Support the Dementia Education Program

Dementia Education Newsletter

McGill Cares Webcasts

McGill Cares visual

In May 2020, to help support informal care partners during the COVID-19 crisis, we launched a webcast series, McGill Cares. During these candid, 30-minute interviews with leading experts, Claire Webster explores topics related to caring for a loved one with dementia.

Upcoming Webcasts

Join us on January 25, 2023 at noon for the next McGill Cares webcast to support informal caregivers. During candid, 30-minute interviews with leading experts, Claire Webster explores topics related to caring for a loved one with dementia. 

Image of Ziad NasreddineInterview with the Founder of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)  

Ziad Nasreddine, MD, founder and Director of the MoCA Clinic and Institute, is a graduate of the University of Sherbrooke Medical School and is actively involved in clinical research on Alzheimer’s disease. He created and developed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the MoCA test, available in 100 languages and dialects and used in 200 countries around the world.  

Dr. Nasreddine will discuss how he developed the MoCA test and the process of diagnosing dementia. He will also provide an overview of some of his new initiatives. 

This webcast will be in English.

To view the webcast, click here at 12 pm EST on January 25, 2023, when the link will become public and available.

Past Webcasts

Image of Saskia SivananthanCanada’s National Dementia Strategy 

Saskia Sivananthan, PhD, is Chief Science and Knowledge Translation Officer at the  Alzheimer Society of Canada, where she oversees the Alzheimer Society Research Program.  She is a neuroscientist and health data scientist focusing on dementia care. In 2020, the Federal Minister of Health (Canada) appointed her to the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia. She also served as a senior strategy and policy advisor on the global dementia strategy for the World Health Organization (WHO) and co-drafted their Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia. 

Ms. Sivananthan will discuss highlights from Canada’s National Dementia Strategy and Navigating the Path Forward for Dementia in Canada: The Landmark Study Report #1, which addresses the current direction of dementia in Canada and its impact on people living with dementia and their care partners. 

This webcast is in English.

January 11, 2023

Photo of Guyland FerlandNutrition and Dementia 

Guylaine Ferland, PhD, is a professor of nutrition at Université de Montréal and a scientist at the Research Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute. Dr. Ferland conducts research on the general role of nutrition in cognitive health during aging. She is an expert in vitamin K metabolism and her team has made significant contributions to understanding the role of this nutrient in brain function and cognition.  

She will speak about nutrition and dementia, including how to ensure proper nutrition for people living with dementia, and what we know about the benefits of doing so. 

This webcast is in English.

December 14, 2022

Photo of Dr. Robert FrancisLife, Love, Strength: A Doctor’s Journey of Caring for his Wife

Robert W. Francis, MDCM, graduated from the McGill Faculty of Medicine in 1968.  He is founder and former Chairman Emeritus of Medcan Health Management Inc. and most recently the founder and CEO of ReGen Scientific Inc., both of which are medical services clinics focused on preventative medicine.  

While caring for his wife, Sharon, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2019, he searched relentlessly around the world for a cure.  He has since set up the Sharon Francis Institute for Regenerative Medicine in her memory. 

Dr. Francis will talk about his experience caring for his wife, and how her life with Alzheimer’s drives his mission to find a cure and improve the lives of those now living with the disease. 

This webcast is in English

November 30, 2022

Mindfulness and Compassion to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Photo of Prof. Bassam Khoury

Bassam Khoury, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology at McGill University. He is a clinical psychologist specializing in mindfulness-based treatments. He and his team at the McGill Mindfulness Research Lab conduct research on advancing the theory, research, and applications of mindfulness and compassion.   

Prof. Khoury will speak about mindfulness and compassion, and how those practices can help reduce stress and anxiety for caregivers. 

This webcast is in English

November 16, 2022

Oral Health and Dementia 

Image of Michael Wiseman, DDSMichael Wiseman, DDS, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences at McGill University who has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on geriatric dentistry. He has a private practice in Côte Saint-Luc and is on staff at several Montreal hospitals, including Mount Sinai, St. Mary’s and Ste. Anne’s. 

Dr. Wiseman will speak about the importance of maintaining oral health throughout life, including for those living with dementia and other terminal diseases.  

This webcast is in English.

November 2, 2022

Understanding and Dealing with Family Conflict 

Image of Joanne BesnerJoanne Besner, BSW, MBA, PPCC, 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.  

Ms. Besner will talk about conflicts that can occur between caregivers and family members when looking after a person living with dementia or other illnesses.  She will provide strategies to resolve conflicts in a healthy way. 

This webcast is in English.

October 19, 2022

Lessons from a Double-Duty Caregiver 

Image of Zelda FreitasZelda Freitas, MSW, is a graduate of the McGill University School of Social Work with 30 years of experience in the delivery of services to older adults, their caregivers and their families. She is currently Clinical Advisor, Professional Practice at the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. Previously, Ms. Freitas was the Coordinator of Developing Practices in Support of Caregivers at the Center for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal and a clinical supervisor for the Elder Mistreatment Helpline. 

Ms. Freitas is also a caregiver to her mother and father who both require around-the-clock monitoring and care. She will talk about her dual roles as an unpaid caregiver to her parents and as a professional social worker. 

October 5, 2022

A Storied Path from Broadcaster to Chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International 

Dale GoldhawkDale Goldhawk is a media specialist who has worked in print, radio and television for almost five decades.  He was named Chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) in 2021 after acting as Vice Chair for six years and serving as a Board member since 2006. He is past President of the Alzheimer Society of Canada and was awarded both the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work with charities. 

Mr. Goldhawk spoke about his career as a journalist and reveal what led him to become a passionate advocate in the field of dementia. 

September 21, 2022

Staging of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease  

Photo of Dr. Serge GauthierSerge Gauthier, MD, is a clinical neurologist specializing in the development of new tools for diagnosis and treatments for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. He is the Academic Co-Lead for the Dementia Education Program and Professor Emeritus, Neurology and Psychiatry at McGill University. Dr. Gauthier was the Director of the McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging from 1986 to 1997. His accomplishments led to him being appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014 and the National Order of Québec in 2017. 

Dr. Gauthier will describe the stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and explain why they are important. 

Cette webémission est également disponible en français.

September 7, 2022 - English

Le 7 septembre 2022 - français


What Role Does Genetics Play in Dementia? 

Pedro Rosa-Neto and Laura RobbLaura Robb, MSc, CGC, is a certified genetic counselor at the McGill Research Centre for Studies in Aging (MCSA), where she contacts families to assess their risk of hereditary types of dementia, informs them of implications and guides them towards appropriate medical follow-up. She is also involved in recruiting people from identified families into the Registry on Early Onset Alzheimer Disease in Canada and into the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN).  Pedro Rosa-Neto, MD, is Director of the MCSA.  He is a clinical neurologist with expertise in the quantification of dementia patho-physiology and preclinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease using biomarkers. 

Ms. Robb and Dr. Rosa-Neto will speak about genetic testing to assess the risk of hereditary types of dementia. They will address the role of genetics in the development of dementia, the benefits and challenges of genetic testing, the process for genetic screening and what happens when someone tests positive.   

July 6, 2022

Language Difficulties in Normal Aging and Dementia 

Paolo Vitali, MDPaolo Vitali, MD is a board-certified neurologist and neuropsychologist and an Assistant Professor at McGill University’s Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is a neurologist at the McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging and at the CIUSSS Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.  His research focuses on atypical dementia patients who present with language disorders (Primary Progressive Aphasia).  

Dr. Vitali will speak about language difficulties in normal aging and in dementia, explaining how they differ and why they occur. He will also discuss the potential impact of current research on treatment options.

This episode of McGill Cares is available in both English and French. 

June 22, 2022 - English

le 22 juin 2022 - français

Managing Sexual Behaviour in Dementia 

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 show funded by the WellMed Foundation in the U.S. that listeners can call in to seek support and ask questions regarding topics related to caregiving. 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.  

Ms. Barylak will address the topic of sexual behaviour in dementia and will discuss how to manage situations that can be uncomfortable for caregivers to talk about. 

June 8, 2022

A Wife’s Journey of Love, Devotion and Caregiving Challenges 

Mrs. Linda GrossmanLinda Grossman graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 as a registered dental hygienist. She is the author of six children’s books that she wrote for the Toronto Child Abuse Centre. She became a passionate advocate for people living with dementia while caring for her husband, Dr. S. William “Mickey” Grossman. She serves on several boards and councils related to aging, including the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging’s (CCNA) Engagement of People with Lived Experience of Dementia.   

Mrs. Grossman will speak about her journey as a caregiver to her husband and the ripple effect it had on her own mental health. She will share what she has learned about the plight of seniors in hospitals and long-term care facilities, and other important lessons from her hands-on experience with dementia care. 

June 1, 2022

Having Conversations about Advance Care Planning 

Prof. Tamara SussmanTamara Sussman, PhD, is Associate Professor at the McGill School of Social Work. She has worked with adults and families to manage health-related issues in both hospital and community settings for more than 10 years. Professor Sussman’s research focuses on how health services and systems impact older adults and their family members. 

Professor Sussman will speak about how to broach the sensitive topic of end-of-life planning with someone in the early stages of dementia.  She will discuss research that shows that having these conversations can empower people living with dementia and help support families and friends. 

May 25, 2022

Interview with Celebrity Caregiver Chloé Sainte-Marie

Chloé Sainte-MarieActor and singer Chloé Sainte-Marie was a caregiver to her life partner, Gilles Carle, and is an advocate for caregivers in Quebec.  Her new album, Maudit Silence, will be released in September 2022.   

Chloé Sainte-Marie will share her own caregiving journey and how it led to her founding La Fondation Maison Gilles-Carle.  She will answer questions about the services provided at the various Maison Gilles-Carle centres located throughout the province, and explain how Quebec caregivers can access their services. 

This webcast is in French.

May 11, 2022

Optimizing Brain Health Throughout Life and after a Diagnosis of Dementia 

Dr. Lesley FellowsLesley Fellows, MD is a neurologist and Professor in the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery at The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital). Her clinic at The Neuro provides care to people living with a range of cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, as well as young-onset and other less common forms of dementia. She is head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group at The Neuro, a theme leader for the Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives initiative at McGill, and serves as Vice Dean, Academic Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. 

Dr. Fellows will talk about the brain, how it works and how to keep it working as optimally as possible, even after a diagnosis of dementia. 

April 27, 2022


A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease with Jay Ingram 

Jay IngramJay Ingram is a science broadcaster and writer. He has hosted two national science programs, Quirks and Quarks on CBC Radio and Daily Planet on Discovery Channel Canada, and has written nineteen books, three of which have won Canadian Science Writers' Awards.  Mr. Ingram has six honorary degrees and is a member of the Order of Canada. From 2005-2015, heJay Ingram chaired the Science Communications Program at the Banff Centre.  He is currently one of the hosts of the podcast Anthropomania. 

His book, The End of Memory: A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer’s, was published in 2014. 

Mr. Ingram will talk about what compelled him to write about Alzheimer’s disease and share what science is teaching us about the brain and memory and whether we might ever find a cure for this disease.  

April 20, 2022

Teepa SnowInsights from the Founder of Positive Approach to Care® 

Ms. Teepa Snow is an occupational therapist with over forty years of rich and varied clinical and academic experience.  Her company, Positive Approach to Care® provides online and in-person education and products. Ms. Snow presents extraordinary expertise and humour to audiences throughout the world. 

Ms. Snow will speak about how her experiences as an occupational therapist led her to the development of Positive Approach to Care®, including the principles behind it and why she developed it.  She will also speak about the biggest challenges facing caregivers during pandemic times. 

This episode of McGill Cares was made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

April 13, 2022

Understanding Responsive Behaviours in People Living with Dementia 

Catherine Talbot-Hamon, MDCMCatherine Talbot-Hamon, MDCM is an attending physician in Geriatric Medicine at the Montreal General Hospital site of the McGill University Health Centre. Her research interests are preoperative assessment and care optimization of older patients undergoing cardiac and other surgical procedures.   

Dr. Talbot-Hamon will discuss challenging behaviours caused by dementia, explain why they can occur and provide insight on how to address them.

This presentation was offered in French. An English webcast on the same topic with Dr. Donald Doell aired on October 6, 2021.

March 30, 2022

Rethinking Long-Term Care for Older Adults 

Moira WelshMoira Welsh is an award-winning investigative reporter with the Toronto Star who has written extensively on issues facing seniors, with a focus on long-term care, as well as on issues related to social justice, health and the environment.  Ms. Welsh is the author of Happily Ever Older: Revolutionary Approaches to Long-Term Care, about evolving ways to live in our later years. 

Ms. Welsh will share information about what she’s learned from her years of investigating retirement homes and long-term care facilities in Canada and around the world. She will talk about positive alternatives to what we understand as the norm for long-term care and share ideas about how we can revolutionize care so that seniors can live out their days in dignity and with purpose, energy and love. 

This episode of McGill Cares was made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

March 16, 2022

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies 

Dr. Madeleine SharpDr. Madeleine Sharp is a neurologist specializing in movement disorders.  Dr. Sharp’s research goal is to develop more precise models of cognitive dysfunction in patients, grounded in neurobiology, in order to develop and reliably test new behavioural and pharmacologic therapies. 

Dr. Sharp will speak about Lewy body dementia, its relationship to Parkinson’s disease, and how it differs from other forms of dementia. She will address types of body movement and behavioural changes caused by Lewy body dementia, how they may evolve as the disease progresses, and ways of dealing with these types of changes.   

This episode of McGill Cares is made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

March 2, 2022

Understanding the Impact of Atrial Fibrillation 

Dr. Jacqueline JozaIn recognition of Heart Month, Claire Webster aims to raise awareness about one of the most common cardiac diseases, atrial fibrillation – its symptoms, causes and treatment. She will be joined by Dr. Jacqueline Joza, Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the McGill University Health Centre, to celebrate an issue very close to her own heart. Despite many years of challenging cardiac health issues, Claire has led a very fulfilling and active life.  She is a long-term patient of the Montreal General Hospital and is extremely grateful for the attention and care that she receives from the Cardiac Electrophysiology Program. 

Dr. Joza cares for patients with both general and inherited arrhythmias and has a special interest in ablation of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, leadless pacemaker implantation, and novel techniques in defibrillator implantation. Her current research focuses on physiologic pacing, familial sick sinus syndrome, and atrial fibrillation. 

This episode of McGill Cares is made possible thanks to a donation by Claire and Stuart Webster. 

February 16, 2022

End-of-Life Care in Dementia 

Dr. Catherine FerrierDr. Catherine Ferrier will speak about caring for people with dementia as the end-of-life approaches. She will explain the evolution of the disease and how to plan ahead to ensure an effective palliative approach in care. She will also reflect on the experience of grief at different stages of the evolution of a loved one’s dementia. 

Dr. Ferrier is a family physician and holds a Certificate of Special Competence in Care of the Elderly from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She works in the Division of Geriatric Medicine of the McGill University Health Centre, where her focus is on cognitive disorders and assessment of decision-making capacity. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. 

This episode of McGill Cares is made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

February 2, 2022

Navigating Long-Term Care Options 

Matt Del VecchioMr. Matt Del Vecchio is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA).  He is the owner of Lianas Senior Transition Support, which provides families with guidance and support in navigating home care and senior living communities.  Mr. Del Vecchio is also co-host of a popular weekly radio show, Life Unrehearsed on CJAD800 in Montreal and writes for The Suburban newspaper as their Seniors and Aging columnist.   

Mr. Del Vecchio will answer questions about senior living accommodations, the processes for getting a spot and how they are evolving as a result of the recent surge in cases of COVID-19.  He will delve into what to look for when selecting a residence and the challenges that families and friends face when having to make the decision to transition a person in their care to a residential facility. 

This episode of McGill Cares is made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

January 26, 2022

Pharmacologic Management of Dementia 

Photo of Dr. Serge GauthierDr. Serge Gauthier is a clinical neurologist specializing in the development of new tools for diagnosis and treatments for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. He was the Director of the McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging from 1986 to 1997 and became a senior scientist of the CIHR-Rx&D program (Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies) in 1997. Dr. Gauthier is the Academic Co-Lead for the Dementia Education Program and Professor Emeritus, Neurology and Psychiatry at McGill University. His accomplishments led to him being appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014 and the National Order of Québec in 2017. 

Dr. Gauthier will provide up-to-date information on the medications that are used to treat dementia. 

This episode of McGill Cares is made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

This episode is available in both English and French.

January 19, 2022 

How the Alzheimer's Society of Montreal Supports People Living with Dementia and Care Partners  

Jeane Day and Marie Christine Le BourdaisMcGill Cares is recognizing Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 2022 by inviting the Alzheimer Society of Montreal to share information about their services. 

Jeane Day has been the Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Montreal (ASM) since January 2021. She has a strong background in the health care and non-profit sectors. Marie Christine Le Bourdais is Director of Programs and Services at the ASM.  She has a degree in gerontology and nearly 20 years of experience working with seniors. For the past decade, her work has focused on clients with neurocognitive disorders, family care partners and professionals in the health and social services network. 

Ms. Day and Ms. Le Bourdais will speak about the ASM’s state-of-the-art intervention, care and support services and how they help people in Montreal live well with dementia. 

This episode of McGill Cares is made possible by a donation from the Zeller Family Foundation

January 5, 2022

If you have specific topics or questions that you would like us to address during our weekly webcasts, please email us at dementia [at] (subject: McGill%20Cares%20Webcast%20Series%20) .

Back to top