Betts Engell and her journey through Alzheimer’s


Prof. Emeritus Betts Engell taught at Sheridan College in the Social Service Worker program for more than two decades. She was known as a kind, generous, active and hands-on person. She was involved in many community projects and had the power to rally people behind her for all social causes she held near and dear to her heart.

After she retired, she continued her social activities in the form of Scottish dancing, social work and art at Joshua Creek Heritage Centre. Friends and family began to notice oddities in her behaviour. She would show up with two hats instead of one, with four sweaters on when it wasn’t even cold. She would forget names and where she was headed.

In 2009, she revealed to her friends and family that the explanation for all her odd behaviours that had come to notice were being caused by a problem in her brain. Despite the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, she continued painting with the help of friends and family at Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre.

In her death, she has left for us timeless art pieces that, quite possibly, give us a unique glimpse into an Alzheimer’s afflicted brain.