First Link connecting families to Alzheimer Society programs

By Tanya Cronin
January 18, 2018 - 1:00pm Updated: January 18, 2018 - 3:04pm

KAMLOOPS — The Alzheimer Society of BC has launched a new referral program, designed to help newly diagnosed people with dementia get the help they need as soon as possible.

'First Link' is working to assist health care professionals in connecting people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and their families, with the Alzheimer Society. Doctors will formally refer a patient, which will then allow the society to reach out to families.

"Once a referral is made from a health care provider, whether it's a nurse or a family physician, a neurologist, a specialist, once that referral is made I now have the ability to reach out and connect with that family, it's one less thing on their plate they have to do because I take the onus for that. It's formal outreach, we connect with them originally, send them an information package, get them started with our programs and services, explain who we are and the purpose of our society, and how we're able to help them along that dementia journey," says Tara Hildebrand, Alzheimer's Society of BC, Central Interior. 

It's often difficult for families affected by dementia to ask for help, and many don't reach out until a crisis happens. 'First Link' is aimed at removing that barrier, ensuring patients are referred to the program at the time of diagnosis.
 

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