History and Innovation

The Alzheimer Society of York Region has been a leader in actively supporting individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias since 1985. We serve people with dementia and their caregivers with programs and services that address the disease, provide unique DAY care experiences, and support families with meaningful, practical advice and counsel.  We have a proven record of working collaboratively and in partnership with different agencies within the Region of York.  As a result, the Alzheimer Society of York Region is now connected to all nine cognitively impaired DAY programs within York Region.

A Quarter Century of Service Growth


  • AS York founded by family caregivers and health care professionals involved with Alzheimer's disease


•    Thornhill DAY Centre opens and becomes the first cognitively impaired day program in York Region


•    Established Outreach Program (forerunner to Caregiver Support and Education Program)


•    Established second D.A.Y. Centre in Newmarket


•    Formed integrated partnerships with Regional Municipality of York and York Central Hospital to work with our Caregiver Support and Education Program for their new cognitively-impaired programs in Vaughan (Maple Health Centre), Georgina (Keswick Gardens) and Richmond Hill


•    Expanded service delivery at existing AS York DAY centres to six days per week, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.


•    Opened satellite office in Georgina with support from the United Way of York Region


•    Expansion of Caregiver Support and Education program with linguistic specific social workers (Italian, Cantonese and Mandarin)


•    AS York Board of Directors establishes new strategic priorities that focus on Fund Development, Service Expansion and Performance Management


•    AS York management and organizational structure re-designed to increase staff engagement, strengthen ability to deliver existing services and support new initiatives being pursuedEstablished the first DAY Centre in Whitchurch-Stouffville with support from the Central Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN)

•    Through the support of the Central LHIN Aging at Home initiative, AS York establishes new partnerships with other service organizations that expand dementia programming and increase the number of clients accessing services across the RegionCommissioned Best Practices in Quality Dementia Care Report.


•    AS York Caregiver Support and Education Team includes nine social workers, seven of whom are MSWs

•    AS York addresses clients' needs in Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Farsi, Tamil, Hindi, Punjabi and Yiddish.  All specific cognitively impaired day centre programming in York involves the support and participation of the Alzheimer Society of York Region

•    Opened satellite office in city of Vaughan with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation


•    AS York expanded programming by acquiring funding for First Link®

•    AS York hosted an announcement of $8.6M for CIHR approved Canada wide Alzheimer's research by the Federal Government

•    Andrea Ubell, Senior Manager of Programs & Client Services presented at the 26th International Conference of Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), a federation of more than 70 Alzheimer associations from around the world


•    Establishment of first Link to help families make informed choices so they can live better with dementia at every stage of the disease.


•    Newmarket Chamber of Commerce presents AS York with the Business Excellence Award for Not-for- Profit of the Year


•    Flagship centre in Nemmarket relocated to Aurora where we can serve more clients and their families. The new facility offers superior client-centred focus where DAY programming and other services are enhanced, expanded and diversified, in a facility that is the foundation of a new healthcare hub in York Region.

•    AS York begins to build a culture of philanthropy focusing on major gifts to meet growing demands.

•    Local philanthropist Dr. Allan Carswell and the Carswell Family Foundation generously donate $600,000 over three years (Year 1 - $150,000, Year 2 - $200,000, Year 3 - $250,000) and will match all new and/or increased donations, dollar-for-dollar.

•    In 2014, thanks to generous support, we successfully achieved the full match amount of $150,000 from the Carswells.


•    AS York receives accreditation through Accreditation Canada scoring 100 per cent. This process is a central piece in embedding a renewed culture of quality, client safety and excellence.

•    "Improving dementia care" identified as a priority in CLHIN Health Plan thanks largely to an evidence based brief submitted by AS York.

•    In Year 2 of the Carswell challenge, with donor support, we were successful in receiving $200,000 in new and/or increased donations that were matched dollar-for-dollar by the Carswell Family  Foundation.


•    The Carswell challenge continues until March 31, 2017, with $250,000 available to be matched. As of January 2017, $223,937 new and/or increased donations have been received. Make your gift today.

•    Continued commitment to meeting our clients' needs as we plan for the future. 


•    The final year of the Carswell Challenge was met! Thank you to all donors who ensured the full pledge commitment from the Carswell Family Foundation was received, by matching their gift of $600,000 through new and/or increased donations. 

•    Loren Freid, CEO, was the Executive Lead on a collaboration of individual caregivers and organizations to create, “A Planning Framework for Improving Supports to Caregivers”, with financial support provided from the Central LHIN.

•    AS York prepared for the next level of accreditation, Qmentum, through Accreditation Canada. This will further enhance the focus on providing quality, client-centred care, embracing safety and risk management for all stakeholders. 

•    The Canada Qmetum Accreditation program awarded AS York Exemplary Standing under Accreditation. AS York successfully completed 397 out of 398 standards, which included client-centred services and work life, scoring a 99.7 per cent overall rating.
•    AS York co-lead the Central LHIN Dementia Strategy to provide better care for people living with dementia and more supports of caregivers at the community level.
•    AS York and Collaborative Aging released The Caregiver Support Framework, a 10-page document aimed at providing information to support caregivers. 
•    The First Link Navigator, who helps people access services, supports and information, is now in the Town of Georgina.
•    A third day of programing was added to Parkview Village in Stouffville. The Aurora DAY program opened Sundays for a pilot project and in December the seventh day became permanent, making it the only community-based DAY program in York Region open daily.
•    AS York and Reena, a non-profit organization that promotes independence and inclusion for people with development disabilities, developed and delivered customized training to address Aging with a Developmental Disability to people and healthcare providers across the province.
•    The Artwell Project, a partnership between AS York and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection came to all three DAY programs bringing art to clients. 
•    Minds in Motion, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, came to northern York Region including the Town of Georgina and the Town of East Gwillimbury. 
•    AS York now offers The Cyril and Dorothy Joel and Jill Reitman Centre CARERS Program, an eight-week program for people caring for spouses with dementia. 

•    The Carswell Family Foundation makes a transformative gift to AS York, providing 10 new DAY program spots and a matching program for the next three years. The Carswell Family Foundation, lead by Dr. Allan Carswell, will match up to $150,000 in new gifts the first year; $200,000 the second year and $250,000 in the third year.
•    AS York develops a new five-year strategic plan. 
•    Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, AS York received two new vans to transport clients to the Thornhill and Aurora DAY program. 
•    AS York opens a second Memory Café, this one at the Vaughan Library. 
•    The Music Project, which provides those living with dementia an MP3 player and customized playlist, is now in York Region thanks to individual donors and grants.  


Last Updated: 06/21/2019