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Summer Update

Sharon Osvald, Lived Experience Network Coordinator
Sharon Osvald is the daughter of a mother with vascular dementia and the Lived Experience Network Coordinator in partnership with Behavioural Support Services, Providence Care Seniors Mental Health and the Alzheimer Societies of SE Ontario. Sharon is seeking older adults, family members, friends and care partners whose lives have been affected by dementia and other related diagnoses, to join her in advisory conversations - providing an avenue to hear "real" people using our services to discover -together, what is needed.

The voice of the lived experience


 The Lived Experience Network is a knowledge bank of older adults living with dementia, mental health, substance use and/or neurological disorders their family, friends and care partners from South Eastern Ontario. It is a way to engage the voice of the lived experience as they share their experiences, advice and input with the medical community and each other.

Hello Lived Experience Network Members,

I trust you are all enjoying the warm weather. Even though it is summer time, there are still a lot of things happening with the Lived Experience Network we hope you'll want to be involved in.

In-Person Alzheimer Society Meetings: Over the the past few months I've had the pleasure of meeting some new people and reconnecting with others at Alzheimer Society "Advisory" meetings/ care giver workshops in Belleville, Perth, Brockville and Kingston. Over the summer I will be meeting with groups in Brighton, Belleville and Kingston. Please check the calendar website for more details!


Live Chats? The Lived Experience Café has a live (typed) PM chat the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:00PM. We have decided to discontinue our Monday noon hour chats due to lack of numbers. Happily, our PM chats are well attended and we welcome you to join in to one of them. Our July chat will take place on Tuesday, July 5 from 6:30-8:00PM.

July Topic for Live chat: 

This month’s topic comes out of conversations with partners in the Champlain Dementia Network and Behavioural Support Services Providence Care Senior’s Mental Health about respite.

Respite is something offered to older adults that enable them to stay in their homes longer. For some this is in-home supports, short term or overnight stays or adult day programs. But, what does Respite mean to you? What is working well and what could be improved to truly give you the “rest” and assistance you need? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.Looking forward to hearing your ideas.

To join in the conversation, just before the chat time, sign on to  click on the Chat page and follow the links. You can use your real name or a nick name if you prefer to be anonymous. I have made every effort to keep this as simple and user friendly as possible. I hope you’ll join in. We also invite you to leave your comments on our Forum page.

Please note there will NOT be a live chat the first Tuesday of August as I will be on my holidays. If you are interested in joining the Provincial live chat event, that will take place on Wed. August 17th from 6:30-8PM. Please check the Ontario page on for more information.

We also invite you to write out your "testimonial" (anonymously) so we can share it on our website. As always, feel free to email, write or arrange a time to talk with me on the phone with your lived experience stories and suggestions for change.

Have a great summer!

Sharon Osvald
Lived Experience Network Coordinator

Behavioural Support Services, Providence Care Seniors Mental Health
in partnership with the Alzheimer Societies of S.E. Ontario
Provincial Lived Experience Network Coordinator
Behavioural Supports Ontario Provincial Coordinating Office
in partnership with brainXchange
Home office: 613-475-9943

We believe to create meaningful services and supports, the voice of those using these services must be heard. Our goal is to create a Virtual Lived Experience network – a “knowledge bank” of older adults and/or care partners across the South East region sharing their experiences - to be that voice.

How can you be involved?
1. Contact your local Alzheimer Society to see how you can be part of a group that meets and speaks with Sharon
2. Join and be part of the Lived Experience Cafe, an online community that has advisory conversations through discussion forums and monthly live (typed) chat events.
3. Phone/Email/Write Sharon Osvald and begin your own personal conversation with your suggestions for change.


Virtual Lived Experience Network
Virtual Lived Experience Network
@SharonOsvald (Sharon's story) (Sharon's story)

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