Beyond Words Early-Stage Learning Series


The Beyond Words Early Stage Learning Series is an 8 week discussion group that provides an opportunity to meet with peers and share coping strategies to help adapt to the challenges of living with dementia.

Support group in the midst of an open discussion.

Anyone who is interested in participating in one of our early-stage programs is invited to make a referral through our First Link® Program to discuss eligibility and program criteria.

Program Description

This eight (8) week learning series is for persons in the early-stage of dementia and their care partners. Educational content is linked specifically to the group’s experiences and open dialogue and communication is encouraged. Because the experiences of people with dementia and caregivers are interrelated yet unique, our learning series provides the opportunity for these groups to meet together and separately with their peers.

Topics that persons with dementia may discuss include:

  • First steps after diagnosis
  • Changes you may experience
  • Driving issues
  • Enhancing communication
  • Tips and strategies to maximize your capabilities
  • Wellness and healthy living
"I am a different person because of the early-stage programs. I have more confidence, and more hope."

Topics that care partners may discuss include:

  • Understanding your loved one's reaction to their diagnosis
  • Latent grief
  • Looking after yourself
  • Changing roles and responsibilities
  • Community resources
  • Enhancing communication
"I have learned that I am not alone, that is the most important thing I have learned, others understand what I am experiencing."

Topics that persons with dementia and care partners may discuss together include:

  • Welcome and introductions, including an explanation of the group formats and confidentiality
  • Getting to know you
  • Changes in roles and relationships including a discussion about preserving dignity while maintaining safety

Inclusion Criteria

  • Individual has diagnosis of irreversible dementia
  • Individual is aware of changes in cognition and function
  • Individual has the ability to understand and appreciate the impact these changes have on self and others
  • Individual has the ability to articulate thoughts, feelings and concerns in a group setting
  • Individual is comfortable without the care partner present (they will be in another room)
  • Individual understands the purpose of the learning series and freely gives consent to participate


First Link®

First Link® is the gateway to dementia specific information, supports & resources in your community. Our First Link Coordinator and/or First Link Navigator will personalize programs and services to best meet your needs.

Learn more
Senior couple filling out a form with an advisor.

Early Stage Programs

Our Early Stage Programs offer an opportunity for individuals living with early-stage dementia or cognitive change to connect with peers in a supportive environment.

Learn more
ASNR Advisory Group