If you have questions about the First Link® program or would like to speak to someone about becoming a referral partner, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-800-664-8411.
What is First Link®?
First Link® is an early intervention service designed to connect individuals and families living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia with services and support as soon as possible after diagnosis.
Formal referral from physicians and healthcare providers allows for proactive contact with individuals and families from the Society to help the family better cope with their situation.
Why use First Link®?
People living with dementia and their families can face many challenges, from the start at diagnosis and as the disease progresses. If you're someone who has just been diagnosed with dementia, you may be feeling bewildered, distressed and unsure about how to navigate the healthcare system.
Families are often too overwhelmed to pick up the phone and ask for help, and may not do so until they are in crisis. When you refer a person with dementia and/or their family member to First Link®, we call and connect them to the information and resources they need to make informed choices. We maintain contact, with the person's permission, throughout the progression of the disease.
First Link® provides confidential, timely support and education, helping families prepare for the challenges ahead and avert crises. This can translate into fewer emergency room visits and may help caregivers keep their family members with dementia at home as long as possible.
Through First Link®, the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick provides support to people living with any type of progressive dementia and their families.
How does First Link® work?
When someone gives their healthcare or community service provider permission to share their information with Alzheimer Society staff, we will contact that person directly within three weeks of referral. More urgent referrals are possible.
We will connect the person to a network of education and support services specific to their needs. We link to community help, both at the time of diagnosis and throughout the progression of the disease.
Because First Link® focuses on service co-ordination, resources and planning, clients become more confident and involved in their own care, reducing the demand on family physicians, long-term care and emergency services. Families also are better equipped to create their own action plans to tackle future legal, financial and health needs.
You can connect with the Alzheimer Society and access its services without a referral from a health care provider. To learn about our programs and services, please contact us at 1-800-664-8411 or [email protected].
Making a First Link® referral
If you're a healthcare or community service provider:
- Download and fill out our electronic First Link® referral form.
- Print it off, then get the client or patient’s signature of consent.
- Fax (506-452-0313) or email ([email protected]) the signed form to the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick.