First Link
Primary care professionals 

Why should I use First Link?

Download the referral form

What is First Link? | Why I should use First Link? How First Link works What First Link does for your patient Evaluation Report | Other resources

Presenting a diagnosis of dementia to a patient is never easy. They may be bewildered and distressed about the challenges ahead, and unsure about how to navigate the health system. They wait for a crisis—an emergency room visit or a caregiver burnout—before seeking help. Easy access to ongoing services and support makes a huge difference to people with the disease.

Did you know that people with dementia are:  

  • Twice as likely to be hospitalized than people without the disease
  • Twice as likely to visit emergency departments for potentially preventable conditions

If you are a health care professional, First Link will:

  • Help with screening and diagnosis
  • Assist client and caregiver to better understand dementia
  • Direct your patients to more focused support and care that improves quality of life for people with dementia and their families
  • Allow you to devote more time to dementia’s medical issues
  • Reduce the burden on your practice of treating someone with dementia
  • Help your patients live more comfortably and longer in their homes
  • Connect you with a network of formal care providers who can educate you about dementia

First Link will help improve the health outcomes of your patients. It gives caregivers increased capacity to manage the psychological and behavioural symptoms that typically result in visits to the ER and crisis-related long-term care placements.

To make First Link a part of your practice, download the referral form and contact the Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay for more information.  Our First Link Coordinator can be reached by calling (807) 345-9556 or 1-888-887-5140 or by e-mailing [email protected].

Studies show that people with dementia have many other comorbid conditions, which dementia destabilizes, leading to cycles of emergency room use and hospitalization. This is known as 'the dementia domino effect.'


When people with dementia end up in hospital, their recovery takes longer. By helping people with dementia to better manage these comordbidities, First Link will reduce the strain on our health-care system.


    Last Updated: 11/08/2017