All events take place at 1454 Hillside Avenue, Victoria, B.C.  Parking is available on side streets for two hours or paid parking in behind Aberdeen.

Registration is required for each session. To register:

  • Call 250-370-5641, press ‘2’ (this is an automated system. Messages are checked several times a day). Please leave a message or email WellnessCentreRegistration@viha.ca with the following information:  
    • your first and last name,
    • your telephone number,
    • the session you are registering for, and
    • the number of participants in your group.


Support & Education Groups

Topic:  World Café – Dementia Friendly Community

Date: Friday, March 2, 2018

Time:  9:00 am – 12 noon

Presenter:  Carolyn Brandly is pursuing an MA in Leadership (Health) degree at Royal Roads University.  As part of the fulfillment of requirements for her degree she is conducting an Action Research Engagement study.

Description:  If you are a family or professional caregiver, service provider or an interested citizen, join us and come prepared to share your knowledge and experience at this word café session.

·         What is ‘community’ and what does a ‘dementia-friendly community include?

·         What dementia-friendly models around the world do you like and why?

·         Why create a dementia-friendly community and who benefits?

·         What can we do locally to support this vision?


Topic:  The Person Matters

Date: Friday, March 2, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Presenter:  Gwendolyn de Geest has been an educator, speaker and author for over three decades. She has presented at countless workshops and conferences throughout North America and is the author of “The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach.”

Description:  In this interactive workshop, participants will understand the concept of person-centered care, and how communicating in a person-centered way affects the responsive behaviours of the person with dementia.  Attendance is encouraged for both family and professional care partners caring for persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.



Topic:  The Science of Aging and Longevity

Date: Monday, March 5, 2018

Time:  9:30 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Dr. Ed Ishiguro, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria and the UVIC Speakers Bureau. Dr. Ishiguro has received numerous awards for his teaching and ability to make difficult concepts easy to understand and apply to our daily living. 

Description:  Aging is a complex multi-causal process that results in progressive decline in tissue function. This presentation summarizes recent advances in our understanding of some key events and how this knowledge has led to new strategies for slowing down the process of aging. Longevity research focused on the genetic and non-genetic determinants and exceptionally long lifespans will also be discussed.



Topic:  Estates and Trusts – What You and Your Family Should Know

Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Presenters:  Dale Armstrong, Wealth Management Consultant and Laurie Palmer, Manager Trust Services 

Description:  Properly structured and administered estates can be vital in ensuring family harmony. You have spent a lifetime building that nest egg and protecting it from the bumps and bruises the stock market can inflict.  But what happens to it when you are gone? This session will help you develop an estate plan for you and your loved ones and avoid common mistakes.



Topic:  Heads Up: Introduction to Brain Health

Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 12 noon

Presenter:  Alzheimer Society of BC- Victoria Resource Centre

Description:  Healthy aging is important for everyone, and it is essential not to forget the health of your brain as well! This workshop encourages participants to actively engage in protecting and maintaining their brain. Learn strategies and set goals for improving the health of your mind, body and spirit. Anyone interested in brain health is welcome to attend.



Topic:  Health Research 101: Fundamentals of Health Research in Canada

Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Time:  2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Presenter:  Colleen McGavin is the Patient Engagement Lead for the BC SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) led by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

Description:  Are you curious about health research?

Join us for 'Health Research 101' with the BC SUPPORT Unit Vancouver Island Centre!

Together we will cover a wide range of topics, including:

·         What is health research and why is it important?

·         Who provides funding to make it happen?

·         Who typically conducts research studies?

·         How do you write a good research question?

·         What are different ways to share study findings?

·         I want to get involved, where do I start?


WHO: Anyone interested in learning more about what health research in Canada looks like! All ages welcome.


TO REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION ONLY:   contact Taylor Hainstock (Taylor.Hainstock@viha.ca; 250-370-8496) or register online through EventBrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/health-research-101-fundamentals-of-health-research-in-canada-tickets-38241834356


Topic:  Smart Phones, Tablets and Laptops

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2018

Time:  9:30 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Heather Kohler is a design and communications professional with over 15 years of experience and success in the field of technology.

Description:  This session will cover:

·         Upgrades - Do I need to upgrade? 

·         How do I use these to stay in touch with my kids and grandkids?

·         Privacy settings

·         Staying safe online while shopping, banking or dating



Topic:  To Move or Not To Move?

Date: Friday, March 9, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Jane Dewing is a downsizing and relocation specialist who for the past 15 years has provided moving services to thousands of seniors. Her 40 year background in nursing and housing development coupled with her passion for creating homes for people with lifestyle change is the backdrop for her effective approach to managing the daunting task of downsizing and moving.

Description:  As people get older and start experiencing the life style changes that comes with aging there comes a time when you have to take stock on how your current home is meeting your needs now and will in the future.

In this session Jane will provide practical information and advice on:

·         How to assess yourself and your home to help you in your decisions to move or to age in place.

·         If moving, she will cover the elements of downsizing and simplifying your environment.

·         Tips on clearing spaces, downsizing possessions and all aspects of preparing for move.

·         If staying, she will look at how to rearrange, clear, modify and have the home function for future needs.



Topic:  Thriving Through Gratitude

Date: Friday, March 9, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Presenter:  Pat Nichol is an international speaker and author. In 2004, Pat began writing a regular column for Senior Living Magazine based on her book, Becoming Courageous and Outrageous

Description:  We will discover together the difference that we can make in our own lives and others when we look at Gratitude and all it can do with us and for us.

Be prepared to be involved; to write, to talk with others, to share ideas, to begin to live our lives from a place of gratitude.

Be prepared to inventory the things that are happening in your life right now. We will count our blessings at this moment.

We will learn ways to be playful, to be astonished, to be grateful and be delighted in what we attract.

As we brazenly count the many things that ARE WORKING in our lives, we will move into the magic of life.

Want to change the world? Notice what is right.



Topic:  Getting to Know Dementia

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Time:  9:30 am – 12 noon

Presenter:  Alzheimer Society of BC - Victoria Resource Centre

Description:  This introductory session reviews basic information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and the impact of receiving a diagnosis. Participants will learn about the different types of support available throughout the dementia journey, including an introduction to programs and services offered by the Alzheimer Society of BC. This session is only intended for people experiencing early symptoms of dementia, as well as family members for friends who have recently begun supporting a person with dementia.



Topic:  Healthy Aging

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Time:  2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter:  Stephanie Bayliss is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician currently practicing in Victoria. She completed her naturopathic education at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Stephanie's practice focuses on chronic disease, neurological dysfunction and mental health conditions.

Description:  With an increasingly aging demographic and longer life expectancy, we need to do more to support our minds and bodies throughout the aging process. In this talk you can expect to learn tips and tricks to aging gracefully through your senior years from a Naturopathic perspective, including topics such as pain, hair loss, bone health and maintaining energy.



Topic:  Inflamm-Aging, a New Area of Aging Research

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time:  9:30 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Dr. Ed Ishiguro, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria and the UVIC Speakers Bureau. Dr. Ishiguro has received numerous awards for his teaching and ability to make difficult concepts easy to understand and apply to our daily living. 

Description:  It was recently recognized that low grade chronic inflammation is a hallmark of the aging process. This phenomenon, called inflamm-aging, is believed to be intimately involved in overall functional decline and an increased risk to age- related chronic disease. This presentation discusses our current understanding of the mechanisms of inflamm-aging and possible therapeutic strategies.



Topic:  The Up Side of Downsizing

Date: Friday, March 16, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Jane Dewing is a downsizing and relocation specialist who for the past 15 years with her company Changing Places has provided moving services to thousands of seniors. Her 40 year background in nursing and housing development coupled with her passion for creating homes for people with lifestyle change is the backdrop for her effective approach to managing the daunting task of downsizing and moving.

Description:  Many people feel overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with their lifetime accumulations. Things they inherited, were given, bought or needed in the past but do not now. It can be very emotional and can be experienced negatively.

In this session you will experience an upbeat and satisfying way of simplifying your home and share the art of downsizing. Jane will cover such topics as handling the emotions of change and letting go , clearing, repurposing things and reorganizing space, keeping the best and releasing the rest.

The up side to downsizing is that whether moving or staying, it is never too early to start.  When it is done it can provide incredible relief and satisfaction.



Topic:  Lifting Fallen Spirits and Chasing Away the Blues

Date: Saturday, March 17, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm - 3:30pm

Presenter:  Margaret Trenchard, an artist and cartoonist, has a sense of humour and lives her life from a positive lens.  Margaret has travelled and has many life experiences; she has coped with many ups and downs but has used her humour and cartooning as way to live through some tougher life events.

Description:  This will be an interactive and humorous session with tricks to lift fallen spirits. Margaret will share with you some of her experiences and how to get through some of the tougher life experiences.



Topic:  Taoist Tai Chi®arts -Improving Lives Around The World and Reducing Healthcare Costs

Date: Monday, March 19, 2018

Time:  10 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  This interactive session will be led by accredited volunteer instructors of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism

Description:  In the Taoist tradition, a person’s health depends on the harmony of body, mind and spirit. Learn how the Taoist Tai Chi® arts offer access to this tradition in order to help people with their physical, mental, and spiritual health in all stages of life.



Topic:  Healthy Eating for Seniors

Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Time:  10:30 am – 12:00 noon

Presenter:  Kailee Mar is a dietitian registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia. She has spent her dietitian career working for Island Health in many areas of adult nutrition, with the majority of her experience working with older adults. Nutrition topics of focus include: healthy heart, eating for weight loss, eating for weight gain, surgeries, cancer, gastrointestinal impairment and eating for quality of life.


To ensure her nutrition recommendations translate into practical food application, Kailee draws upon her culinary experience. Having attended the culinary arts program at Camosun College, here in Victoria, she was able to cook her way through her Bachelor of Science in Food Nutrition and Health at the University of British Columbia.

Description:  This presentation will touch on the following topics, while discussing ways of implementing these healthy options into your lives:

·         “Super foods”

o   for memory protection

o   to maintain physical health with age

·         Balanced eating

·         10 steps to healthier bones

·         Disease prevention

o   heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure

·         Supplements – do seniors need them?



Topic:  Raising Your Voice: The Benefits of Community Choirs for Healthy Aging

Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Presenters:  Mary Kenney, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Music Education (emeritus), University of Victoria. Dr. Kennedy’s research interests include choral music, creativity, and music and community.


Debra Sheets, Ph.D.,MSN is an Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria. Dr. Sheets’ expertise is in family caregiving, dementia, and the humanities and arts in aging.


Andre Smith, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor, Dept of Sociology, University of Victoria. His research examines the intersectionality of health and health-related behavior and their wider socio-cultural, institutional, and familial dimensions.

Stuart MacDonald, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor, Dept of Psychology, University of Victoria. Dr. MacDonald’s expertise is in the fields of cognitive aging and the cognitive neuroscience of aging.


Erica Phare-Bergh received her M. Mus. in Choral Conducting from McGill University. A native of Montreal, Phare-Bergh formerly directed the choirs at Vanier College and the McGill Conservatory.


Description:  Can choirs promote healthy aging?  Singing in a choir is a joyful and emotional experience that promotes social connections. It is an activity reinforces one’s sense of identity, competence, and accomplishment. Singing has positive affective outcomes that include improved mood, increased energy, reduced stress, increased self-esteem and confidence. In this session, a team of UVic researchers and a choir director discuss an intergenerational choir they created to increase social connections and quality of life among persons with dementia and their family caregivers. This session will conclude with a participatory activity to raise your voice with us in song!



Topic:  Your Voice Matters: Advocacy Tips for Family Caregivers

Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Presenter:  Alzheimer Society of BC- Victoria Resource Centre

Description:  When we need support, it helps if we have an understanding of how to speak up and ask for what we need in the most effective way. In this workshop, participants will learn to become more successful advocates for themselves and the person they are caring for, with a particular focus on residential care.



Topic:  The Incredible Role of Family and Friend Caregivers: We are All in it Together

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018

Time:  9:30 am – 12 noon

Presenter:  Lycia Rodrigues MA, PBD (Gerontology) is the Caregiver Support and Engagement Lead at Family Caregivers of British Columbia. She is especially passionate about increasing community engagement and implementing social supports for vulnerable adults and seniors.


Solange Valiquette, a Saanich Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Group Facilitator, and a Family Caregivers of BC member will join this presentation to share their stories with you.

Description:  This presentation will give a snapshot of the range of issues facing caregivers, paired with stories and concrete lessons learned:

·         How do we support the growing number of people who by choice, circumstance or duty find themselves caring for a family member or friend?

·         Where do we draw the line of responsibility in our system?

·         How do we prepare to care?

·         How do we extend the circle of compassion and care that will surely be needed to support an aging population?

·         Anticipate a rich interactive session with ideas for the future being captured



Topic:  Advance Care Planning

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Presenter:  Dawn Dompierre,  Geriatric Specialty Services RN, Island Health

Description:  Advance Care Planning lets you have a say in the health care you will receive if you are unable to speak for yourself. Discussing and documenting your wishes with you loved ones and health care providers mean they will be better able to speak on your behalf when needed.


Topics included are: Representation Agreements, Advance Directives and appointing substitute decision makers.



Topic:  Curiosity, Possibilities and Community – A Way to Good Health!

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018

Time:  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Presenter:  Susan Simmons, ultra- marathon swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis. At age 52, Susan swam Juan de Fuca Strait from Port Angeles to Victoria in only a swimsuit, cap and goggles.

Description:  Looking for motivation to get or stay fit at any age?


This session focuses how you can use curiosity, possibilities and community to get and stay fit – and have fun along the way. Learn how Susan went from having difficulty walking a few blocks to becoming an ultra-marathon swimmer and achieving one of her goals of swimming from Port Angeles to Victoria.

A story of inspiration, determination and commitment to one’s goals; hear how one woman took what seemed impossible and continuously overcame physical challenges to achieve optimum health.



Topic:  Inspired and Over 60: Proven Steps to Happiness

Date: Friday, March 23, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Bev Roney, Geriatric Specialty Services Nurse Clinician, Oak Bay/Gordon Head Community Health Services, Island Health

Description:  This session will look at:

·         mind, body, soul, spirit connections

·         steps to happiness

·         the ultimate secret to happiness in later years



Topic:  Travel Tips for Mature Travellers:  How to Stay Safe and Prepare for a Stress-free Vacation

Date: Friday, March 23, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Presenter:  Sandy Lundmark is a travel agent with 15 years’ experience in addition to a lengthy career as a Health Care Social Worker specializing in personal safety of seniors in the community. Sandy has travelled extensively and is focused on combining an interest in travel and adult education to bring this new workshop to the community.

Description:  This workshop will provide valuable travel tips to help you stay safe during your vacation. You will learn more about your travel style and what you can do before you leave home to avoid stress while away. It will review what to look for when purchasing travel insurance and booking vacations on-line and some important considerations to make sure you are well covered. Sandy will also share some personal travel ideas that will help you avoid common pitfalls while travelling.



Topic:  Can You Hear the Birds? A play by Kat Taddei

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2018

Time:  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter:  Target Theatre

Description:  Target Theatre's newest play explores hearing loss, what it means to the person who has a hearing loss, how we can understand what that loss means, and how we can support that person.



Topic:  Getting Your Affairs in Order

Date: Monday, March 26, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 11:30 am

Presenter:  Dustin Marnell has been a member of the Canadian Bar Association since 2008.  He volunteers his time at a number of organizations and frequently presents on the topics of: wills and estate planning, incapacity planning, and estate administration.

Description:  This session will cover:

·         Wills and Estates

·         Representation Agreements

·         Power of Attorney

·         Incapacity Planning

·         acting as an Executor



Topic:  Chronic Pain Self-Management Program

Date: 6 consecutive Tuesdays, March 27 – May 1, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Presenter:  Peer Facilitators, Self-Management Program of BC

Description:  The Chronic Pain Self -Management Program is a six week workshop for people living with chronic pain to better manage their symptoms and daily lives. The workshop provides information and teaches practical skills. It gives people the confidence and motivation they need to manage the challenges of living with chronic pain.

TO REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION CALL 1-866-902-3767 OR email: selfmgmt@uvic.ca



Topic:  Bladder Health as you age- for Men and Women

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 12 noon

Presenter:  Donna Ross BSN, MA worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Geriatrics for many years and was instrumental in establishing services for continence care, falls prevention, and elder-friendly care in acute care.

Description:  In this session you will learn:

What causes urinary urgency, frequency, night-time voiding and urine loss

You will practice exercises and will come to understand lifestyle choices that contribute to your problem


Differences between men and women in relation to urinary incontinence.

Some therapies and treatments that are used in treating incontinence.

Bowel incontinence.  When it is important to talk to your doctor or Nurse Practitioner about your problem



Topic:  Grieving Losses along the Dementia Journey

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter:  Alzheimer Society of BC - Victoria Resource Centre

Description:  The dementia journey requires ongoing adjustment to many changes that occur throughout the early, middle and late stages of the disease. Grief is the natural and necessary process to all of these changes that involve loss. This workshop is an opportunity to explore the loss and grief issues of the dementia caregiving experience. There will be time for participants to consider some suggestions for weathering these losses.



Topic:  Learn to Maximize Your Retirement Income

Date: Thursday, March 29, 2018

Time:  10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Presenter:  Chris Gerow, CFP®, RRC®, Senior Advisor, Investments and Insurance and Travis Koivula, B.Eng, CFA, CFP, CIM, FCSI, CIWM, Senior Advisor, Financial Planning

Description:  Learn to maximize your income through Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), investments, pensions and more.



Topic:  Overview of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Date: Thursday, March 29, 2018

Time:  1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Presenter:  Dr Rosanne Beuthin, RN, PhD completed her post graduate nursing at the University of Victoria and is an Adjunct Professor. She works as a nurse consultant for Island Health and has been the coordinator for the Medical Assistance in Dying Program since 2016. She has been involved with research into advanced illness since 2009, and has focused on metaphor, spirituality and death and dying. She is currently funded for two narrative studies related to assisted dying.


Rosanne’s goal has been and continues to be inspiring relational practice and ethical care. Her practice reflects a heartfelt conviction that we are the other and are all connected. She is an advocate for patient choice and believes it crucial that we invite, honor, and lean into patient stories; that we hear and accept each individual’s unique lived experience without judgement.


Description:  Learn about what Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is, who is eligible, and how one can start the process if this is an end-of-life option one wishes to pursue.  A candid conversation will be followed by a question and answer period.