Since its founding in 1993, the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) has worked to improve the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

By combining research with practical application, MAREP provides family members and healthcare professionals with the tools and skills necessary to enhance care practices and better respond to individual needs.

Through loyal supporters and vital partnerships, MAREP has been able to make significant contributions to the field of dementia care.

Kenneth MurrayKenneth Murray, MAREP founder

Milestones

Year Milestone
1992 Mr. Ken Murray's personal experience as a caregiver (i.e., partner in care) to his wife Helen leads to discussions with the dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo.
1993

Mr. Murray makes a generous personal contribution and pledges to raise $400,000 to support a research and education initiative that would ensure research gets translated into practice and would enable optimal care of persons with Alzheimer Disease or a related dementia.

Alzheimer Research and Education Project (AREP) launched in May; one staff person is hired (Ph.D. level). 

Comprehensive literature review conducted; site visits to 40 long-term care facilities; interviews with key persons in the long-term care field, family partners in care and persons with early Alzheimer Disease conducted.

1994

Delphi panel study conducted to identify key factors associated with quality of care of persons with dementia living in long-term care settings.

Preparation of the Alzheimer Annotated Bibliography and the Alzheimer Resource Manual (products based on research completed).

Survey of all 17 long-term care facilities in the Ottawa region to identify issues that influenced care of residents with dementia.

1995

Distribution of the Alzheimer Resource Manual; all licensed nursing homes and homes for the aged received a complimentary copy; all Alzheimer Chapters received a complimentary copy.

Receipt of a grant for $20,000 to conduct an evaluation study of the impact of the Alzheimer Resource Manual; results of study indicated Manual was relied upon for information and guidance.

Research Associate hired (Master's level); updates to Manual begun and made available by subscription.

1996

First annual design conference held in May; gathered together architects, owners, administrators, nursing staff, policy makers and families.

Innovation Centre concept launched - long-term care facilities invited to apply - 3 were in place by December of that year (Homewood, Winston Park, Marianhill).

1997

Two more Innovation Centres come on board (Linhaven, Kennedy Lodge).

Second annual "Designs for Quality of Life" Conference held. 

Alzheimer Innovations, a MAREP newsletter for managers and administrators of long-term care settings, made available by subscription.

1998

Research studies and education seminars ongoing at the Innovation Centres.

Co-op students hired to help carry out projects at the Innovation Centres.

Third annual Designs for Quality of Life Conference.

First edition of Alzheimer Manual sold out; work underway for second, updated edition.

One Innovation Centre departs while two more come on board (Woods Park, Meadow Park); MAREP asked to join the round table for development of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy.

AREP becomes Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) - named to honour Ken Murray in recognition of his generosity, commitment, and vision.

1999 As part of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy, MAREP in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, present the "Designs for Quality of Life" Conference in Toronto.
2000

As part of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy, a second design conference is presented in Toronto titled "Designs for Dementia Care: Components of the Total Environment".

Also, as part of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy (Initiative #6), Phase I of the Research on Caregiver Needs begins. The project is a partnership of MAREP, Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Caregivers' Association of Ontario. 

2001

An Associate Director of Education and Administration hired (M.Ed.).

A professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies takes on the role of Associate Director of Research for MAREP.

Phase II of the Research on the Needs of Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer Disease or a related dementia and Community Support Services begins. The project is conducted by MAREP in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Caregivers' Association of Ontario as part of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy.

As part of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy, a third design conference is held in Toronto titled "Designs for Dementia: Integrating Systems of Care".

Study done by Bryan Smale and Sherry Dupuis examining the extent and nature of the Community Access Leisure Programmes in long-term care facilities across Ontario.

2002

As part of the Ontario Alzheimer Strategy, a fourth conference is held in Toronto titled "Designing for Diversity in Dementia Care".

First issue of quarterly newsletter, "Innovations: Enhancing Abilities in Dementia Care", is published.

2003 Horticulture & Complementary Therapies conference is held at the University of Waterloo Conference Centre in May.
2004 In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Dementia Advocacy Support Network International, the first Changing Melody Forum is held titled "A Changing Melody: A Learning and Sharing Forum for Persons with Dementia and Their Partners in Care", Royal York Hotel, Toronto, November 6.
2005

MAREP presented "I'm Still Here", a research based play that presents a realistic portrayal of the experience of dementia from the perspectives of those living with dementia and their families. It was performed by actors from ACT II Studio at Ryerson University at Luther Village, Waterloo. Proceeds will be used for the eventual videotaping of the play.

MAREP named as a major division of the new RBJ Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), a joint venture between the Village of Winston Park and the University of Waterloo.

In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Dementia Advocacy Support Network International, the second Changing Melody Forum is held titled "A Changing Melody: A Learning and Sharing Forum for Persons with Early-stage Dementia and their Partners in Care", 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto, November 12. 

2006

MAREP released a number of new education tools: Dementia Care Education Series CD-ROM; I'm Still Here Research-based Drama in DVD format and accompanying Learning-Teaching Guide; Changing Melody Forum 2005 DVD; Managing and Accommodating Responsive Behaviours in Dementia Care.

The first in a series of five By Us For Us guides, created by a group of talented and passionate persons with dementia, is released. Entitled "Memory Workout", the guide provides examples of cognitive exercises and it encourages persons with dementia to develop and maintain regular "workouts" for the brain so as to function better while engaging in enjoyable activities.

In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Dementia Advocacy Support Network International, the third Changing Melody Forum is held titled "A Changing Melody: A Learning and Sharing Forum for Persons with Early stage Dementia and Their Partners in Care", Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, November 5.
2007

In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Dementia Advocacy Support Network International, the fourth A Changing Melody Forum is held titled "A Changing Melody: A Learning and Sharing Forum for Persons with Early stage Dementia and Their Partners in Care", 89 Chestnut, Toronto, November 17.

The second and third By Us For Us guides, in the series of 5, are created and made available to the public. "Managing Triggers" and "Enhancing Communication" are the focus of the new guides, developed by persons with dementia for persons with dementia.

2008

In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, local Alzheimer chapters, and the Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International, the fifth and final A Changing Melody forum is held titled "A Changing Melody: A Learning and Sharing Forum for Persons with Early stage Dementia and their Partners in Care", at 89 Chestnut, Toronto, on November 15.

MAREP launches a new era by releasing the A Changing Melody tool-kit designed to help local communities come together with persons with dementia and their families in the planning and implementation of regional Changing Melody forums.

The fourth and fifth By Us For Us guides are created and made available to the public. "Enhancing Wellness" and "Tips and Strategies" are the focus of the new guides, developed by persons with dementia for persons with dementia.

2009

The sixth By Us For Us guide was created and made available to the public. "Living and Transforming with Loss & Grief" is the focus of the new guide, developed by persons with dementia and their family partners in care.

Founder, Ken Murray, celebrates his 85th birthday. A new award, "The Kenneth G. Murray Partnership in Dementia Award" was created in his honour. This award will be presented annual, and in its inaugural year was presented to two recipients, Brenda Hounam, a person living with dementia, and Ken Hancock, a partner in care.

2010

On February 4, 2010 at The Village of Winston Park in Kitchener, Ontario, The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), announced funding for the new Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance (PiDC), a new research initiative to help improve care for people with dementia. Co-led by Dr. Sherry Dupuis of MAREP/University of Waterloo and Dr. Carrie McAiney of McMaster University, the funding for this project comprises of $999,347 over five years from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in the form of a Community-University Research Alliances (CURA) grant.

On June 10, 2010, at Waterloo's Memorial Recreation Complex, MAREP and the City of Waterloo jointly hosted a public event to launch a new web-based planning initiative - the Age Friendly Communities tool. This new tool, developed by MAREP and several community partners, outlines how to build communities that are sensitive to the needs of older adults.

2011

MAREP hosted the first International A Changing Melody Forum in Toronto Ontario.

First guide in the Partner in Care By Us For Us guide series was published – Before/Early Diagnosis.

MAREP was highlighted as a leader in dementia care at the Alzheimer Disease International conference held in Toronto from March 26-29, 2011. Featured in a film showcasing the best practices in the dementia field around the world, MAREP was recognized for its innovative authentic partnership approach. To view the MAREP portion of the film, see Authentic Partnership Approach.

Living and Celebrating life through leisure By Us For Us guide was published.
2012

Food and Mealtime By Us For Us guide was published.

Results of the First Link Learning Program evaluation were released.

Living With Dementia: Resources for Living Well website was officially launched.

Permanent Photographic Installation was created and unveiled at Sunnyside’s Community Alzheimer Program in Cambridge Ontario, profiling the journey of Carl and Ann Marie Wilson, photographs by Diego Quattrociocchi.
2013

20th Anniversary of MAREP.

Rebranding to celebrate 20th anniversary and revitalize MAREP's look.

Second guide in the By Us For Us Partner in Care series of guides published - Role, Health and Wellbeing.

Release of I'm Still Here video in French, J'Suis Toujours La.

Sherry Dupuis steps down as the Director of MAREP to focus on teaching and her research in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

2014

Ken and Marilyn Murray are named Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for 2014.

Two new By Us For Us Guides published - Safety When Out and About, and Support Matters. Support Matters is the first Guide for Young Carers.

MAREP begins Taking Control of Our Lives pilot project.

2015

Kenneth Murray celebrates his 90th birthday.

The Kenneth G Murray Partnership in Dementia Awards for 2014 is given to Harold Gutoskie, Ron Hopewell, and Anne Hopewell.

MAREP partners with Peel County to bring Tools for Change: Building Senior Friendly Communities.

MAREP releases first By Us For Us Guide in French.

MAREP assists in the pilot of Dementia Friendly Communities (The Blue Umbrella Project) in Kitchener.

MAREP hosts the inaugural Hack4Health, a 3 day hackathon to create innovations that improve the quality of life of people living with multiple sclerosis or dementia.

2016

The Alzheimer Society of Waterloo- Wellington hosts A Changing Melody for the first time in Kitchener-Waterloo.

MAREP assists with A Circle of Music Intergenerational Choir, a choir for people with dementia, their care partners, and high school students. Bridging the gap between generations and improving mood through the power of music. 

MAREP, as part of the Age Well projects, partners with Emmetros to create best practice guidelines for businesses who wish to engage people living with dementia in product design, and usability testing.

Living the Dementia Journey Public Roll out announced. The Living the Dementia Journey educational tools are being revitalized to be sold to the public.

The Kenneth G Murray Partnership in Dementia Award is given to Mark Weidmark, Maggie Weidmark, Penny Stager, and Allan Stager.