Are we eligible?

The inclusion criteria for this active community are:

  • Dementia diagnosis before 65 years, OR later diagnosis with prior symptoms
  • Secure environment not required (e.g. not at risk of leaving facility unsupervised)
  • Self-ambulatory; medically stable; cleared for physical activity
  • Willing and able to participate safely in individual or group activities
  • Able to manage own activities of daily living and medications with reminders
  • People living in the community and supported by care partners are given priority
  • Non-smoker
What is the first step? Do I need a doctor’s referral?

No, self/family referral is also appropriate, with a record of the diagnosis
Register here to arrange a telephone eligibility interview

Why Recreation Therapy?

Families tell us they don’t want their person to be thought of as a ‘patient’; the diagnosis may be terminal, but there is life yet to live!

Recreation Therapists assist people with rehabilitation after an illness/injury for optimal health in their community. This proactive recreation approach provides clinical support yet imitates real life by addressing all aspects of health and well-being. Ongoing evaluation tailored to the individual allows adaptive support for disease transitions according to their needs and interests.

See our “About Us” page to meet our recreation therapy team, see their qualifications and learn about their particular interest in addressing the needs of younger people with dementia.

How do you keep participants safe?

Safety for everyone – participants, volunteers and therapists – is a top priority. The recreation therapy team is assisted by volunteers in a ratio of at least one to every two participants. After initial assessment for suitability to an unsecured public facility, the team monitors each participant’s needs and assigns coverage accordingly.

However, families have asked for, and we believe in, ‘the dignity of risk’. People with young onset dementia are typically in otherwise good physical health and keen to be active and interested in life’s routines. We move about in large and small groups, according to individual interests with the intent of ‘being alongside’ our participants to normalize the day. Our active approach could lead to a sports injury by virtue of doing sports, but rest assured safety is top of mind.

We carry commercial general liability insurance and are also covered by the site policy for any incident. We’re proud to say that several of our volunteers are also nurses!

What happens when the person turns 65?

Participants who meet the inclusion criteria above are welcome to attend after this milestone birthday and the recreation therapists will continue ongoing assistance and evaluation. If the disease progresses such that active participation cannot be sustained, families will be assisted to transition when YouQuest no longer meets their needs.

Where/When does YouQuest operate?

We host service days Tuesdays & Thursdays @ Calgary Jewish Community Centre (9:00am – 4:00pm)
We also now host half-day service days on Wednesdays at Killarney Aquatics & Recreation Centre (10:00am – 3:00pm).

What is the daily cost per participant? Do I need to send money?

YouQuest asks families to contribute a service fee of $60 with the remainder of the service day expense subsidized by grants and donations. Daily expenses include our skilled Recreation Therapists and other team members, coffee, snacks, restaurant lunch, access to all fitness amenities, transportation, admission to local attractions, and home-base space throughout the day. 

What are the transportation arrangements?

We use a mix of private and public transportation throughout the day. Care partners/friends do have the option to pick up/drop off their particpant at the beginning and end of the day. 

What does a participant need to bring/wear?

Dress comfortably in layers for an active day according to personal preference and the weather as we are often outdoors. T-shirt, light sweats/shorts are recommended for the gym. Non-marking running shoes for the gym are essential, and good walking shoes for outdoor activities. Weekly emails will advise planned locations and have reminders about dressing for the weather as we are outside often!

Any belongings should be in a bag or knapsack. We ask that valuables and money be left at home. Drinking water is provided and encouraged throughout the day in a refillable bottle provided by YouQuest.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Payments can be made by e-transfer, Visa, MasterCard, or cheque as you prefer. Families will be invoiced for participation quarterly in advance via email. Receipts are provided in the participant’s name for medical record-keeping.

Why volunteer with YouQuest?

Volunteering with us provides you with the opportunity to have active days in the community, meet other volunteers, and be directly helping people and families to reset and enjoy life despite dementia.

If you prefer, we also have off-site volunteers, so feel free to explore either option on our volunteer application.

What does the YouQuest day look like?

Like most people, we grab a coffee, snack, and have a chat to get the day started! Then we make choices – in fitness activities, at lunch, in the outdoors, and for relaxation, such as enjoying our house band of volunteer musicians to end each day on a great note!

Everyone joins in the day’s activities by getting to know one another and anticipating what participants need to succeed. We help with transitions, directions, choices, but mostly we enjoy sharing time and conversation with others.

How do I become a volunteer?

For both ON-site with participants, or for OFF-site (using your other talents), use this link to tell us about you and your interest in YouQuest.

On receipt of your on-line application, our Volunteer Coordinator will arrange a telephone interview to learn more about you and answer any questions. If we’re a match for each other, documentation and orientation will follow so you can get started helping our families.

Are Police Information/Vulnerable Sector checks required?

Yes, because volunteers are in a position of trust with vulnerable persons due to a cognitive disability. The good news is we can provide you with a fee waiver letter for this requirement!

After the phone interview, we will email you this waiver letter to apply online for the Police Information Check and Vulnerable Sector Check from your local police service at no charge.

How do you orient and train volunteers?

We provide background information about young onset dementia and hold periodic volunteer coaching sessions to orient you to our routines, staff, fellow volunteers, and participants.

Whether you have experience with dementia or are keen to learn about young-onset in particular, we are primarily interested in friendly, helpful, and active ‘can-do’ people who want to help others have a good day.

How do I specify my availability and preferences?

We discuss scheduling in general during the telephone interview; if it works for both of us, we give you access to our web-based volunteer portal for self-scheduling, training materials, and weekly service day updates so you know our plan and what to anticipate each day.

Our shifts are either 3 hours (8:30-11:30 am) or 11:30am-4:30pm to overlap volunteer support and provide flexibility on off-site trips. Lots of volunteers like to stay for a full day! We will work out a schedule that suits your availability.

What should I wear/bring?

Time is limited so dress for active participation, in layers and according to the weather as getting outdoors is a priority. Non-marking shoes are required for gym. All equipment is provided on-site for activities.

Belongings can be stored in our home-base room when we’re on the move; fitness lockers are available but the priority is who you’re with and what they need. Valuables should be left at home as we manage all expenses; however, a cell phone is very useful for communicating with team members.

How do I access the CJCC site each day? Is there Parking? LRT?

We’re happy to announce our new interim site is the Jewish Community Centre (Site address is 1607-90 Avenue SW)

Connecting to Bus/Train routes:

  • MAX Yellow station at Glenmore Landing (Note: old routes 79/80 have been eliminated)
  • #56 from Heritage Station LRT

Parking is FREE!!!!!

  • Please park on the south (92 Avenue)  and north (16th Street) sides of the soccer field behind the JCC to leave the parking lot for their membership
What age defines a young onset dementia diagnosis?

The clinical definition is based on age; at 65 years, the health and tax systems deem you a senior. People with young-onset dementia are pre-senior and therefore not eligible for, or cannot access, many resources.

Why did YouQuest start as a pilot?

There was an immediate need to support people with young-onset dementia and their families. We launched a practical daytime format to test if this community-based approach meets family needs.

The one-year timeframe on the pilot to prove this proactive approach was feasible and appealing. A formal evaluation report on outcomes helps inform funders and supporters about why this format works for families. We are confident this pilot has demonstrated best practices for the young-onset dementia diagnosis, and that people who are given the opportunity to engage in their community have a better quality of life.

May I support a particular person or activity?

Yes, let’s have a conversation! We can give you a menu of choices or check out our inquiry form

If you prefer, ask us about a planned giving option to suit your preferences.

Is it possible to arrange a recurring donation? Or In Memory/In Honour of someone?

Absolutely, the frequency and amount can be scheduled to coordinate with your credit card. We can also provide tax receipts for each donation, or as an aggregate, as you prefer.

How does YouQuest support our family care partners?

Our community is a family resource for daily logistics, information and active, social connections. We listen to families about what they need and involve them directly in our service evaluation. We invite ongoing feedback to develop more family support options as we grow.

Do you provide tax donation receipts?

Yes, we are a registered charity (#72975 8912 RR0001).

Donations are gratefully accepted via our website

Tax receipts will be provided by email upon receipt, with our thanks!

How can my organization get I involved?
There are so many ways: A referral to someone in your network? Creating opportunities for people to learn about young onset dementia, and how it might impact the workplace? Interested staff with a particular skill? Participation in a community event? Contact us to chat!
What is our mailing address?

Mailing Address: 2 Lincoln Green SW, Calgary, AB  T3E 7G6 Canada

Email Inquiries:

Telephone: 403-510-5571