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Online Caregiver Wellness Retreat
Recorded Live From Calgary On May 28, 2021

Welcome Caregivers!

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Recorded Live from Calgary

with Melissa Smith-Wilkinson

Founder of Caregiver Wellness Retreat

Start here! This is our live segment where each of our expert presenters shared their strategies for self-care and wellbeing and ​answered questions from caregivers. Make time to watch or review this video and take notes! A lot of wonderful content and tools for you as a caregiver to implement right now.

Below are short, bonus segments with, even more, inspirational content just for you. Take a moment now to set a sacred space for yourself to enjoy these talks. Make a cup of tea, exhale and know that we are holding you virtually in a hug! 

After you watch the videos, please take a moment to submit your survey to receive a bonus gift from us. 

Enjoy the respite, 


Melissa is the Executive Director of Caregiver Wellness Retreat which she founded after her step-mother was diagnosed with Early On-set. Her passion for creating connection through community and offering the gift of wellness to caregivers began with her journey in the wellness industry at the age of 17. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband and son, Drew, and operates a boutique yoga studio, Pranava Yoga Studio, and hosts teacher trainings and renewal retreats. 


Bonus Video: Effectively working with Strong Emotions

with Dr. Aaron Blight

Dr. Aaron Blight, Ed.D., is an international speaker and consultant on caregiving, aging, and healthcare. His book, When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative, received a 2020 Best Indie Book Award. Dr. Blight is the founder of Caregiving Kinetics and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management and Public Health at Shenandoah University.


He has served as a family caregiver, home care company owner, caregiving scholar, and leader at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Aaron was recently recognized as a “Top 100 Healthcare Leader” by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare. He currently serves as a board member for a number of care-related organizations. You can find him on Facebook here.

To access the list of emotions worksheet Dr. Aaron mentioned in his video, please visit our Virtual Goodie Bag.


Bonus Video: Resources for Alzheimer's: In Calgary Area & beyond

with Cindy Bond Alzheimer Society of Calgary

This presentation outlines many resources that have proven to help others who are caring for someone who has dementia. Download the Additional resources from Alz Society Document.

Cindy is the Community Education Specialist with the Alzheimer Society Of Calgary. Cindy has over 30+ years experience working in the social service sector. She has worked with both the Alzheimer Society in Sudbury, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta which has afforded her the privilege to work with those impacted by Major Neurocognitive Disorders for over 12 years.


Bonus Video: 5-Minute Movement

with Dawn Ross

​Dawn is a brilliant and compassionate IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist with an exceptional ability to help people FEEL + Move + Breathe better.

For more videos from Dawn, visit her YouTube channel or her website Bit by Bit Bodyworks.

You can also follow Dawn on Instagram and Facebook.

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Bonus Video: Setting Boundaries

with Brittney Giacchetta

Brittney holds a BA degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, and a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. Brittney completed coursework in the areas of human development, cultural and social psychology, trauma therapy and interpersonal violence, clinical interventions, research methodologies, couples and family counselling, grief, and professional ethics. Brittney has also obtained additional training from Dr. David Burns in which she received her TEAM-CBT Level 1 certification. Brittney has received addition trainings pertaining to trauma-informed care.

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Bonus Video: Essential Self-care

with Amy & Ann

Self-care with Amy and Ann, former caregivers and creators of AlzhimersZine.
You can watch 2 more videos with them when you sign up for our free on-demand retreat here.

Bonus Video: The Power of Music & Mood: How To Set Up a Spotify Playlist

with Jessica Erlendson

Jessica is a teacher with extensive training in both music and Yoga! Jessica has a Jazz diploma (flute and piano), a classical music degree from the University of Calgary with a minor in Anthropology and has studied a variety of instruments including: Classical and Folk style guitar, voice (choir, modern, folk and jazz), piano, soprano sax, percussion and flutes of all kinds.  She has a lifetime of training in music from her Jazz pianist/composer father, Bob Erlendson.
Jessica Music and Yoga


Bonus Video: Easy Way to Gain Awareness

with Bridgette

Bridgette will be guiding us through a simplified meditation practice. This rotation is meant to help relax the body and create a feeling of balance.


Bonus Video: Care For the Caregivers
with Jessica Erlendson

C - care for the caregivers

  • Giving yourself the care you share so freely with others.

A - ability to respond

  • The opposite of guilt, which is a consequence of taking responsibility and responsibility breaks down into the ability to respond. This also lets the people who are not able to respond off the hook and brings more peace.

R - receive the love you have to give

  • Similar to our Meta meditation practice where we love from the easy - our baby or pet - to the difficult - our enemy. When we first feel the love we have for our loved ones and direct this towards ourselves, all our relationships will benefit.

E - energy cannot be destroyed

  • The scientific concept that energy cannot be created or destroyed has brought many people comfort. While watching our loved ones slip away and forget us, we are often suffering from a chronic persistent grief reaction. The idea that our loved one is more than their experiences, memory, and role in our lives brings comfort.

Thank you for joining us!

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