The Alzheimer Society of York Region provides many educational opportunities for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, caregivers, and health-care professionals. 

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face meetings have been cancelled, however, Care Essentials and First Steps, a four session program for caregivers of those diagnosed with dementia, are now online.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for caregivers of people living with dementia is one approach that has been shown to be effective for managing stress. This program is modeled on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre. Participants will learn mindfulness practices and tools for reducing stress and fostering well-being. The MBSR program includes formal meditation practices and mindful movement exercises drawn from yoga, with options to modify movements and poses for comfort and safety.

An orientation and assessment interview will be required as well as reflection exercises and home practices.

The eight-week long course goes from Thursdays, Sept. 17 to Nov. 5 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

There is also a All-Day Silent Retreat (six hours), Saurday, Oct. 24

Facilitator Hemal Joshi is the senior social worker at the Alzheimer Society of York Region. She is a trainee in the Certification Pathway at the Center for Mindfulness Studies (Toronto). She has completed the six-day Foundational Training in MBSR, which allows her to offer this eight-week program to the public under the guidance of an approved mentor Gwen Morgan.

Cost, is $50. Contact Hemal Joshi at [email protected]

Care Essentials Virtual Education Series, developing skills to support people living with dementia in your life

Session 1, What to Expect: Session 2, Communicating Effectively; Session 3, Responding to Behaviour Changes; Session 4, Supporting Daily Activities.

Upcoming Dates:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 11 to 20, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 15 to 24, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Tuesdays, Oct. 13 to Nov. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursdays, Nov. 5 to 26 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Contact Jaime Cruz, the public education coordinator, at 905-726-3477, ext. 232 or [email protected] for details.

First Steps for Care Partners Virtual Education Series 

First Steps is a four-session education session to teach caregivers: what is dementia; adapting to brain changes; planning ahead; and building a circle of support.

Upcoming Dates:

Thursdays, July 30 to Aug. 20, 1 to 3 p.m.

Tuesdays, Sept. 15 to Oct. 6, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Wednesdays, Oct. 21 to Nov. 11, 1 to 3 p.m.

Mondays, Nov. 23 to Dec. 14, 1 to 3 p.m.

To register, contact Sara MacLean at 647-962-3576 or e-mail [email protected]. For security reasons, only registered participants are permitted. Zoom Meeting ID & password will be provided upon confirmation of registration. 

Options for Care Virtual Education Series, supporting the increasing care needs of persons with dementia

Week 1: When Care Needs are Increasing; Week 2: Long-Term Care Decisions; Week 3: Transitioning Care Roles

Upcoming Dates:

Thursdays, Oct. 8 to 22, 1 to 3 p.m.

Tuesdays, Nov. 10 to 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

To register, contact Jaime Cruz and [email protected] or call 416-704-1653.

Click here to read this article about the public education team. 

Virtual Support Groups

AS York's support groups on now virtual, either by phone or over Zoom. Click here to learn more.

Virtual Minds in Motion

Minds in Motion is for people living with early to mid-stage dementia and their care partners. The program, funded by Catherine Booth and Michael Kirk; the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and friends and family of Tarik and Feroze Mohammed, is currently taking place with new dates being offered in September, October and November.

Click here to learn more about the September to November dates.

Learn more about the fundraiser hosted by Tarik Mohammed to raise money to fund this virtual program.



Last Updated: 08/07/2020