Programs and Services

Because no one should face dementia alone…

The Dementia Society is in part funded by the Local Health Integration Network (Ontario Ministry of Health).  With their support and that of donors, we provide a number of programs and services for people impacted by dementia.

Many of these are primarily targeted to caregivers of people with dementia; this is our unique area of specialization.

Sometimes we are asked “But don’t you help people with dementia directly?” and of course, we can and do.  A person with a diagnosis of dementia may find many of our resources helpful, the education programs too, and our counsellors are certainly ready to help in any way needed.

But one of the main ways we help people with dementia is through the help and guidance we offer to their family members and care partners, who play such an important role in coordinating and providing support and care.

Dementia caregivers have a very unique role with quite specific needs

  • They need to learn about the kind of dementia they and their loved one are dealing with.
  • They want to be ready for coming challenges and learn strategies for dealing with the effects of dementia, at different stages.
  • They are often the coordinator of care and need help navigating the health and social services sectors; to find the right and best kinds of supports for the person with dementia they are helping.
  • Above all, a caregiver is not only planning and organizing and coping and feeling about the one they are looking after … they have a whole raft of needs of their own.
  • Their health, well-being, stress levels, understanding, coping ability, decision making, and above all inner peace all need support so in turn they can carry on in one of the toughest and most important things they’ll ever do.

Whether you are a caregiver, a person with a diagnosis of dementia, a professional in the area of senior care or dementia support, or just an individual who is interested in learning more … we are here.  Ready to see you at our offices, have a telephone call, welcome you to an education, social or peer support program or direct you to places and resources you need. The Dementia Society is here to help.

Available Programs / Services

Dementia Link

Telephone based counselors provide dementia information, access to dementia education, social and “peer support” programming as well as referrals to appropriate programs and services throughout the region. Regular follow up contact is maintained to offer guidance and help over time.

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Enhanced Dementia Support Program

Dementia Care Coaches are available to meet in person with individuals living with dementia and their caregivers and families, to support them as they access and navigate the many facets of the care system and help them develop strategies for self-management.  

Dementia Care Coaches work in collaboration with primary care providers, community and government partner organizations and other service providers, to ensure the most seamless access to care possible and to enhance the health and wellbeing of people with dementia and their caregivers.

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Renfrew County Dementia Support Program

Dementia Care Coaches and volunteers providing support, information, referrals, guidance, education and social programs for caregivers and persons with dementia.

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Minds in action

A program offering once-weekly gentle exercise and good fun for dementia partners (caregiver and person with dementia).  An eight week session is offered four times a year in four different locations in Ottawa. Classes are led by qualified fitness instructors from the City of Ottawa.

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Thanks for the memories

The power of music to reach and sooth a mind troubled by dementia is well documented.  This recreation program, led by trained volunteers, offers an opportunity for dementia partners (caregiver and person with dementia) to spend time listening to music, singing, drumming or using mouth organs with perhaps the odd dance.  A very special shared experience offered once a week for eight weeks four times a year in a variety of locations.

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Caregiver Peer Support

The famous American orator Robert Ingersoll declaimed “We rise by lifting others”.  This is the sentiment at the heart of our three peer support programs at The Dementia Society.

Offered in five locations (+ one francophone group) our Caregiver Support Groups are led by a volunteer and provide an opportunity for small groups of caregivers to meet once a month to discuss issues and challenges.

Talking among Ourselves – Dementia Caregiver Peer Groups come together once a week for eight weeks in a variety of locations.  The weekly discussion among participants is based on a series of short booklets which include an article or think piece, and a set of questions.  These groups don’t have a formal leader although a Dementia Society staff person attends the first gathering and one member of the group is asked to keep and report attendance.

The In the Same Boat program is a new initiative of The Dementia Society.  Individuals interested in connecting one to one with someone who has had – or still has – an experience of dementia caregiving will be matched to each other by the agency.  Once introduced, Same Boat participants will make their own arrangements to get together – in person, by phone or on email.  People interested in the program contact to be registered with the agency and matched by us to someone close in age, circumstance and location.  This one to one peer engagement is of interest to those who don’t want, or are not able to attend, group programs.  The connection may be as simple as a couple of emails or may last longer and be more intense.  This will be up to participants to determine and will emerge as they talk to each other.

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Lunch bunch

Lovely social time for dementia partners (caregiver and person with dementia) to spend time with others, enjoy a meal and social interaction in a safe and welcoming space.  

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Dementia Basics

This six session public lecture series provides an overview of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s including diagnoses, classification, symptomology and common characteristics and behaviours and response strategies.  A review of available interventions and supports in Ottawa is provided as well as information regarding common caregiver roles, responses and challenges.
Offered ten times a year in day and evening time slots in various locations. Suitable for caregivers, adult learners, front line social service or health care workers.  

Offered free of charge – parking available at a cost of $7 per session.

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Supporting dementia (caregivers only)

This two session interactive group program provides an opportunity for caregivers of people with Alzheimer disease and other dementia’s to review information and learn managing strategies related to the demands they face in their caregiver role as well as regarding “responsive behaviours”.  Communication strategies, identifying, preventing and coping with stress, accessing respite and other support interventions will also be discussed and where appropriate used in role play and group exercises.

Offered free of charge quarterly.  Suitable for active caregivers of people with dementia interested in learning and accessing support and peer interaction, without their care partner in attendance.

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Living with Dementia

Similar in content and approach to  “Supporting Dementia” program, this version is offered to persons with dementia accompanied by their caregiver.  Covering topics such as “Living Well with Memory Changes” the focus of learning and discussion is the unique experience of the diagnosed individual as well as on the caregiver/person with dementia partnership (couples, parent/child or other).  Topics include reviewing the impact of dementia on communication, relationships and lifestyle.  Information will be provided on care resources and options.  The group will also explore issues such as dealing with denial, anger, depression and other psycho-social impacts of dementia and above all around developing strategies, together, for facing challenges ahead.  Participation in this program may be followed by involvement in the monthly gathering “Connections”.

Offered free of charge quarterly.  Suitable for individuals in the early to mid-stages of dementia and their primary caregiver (spouse, partner, child, grandchild etc.)

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Between us

Education / discussion for young onset dementia patients and their caregiver.

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Education / discussion for 65+ persons with dementia and their caregiver.

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Options for care

Two part lecture series delivered by the Home and Community Care LHIN (formerly the Community Care Access Centre) providing a review of various long term care options, facilities, eligibility, costs etc.

Free of charge.  Offered two to three times annually as per The Dementia Society Calendar.

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Transition to long term care

Education and discussion two hour session reviewing the challenges and common pressures facing dementia partners (caregiver and person with dementia) waiting for placement in long term care.  A careful review of the emotional and practical implications for both individuals, their families and friends.  Delivered by a Dementia Society volunteer on a regular basis.

Free of charge, delivered periodically as per The Dementia Society Calendar.

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Care in the later stages

Two part lecture series focused on the condition, care needs, communication strategies and behaviour and pain management for individuals in later stages of dementia.

Free of charge, delivered periodically as per The Dementia Society Calendar.

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Contact Us

Please send us an email with any of your questions and we'd be happy to get back to you.

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