Support Programs

Families living with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia face a variety of unique challenges, and the Alzheimer Society can help with a number of support services. For more information on these services, contact one of our offices noted on the Contact Us page. 

First Link®

First Link is a program that links persons with dementia and their care partners to coordinated learning, services, and support form the point of diagnosis throughout the continuum of the disease. After a referral has been made, the First Link Coordinator will:

  • Offer dementia education and ongoing support for the person with dementia and family members;
  • Assess for other Alzheimer Society programs (e.g., Safely Home®, Recreation Therapy, volunteer visiting, behaviour support);
  • Make referrals to other appropriate community services.

For information on upcoming Learning Series, please see our Support and Education Calendar.

If you are a health provider and would like to make a referral to First Link or other Alzheimer Society programs, please download our referral form.

Supportive Counselling

Our professional staff will meet with the person with dementia and/or their care partners, in person or by phone, to discuss issues such as disease progression, care options, and community services. Meetings can take place either in our office or in the individual's home. Our Family Services program brochure provides more information on our Support program.

Support Groups

We have groups specially designed for those with dementia, and others that are specific for care partners. Groups are an excellent way to learn more about the disease as well as receive peer support and professional guidance. Groups are normally held monthly. Our Support and Education Calendar provides information on sessions taking place within the next several months.

Cognitive Assessments

The Alzheimer Society does not support broad population-based cognitive screening, and therefore will conduct cognitive assessments only where risk factors have been identified. Age alone is not sufficient reason to conduct cognitive assessment. Our professional staff will provide cognitive assessment when referred by a primary care practitioner or when requested by the client as a result of a perceived change in cognitive ability.

Behaviour Support

Behaviour Supports Ontario is a province-wide initiative that aims to improve quality of life for persons with dementia and their care partners by helping to manage responsive behaviours. Our Behaviour Support Facilitator can assist with responsive behaviours through activities such as behaviour mapping and caregiver education. If you are a health care provider and would like to make a referral to the Behaviour Support program, please download the BSO Referral Form.


Last Updated: 11/08/2017