Dementia Education Program Newsletter

Caring Conversations

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Caring Conversations is an online forum for care partners of people living with dementia to learn from experts, share concerns and ask questions.

Join a conversation with social worker Lucy Barylak and professional coach and educator Joanne Besner about topics that are important to care partners. After a short educational presentation by the hosts, there will be an opportunity to share your own concerns and ask questions.

Lucy is a McGill-educated social worker and Joanne is a former healthcare program manager.  Both have many years of experience working with care partners.

The Caring Conversations webinar platform will permit people to participate online and by telephone. When you register, you will be provided with a link to join online, and a phone number if you prefer to call in. You will need to register online to receive the link and call-in number.

Our current season has ended, but we will be back in September 2024 with new topics.  The details about the next online episode of Caring Conversations will be posted in August 2024.

For more information, please send an email to: dementia [at]

Watch past episodes

Lucy BarylakLucy Barylak, MSW, is a social gerontology consultant for the CIUSSS-West-Central Montreal and a graduate of the McGill University School of Social Work, where she is also a liaison supervisor. Ms. Barylak has developed evidence-based training for seniors and caregivers, and she lectures in the field of social gerontology and knowledge transfer. She facilitates “Dear Lucy,” an online caregiver support show funded by the WellMed Foundation in the U.S. She was the founder and long-standing manager of the Caregiver Support Centre at the CLSC Rene-Cassin, a multi-service respite centre for family and informal caregivers. Ms. Barylak received the Queen’s Jubilee Award for her role in developing a national coalition to support caregivers across Canada.

Joanne BesnerJoanne Besner, BSW, MBA, ACC, and caregiver, received her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Business Administration from McGill University, and a Professional Coaching designation from the John Molson Executive Centre at Concordia University. Ms. Besner coaches and facilitates workshops for health care professionals and community organizations, including the McGill University School of Social Work, where she is also an internship liaison supervisor. Her 35-year career in Quebec community health care spans many roles including frontline social work, clinical supervisor, manager, researcher and trainer.

Caring Conversations is supported by Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation.

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