Programs and services
The Alzheimer Society of York Region can help people on the dementia journey by providing information, resources, education, support and counselling. Use this page as your guide to finding the care and support you may need.
For more information about any of the programs and services offered at the Alzheimer Society of York Region, email Sara MacLean, our First Link coordinator, at [email protected] or call 905-726-3477, ext. 235.
Need service in French? Email [email protected]
We are here to help
Staff at the Alzheimer Society of York Region provide support programs, educational resources, referral services, D.A.Y. programs and counselling to help ease the burden of care and improve the quality of life for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, as well as their caregivers and families.
Experience has shown the earlier people begin to learn and strategize about living with dementia, the more they are prepared. Caregivers will also know how to provide the support and care the person diagnosed with the disease wants as the disease progresses.
We hope you will find peace knowing you are not alone on the dementia journey, and that you can use the knowledge of those who have already gone down the path.
Scroll down to learn more about the programs and services offered by the Alzheimer Society of York Region.
Dementia education and resources
The Alzheimer Society of York Region provides educational opportunities for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, caregivers, and healthcare providers to learn about the disease, living well with it and future planning as well as healthy brains.
The Reitman Centre Online Enhanced CARERS Program focuses on practical skills and emotional supports needed to care for people living with dementia by teaching problem-solving techniques. The group also coaches care partners in communication skills through the use of simulation.
The evidence-based program developed by the Reitman Centre, Sinai Health System provides strategies for keeping a meaningful relationship with the person living with dementia.
The program focuses on practical skills and emotional supports needed to care for people living with dementia.
- Teaches problem solving techniques, a structured approach to address problems
- Coaches care partners in communication skills through the use of simulation
- Provides strategies for keeping a meaningful relationship with the person living with dementia
The program is free.
Virtual Spouses Group
Caring for a significant partner living with Dementia
Virtual Adult Children Group
Caring for parents living with dementia
Contact Hemal Joshi at [email protected] or call 1-888-414-5550, ext. 541 to register.
Please visit our public education page for upcoming programs.
Understanding the disease and its progress is an important step for the person diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, as well as their care partners.
From First Steps and Care Essentials education series to public talks, our public education team can answer questions about brain health and live well with dementia.
Contact Jaime Cruz at 905-726-3477, ext. 232 or [email protected] for more information.
First Steps for Care Partners Education Series
The First Steps for Care Partners Education Series is a four-week session that talks about dementia, brain changes, planning ahead and building a circle of support. The sessions run in various parts of York Region.
Contact Sara MacLean, the First Link coordinator, at [email protected] or call 905-726-3477, ext. 235.
For healthcare providers
The Alzheimer Society of York Region supports the ongoing learning and education of healthcare providers who are dedicated to helping people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Contact [email protected] for details.
More resources on dementia
Across Canada, the Alzheimer Society offers resources for people living with dementia, caregivers, families, healthcare providers and first responders.
Email [email protected] for information.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program for caregivers of people living with dementia
Caring for a family member with dementia can be a stressful experience and can lead to chronic physical and pyschological conditions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is evidence-based approach for managing stress. 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.
Our facilitator, Hemal Joshi, is the social worker- enhanced care program clinician at AS York and a trained MBSR program facilitator.
The program is free.
Contact Hemal at [email protected] or call 1-888-414-5550, ext. 541.
These programs offer support and improve quality of life for people diagnosed with dementia, families and caregivers.
Our D.A.Y. program provides a structured, individualized recreational social program for people diagnosed with dementia living in York Region.
Learn more about our D.A.Y. Program.
Minds in Motion®
Through Minds in Motion®, people living with early to mid-stage dementia will experience meaningful and beneficial socialization and stimulation through a number of appropriate activities.
Mandarin-speaking residents 55+ can join the next session of the Minds in Motion program, which includes gentle seat exercises and fun games Fridays. The program is free. Contact Loletta, public education coordinator, R.E.A.C.H. Project, at 905-726-3477, ext. 234 or [email protected]
The session for Cantonese-speaking residents 55+ takes place Wednesdays and Thursdays, Each session runs from 2 to 3 p.m. over Zoom. Free. Contact Loletta, public education coordinator, R.E.A.C.H. Project, at 905-726-3477, ext. 234 or email [email protected]
The Music Project
Through the Music Project, York Region residents living with dementia are able to receive a free MP3 player and customized playlist free of charge. Each unit costs $200. Donate here.
If you are concerned that you may have dementia, or have been recently diagnosed and are unsure what your next step is, the Alzheimer Society of York Region can help you get the information you need.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging.
- If you are concerned about any of the early warning signs, go to your doctor.
- If you don’t receive the help you need, ask to be referred to a specialist. You know your body and you should speak up if you have worries about Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
For help and support with self-referral, email Sara MacLean, the First Link coordinator, at [email protected] or call 905-726-3477.
First Link® is an innovative program that connects people who are newly diagnosed with local healthcare providers across Ontario. People living with dementia can receive information about a diagnosis, day-to-day living, positive approaches to care and how to prepare for the end of life.
The program also provides individual support and counselling and links people with the disease to other Alzheimer Society of York Region programs and services.
We provide a variety of support for people who are caring for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, whether it is for an individual or part of a group.
Caregiver support groups
Support groups help families and caregivers of the person diagnosed with dementia maintain and increase feelings of self-worth and control by sharing common problems.
Through the guidance of supportive social workers, group members can experience emotional relief, develop greater self-awareness and understanding, receive information and support and acquire a different outlook on their journey.
Learn more about our caregiver support groups.
Social Work Program
Our comprehensive Social Work Program provides practical support to caregivers living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In supporting caregivers, we provide education about the disease, coping techniques and therapeutic counselling.
Email Sara MacLean, First Link coordinator, at [email protected]
More York and Ontario community-specific services
What other community services can help me?
Check the services available in your community from the following York and Ontario agencies:
- Community Care Access Centres (CCAC)
- Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA)
- Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA)
- Circle of Care
- Community & Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS)
If you need more help finding a community service near you, email Sara MacLean, the First Link Coordinator, at [email protected] or call 905-726-3477.
We provide many learning opportunities for the general public as well as corporate information sessions. Through these opportunities and sessions, you can learn more about dementia and how you can help make our community more dementia-friendly.
Email Jaime Cruz, public education coordinator, at [email protected]
When Alzheimer's disease and other dementias progress, the person diagnosed with the disease has the potential to go missing. This situation presents a serious safety concern, but know that help and support are available.
Finding Your Way®
Finding Your Way® is a website dedicated to helping people diagnosed with dementia, their families, caregivers and communities to recognize the risk of going missing, be prepared for incidents of going missing, and ensure people diagnosed with dementia can live safely in the community.
Learn more about Finding Your Way®.
MedicAlert® Safely Home®
MedicAlert® Safely Home®is a nationwide service designed to help identify a person living with dementia who has gone missing. The service also ensures the person safely returns to their family.
MedicAlert® Safely Home® was created through a partnership between MedicAlert Foundation Canada and the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Learn more about MedicAlert® Safely Home®.
Project Lifesaver combines radio technology with police rescue teams to build an effective life-saving system for wandering and disoriented loved ones in York Region. Those who are a part of the Project Lifesaver program wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal.
Learn more about Project Lifesaver.
York Region Police Vulnerable Person Registry
The Vulnerable Person Registry assists York Regional Police to quickly identify and return lost or wandering persons to their caregiver.
The registry was created through a partnership between York Regional Police and the Alzheimer Society of York Region.
Learn more about the Vulnerable Person Registry.