to find dementia resources specific to their cognitive and practical daily needs.
  • Project Management Workshops: IBMers will work with ASORC to offer project management workshops to the health care workers, volunteers and support staff. These workshops will be offered across the National Capital Region and Ottawa Valley.                                                          

"Our goal is to provide information, support and education to individuals and families living with Alzheimer's disease in our community. But with limited funding sources, our volunteers play an important role in the programs we offer to support them throughout the continuum of the disease," said Kathy Wright, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County. "These IBM volunteers know they are part of that community too, and we are extremely pleased for the contribution to help us keep moving forward with their expertise and support."

"In the spirit of societal responsibility first envisioned by IBM founder, Thomas Watson, and to commemorate our 100 year anniversary as a corporation, IBMers are giving back to the communities where we work and live," said Andrea Pavia of IBM Corporate Citizenship. "By partnering with the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, we are able to help make a real difference in the lives of Ottawans and their families as they manage through a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias."

In recognition of 100 years in business, the 2011 IBM Celebration of Service spans more than 120 countries where IBMers live and conduct business.

About the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County:

In Ottawa and Renfrew County, there are approximately 13,000 people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. This number does not include family members and care providers who must also cope with the effects of Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County provides information, support and education to individuals and families coping with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Ottawa and Renfrew County. For more information on programs offered by the Alzheimer Society, visit www.alzheimer-ottawa-rc.org

About IBM:  For more information on the IBM Centennial, visit: www.ibm100.com.

SOURCE IBM Canada Ltd.

For further information:

Debbie Seto
Communications Manager
Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County
613-523-4004

Carrie Bendzsa
IBM Communications
613-796-3880


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