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Support Groups

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RDS Canada support groups are a central component of the RDS community. Participation in groups requires registration and an initial support call with one of our direct support staff. If you are interested in our groups, please sign up for membership and feel free to contact our office directly.

Diagnosis Specific Groups

Welcome Groups

RDS Canada offers introductory 4-week Diagnosis Specific Groups for FTD, PCA, PPA, YOAD, LBD, fFTD and fAD. In the welcome group RDS members will gather virtually with others affected by the same diagnosis. These groups run weekly for four weeks at a time. The Welcome Group helps members build connection, learn and share practical strategies for living better, living well in the face of a specific diagnosis. The Welcome Group is offered as a first stage, prior to members joining into the ongoing, monthly diagnosis specific groups.

*Please note that you will need to use your RDS Canada membership username and password to access the calendar. If you have not yet signed up, please register to become a member to access the calendar.

Ongoing Support Groups

Ongoing diagnosis specific groups run monthly, offering a confidential virtual space to discuss diagnosis specific concerns for social, emotional wellness and practical support. These groups run once a month and can include discussions on topics such as:

  • Navigating social connections in the context of challenges
  • Strategies to maintain interests and hobbies
  • How to talk with family and friends about a diagnosis
  • Safety as a part of living well

If you, or someone you know, may be interested in a diagnosis specific group please contact us through email and indicate what diagnosis you are interested in and who may be interested in participating.

*Please note that you will need to use your RDS Canada membership username and password to access the calendar. If you have not yet signed up, please register to become a member to access the calendar.

Red and yellow daisies

Family & Friends

Family & Friends is a bi-weekly virtual group that brings together family and friends of someone living with dementia. The group runs for an hour and a half providing a space tailored to shared experiences and safely discuss topics such as:

  • Managing change 
  • Self-care and wellness 
  • Acceptance 
  • Asking for help 
  • Impacts of myths and stereotypes 
  • Grief and loss

RDS Canada offers the Family & Friends Group on an ongoing basis throughout the year with both afternoon and evening (EST) options. If the Family & Friends Group is of interest to you, please contact us for further information and registration.

The Road Less Travelled

The Road Less Traveled is a grief and loss group for family or friends that was developed by Rare Dementia Support UK. Grief and loss have been described by Kenith J. Doka, author, academic and grief expert, as a “constant and hidden companion” of dementia. In the case of rare and young onset dementia grief and loss can be further complicated by changes in roles and responsibilities at a time in life where individuals and families least often expect this change. This group runs on a weekly basis, for seven weeks, and offers a confidential virtual space for participants to discuss topics such as: 

  • Understanding and normalizing grief and loss experiences  
  • Grief and loss in the context of rare or young onset dementia
  • The impact of grief and loss on identity and role changes

RDS Canada offers The Road Less Traveled to participants who are 18 years of age and older, periodically through the year. Please contact us to find out when our next group will take place.

Person holds a sign that says ask for help

Words Together

Words Together is a poetry writing support group for people living with a dementia diagnosis, their family and friends. A time limited, weekly group, the goal of Words Together is to enhance social connections between people in the early stages of diagnosis and to bring “words together” through poetry with a focus on the experiences of rare and young onset dementia. If you are interested in further information on the Words Together Group, please contact us.

Living with Dementia in the Later Stages

This is a seven-week educational small group. This group offers a safe virtual space to learn from specialists in the field on topics relating to caring for and supporting people living with dementia in the later stages of their disease. Topics include sensory stimulation, dealing with other health issues during the later stages, and end-of-life care.

For more information on the Living with Dementia in the Later Stages group please contact us.