Minds in Motion®


Minds in Motion® is a community-based social program that incorporates physical activity and mental stimulation for people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their care partners.

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“Both my Mom and Dad are transformed when they are at this simple yet effective program. Minds in Motion gives them a place to not only engage in physical activity but also develop a supportive social network with others in the group.” Patrick T, Care partner  

What is Minds in Motion?

Combining physical activity and mental stimulation, Minds in Motion unfolds to laughter and chatter, with new friendships forming and stories being shared.

Feedback from our participants:

"I enjoyed participating in both the physical exercise and the social activities. It was wonderful meeting and getting to know all the participants. A great group! Overall, a great program. We both love coming. Leaders are excellent - always empathetic and great teachers.” –Care Partner

“The people involved are most helpful. Pleasant and understanding- it’s been a very worthwhile course.” - Person with Dementia

The participants

  • Minds in Motion participants have early to mid-stage signs of dementia and are accompanied by their care partners
  • In some circumstances individuals register on their own, please connect with your local Alzheimer Society for more information on this option
  • A maximum of 11 couples, or 22 participants, enrolled in each eight-week program
  • Each pair pays a minimal registration fee (fees may vary by community)

The program

The 2-hour program runs once a week, for 8 weeks, in a community-based program centre, and offers:

  • Gentle and easy to follow physical activities
  • Fun social activities focused on building personal skills

The benefits

For the person with dementia:

  • Improved balance, mobility, flexibility, and alertness
  • Increased confidence, and comfort with their own circumstance
  • Mutual support from others facing similar experiences

For the care partners, it’s an opportunity to focus on their own health, and have fun with their partner. Other benefits include:

  • Seeing the person they are caring for enjoying themselves
  • Mutual support and learning from other care partners

All participants can benefit from:

  • Sharpened mental functioning, sometimes lasting 2-3 days.
  • Increased sense of social participation

Pilot Findings:

  • Participants’ endurance improved by 20% and strength by 15%.
  • Participants reported decreased social isolation and an increase in informal networks of support
  • 79% of participants continue with physical and social programs after participating
  • Close to 100 volunteers and students have been trained and are active in program delivery
  • 90% of staff, volunteers and students identified an increase in their dementia knowledge

Brain health

The brain is one of your most vital organs. It plays a role in every action and every thought, and just like the rest of your body, it needs to be looked after.

Can dementia be prevented? There are no guarantees, but healthy lifestyle choices will help keep your brain as healthy as possible as you age.

Be good to your brain. It's never too soon or too late to make lifestyle changes to improve your brain's ability to sustain long-term health and fight illnesses.

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Visit our Risk factors page to learn more about the risks associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Facts & resources

Want to keep your Brain healthy?

Staying active in the community has many benefits for your brain health. It can help decrease the risk of developing dementia, can delay the onset of dementia, and may slow the disease progression. Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend all adults (18 and older) should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week, in bouts of at least 10 minutes.

Here are some resources to help you stay active:

  • Download the Alzheimer Society Fact Sheet: Dementia in Ontario
  • Download the Alzheimer Society Fact Sheet: On your way to brain health

Ontario Brain Institute Resources: Boost Your Brain and Body Power, Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s Disease

Another great resource from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology: Guidelines for exercise, by age groups

Join Us

Minds in Motion is a program intended for people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their care partners. However, individuals are welcome to join on their own as well!

Three ways you can get involved with Minds in Motion:

1. Become a participant

Join Minds in Motion in your community by getting in touch with a local Alzheimer Society.
Upon sign-up, participants will be asked a few questions to ensure the program is the right fit for them. Participant couples will pay a fee of $40 for participation in the full eight week program (fees may vary across regions). Become a participant today!

2. Become a program delivery partner

Are you a recreational service provider and want to offer your services to Minds in Motion? Get in touch with your local Alzheimer Society today to find how you can help.

3. Volunteer!

Are you looking for a fun and interactive opportunity to give back to your community? Minds in Motion is a great program to volunteer your time for. Make a difference in your community and join our team today!

Our partners

Thank you to all of our participants, sponsors and supporters across Ontario! Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their long standing funding of Minds in Motion.

The Alzheimer Society recognizes the founding partners of Minds in Motion:

our partners

The Alzheimer Society of Ontario also wishes to gratefully acknowledge the Minds in Motion delivery partners:

The Canadian Centre for Activity and Agingdeveloped the physical activity framework and program curriculum and will provide training to the physical activity program leaders, either directly or through the training of regionally-based trainers.

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A team from Brock University’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies developed the mental stimulation and meaningful activity framework for the program.

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Parks and Recreation Ontario, a provincial membership-based association, is supporting the project by engaging their municipal and non-profit recreation members.

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Parks and Recreation Ontario, association provinciale fondée sur l'adhésion, soutient ce projet en mobilisant ses membres municipaux et sans but lucratif.

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A team from the University of Waterloo’s Kinesiology Department, is leading the evaluation of the Minds in Motion® pilot project.

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We also wish to thank Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care for advising the Alzheimer Society of Ontario on the use of a Therapeutic Recreation framework for inclusion in Ontario's Minds in Motion program.