What is Alzheimer's Awareness Month?
Each January, the Alzheimer Society supports and leads Canada's Alzheimer's Awareness Month.
During this month, we at the Society encourage organizations across Canada, and individuals like you, to learn more about dementia and its stark impact on Canadians.
And while Alzheimer's Awareness Month may stop at the end of January, the experiences of people who live with dementia do not. As such, we ask you to take what you've learned during the month and continue to share it throughout the year.
By understanding what people living with dementia experience in their day-to-day-lives – their struggles, their successes and their hopes – together we can raise awareness of dementia throughout Canada.
Please support Alzheimer's Awareness Month. It's an easy start to helping your fellow Canadians who are living with this serious disease.
For this year’s theme, we are letting people across Canada know that the Alzheimer Society is the First Link® to Support, Community, Knowledge and Expertise.
What is First Link®?
When a person is diagnosed with dementia, the Alzheimer Society is the first place to turn – and First Link® is the connection to support, care, knowledge, expertise, and referrals.
First Link® is the Alzheimer Society program offering approved services and information to those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and caregivers. It encompasses the areas of Risk Reduction, Education, Living Well with the Disease, Community, Research, and Advocacy; an umbrella that brings together all aspects of the care and management of dementia in Canada.
With more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today, a number expected to reach almost one million in 10 years, the Alzheimer Society is continuing to enhance its support amongst people living with dementia to meet their needs early in, and throughout, their journey.
The goal of First Link® is to ensure a user of the services has the right support and information, from the time of an initial diagnosis and throughout the progression of the disease.
- By connecting with First Link®, a user will have access to all the services available in their local area.
- There are a variety of different programs and services administered at the local level of societies across the country.
- Such services include counselling support and a better understanding of the different healthcare options in a specific province and Society, Staff will provide the appropriate access to the right services during the different stages of the disease.
Five ways you can support Alzheimer’s Awareness in 2023
1. Support this year’s campaign
Help us spread the word! You can download our Community Toolkit for this year’s Alzheimer Awareness Month, highlighting First Link®. It has all the information you need to support Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, including suggested text for posting about the campaign on social media and accompanying images.
Interested in helping us as a dementia ambassador and spreading awareness of First Link on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Please contact us at [email protected] to get involved!
Accompanying images that you can use to share on your social media pages can be downloaded at Alzheimer.ca/Awareness2023.
The toolkit also provides a list of social media handles for all the provincial Alzheimer Societies in Canada, so you can follow and tag your Society’s social channels as well! Thank you for your support – the more visibility we have, the more people living with dementia we can reach.
Learn more about First Link by visiting our webpage, and get contact information for the Society closest to you!
2. Connect with your local Society
One of the central themes to this year’s campaign is Community. We encourage you to find out what's going on at your local Alzheimer Society, including how your Society is helping your community and how you can get involved.
Visit alzheimer.ca/Find to get connected to your closest Society in a few short clicks!
3. Learn more about dementia
Another theme this year is Knowledge. Learning more about dementia through the Alzheimer Society’s many resources can, as one example, help someone identify the warning signs of dementia and get them an early diagnosis, leading to that person getting the help and support they need earlier.
A little learning can make all the difference in helping someone live as well with dementia as possible.
4. Listen to the stories of people with lived experience
The best way to understand the impact of dementia, and the need for further help and support, is to hear directly from people with lived experience of it.
Over the next little while, the Alzheimer Society will be publishing more stories from people living with dementia, caregivers and researchers alike. We encourage you to read and share them among people you know. Perhaps there is someone who will want to share their story as well!
5. Support our other initiatives to raise awareness
- Besides Alzheimer's Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society also supports people living with dementia assert their rights and fight stigma through the Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia.
- We work to change the lives of those living with dementia. However, we need to do more to combat systemic oppression. Here is how we are changing on the issue of race and dementia.
- The Alzheimer Society of Canada believes people with dementia should have a voice in the work that impacts them. We want to bring people from all over the country together to be part of the conversation by becoming a member of our Advisory Group of people living with dementia.
- We also support the implementation of Canada's first-ever national dementia strategy that can systemically reduce stigma against dementia in Canada.
- We're committed to taking a person-first approach to the Dementia-Friendly Canada project to ensure all Canadians living with dementia feel valued and empowered, that organizations be inclusive and accessible and that everyone uses their awareness of dementia to make changes, individually and as a society.