First Link®: Information and support for people living with dementia

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You are not alone. For people living with dementia, the Alzheimer Society is your first link to a community of caring, support, knowledge and more.

Two photo frames are visible. In the left frame, an image of a senior couple are seen, a woman and a man. The woman is hugging the man from behind; they both have their eyes closed and are smiling softly. In the right frame, an image of three seniors on a hike are seen. Two senior women are laughing. The words "Community Changes Everything" are seen on the left side of the image.

Calling us changes everything. Contact your closest Alzheimer Society today. You can also contact us at [email protected]

Why we should be the first place you turn

Three middle-aged women taking a walk on a beach together, looking happy and content.

A diagnosis of dementia hits hard and would leave any of us at a loss. Dealing with the news is something few are prepared for. First Link®, with a spectrum of services, information, and support, is the first place to turn when you need help answering the question… What do I do now?

By being the first place you turn when you are diagnosed (or soon after), we can ensure you are referred directly to First Link®-approved health services, support and information.

Prior to First Link, my wife and I didn’t know anything about dementia or Alzheimer’s. With the information we received, we were able to become proactive in dealing with this illness.” – Caregiver

How does First Link® work?

The goal of First Link® is to make it as easy as possible for those diagnosed with dementia to access services, information, and care. 

A young man and a senior man sitting on the stairs together and having coffee, with the young man putting his arm around the senior man's shoulders.

For easy access to the Alzheimer Society’s First Link®-approved support, simply give permission for your doctor or healthcare provider to share your information with the First Link® service. We will then contact you to start the simple process. If a healthcare referral is not available, you or a family member may also call us directly.

That initial conversation is the first step towards your First Link® support. From there we can connect you directly with the local health services that best suit your needs; we can share information on how to access Alzheimer Society programs; we can offer insights and ideas on living well with dementia, the progression of the disease, and more; and we can take the time to discuss your questions and concerns.

Connecting with First Link® means you can:

Group of seniors putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Receive one-on-one or group support services
  • Be connected to local healthcare providers and community services
  • Meet others in similar circumstances to exchange experiences
  • Get help on planning your future and managing your disease

Who can refer me?

Young professional caregiver checking in with two happy seniors having tea.

You can be referred to First Link® by almost any of your healthcare providers or nearby community agencies including:

  • Your family physician
  • Geriatric specialists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Social service workers
A smiling senior woman with her daughter, who is hugging her.

How do I get a referral?

Talk to your doctor (or any of the above) about First Link®. If it’s easier, you can also contact your local Alzheimer Society and begin the process that way.

 

What happens after a referral is made?

Once a referral is made, a First Link® Co-ordinator will reach out to you and, if desired, to a family member (or members).

Senior man hugging his wife from behind, who is sitting down and also smiling.

Through that call you will be linked to Alzheimer Society services and other programs and services within your community.

Connecting to support and information in the early stages of the disease is important, and that is why we are here. Take full advantage of our expertise in living with and managing dementia, make First Link® your first move.

Download the brochure

First Link: Your first step to living well with dementia (PDF)

Learn how we can be your First Link® through our print-friendly, downloadable brochure. Also available optimized to view on mobile devices.

First Link: Your first step to living well with dementia - cover image.

Related pages

Programs and services

The Alzheimer Society can help you face dementia. Use this page as your guide to find support programs, dementia education and resources, referral services and more.

Learn more
National dementia ambassador Tanis Rummery.