The First Link® Learning Series

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The Alzheimer Society of Perth County offers the First Link® Learning Series for people who are living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

Mother and daughter using a tablet together.

For more information about the First Link® Learning Series or to register for an upcoming workshop, please contact the Education Coordinator:

Phone: 519-271-1910 ext. 25

Toll-free: 1-888-797-1882

Email: [email protected]

What is the First Link® Learning Series?

The First Link® Learning Series is made up of six distinct courses that are progressive in nature. Each course builds upon the other to provide participants with a comprehensive overview of dementia, coping strategies, resources and support systems.

These courses are facilitated by staff of the Alzheimer Society of Perth County and feature various community partners as guest speakers.

The six courses that make up the Learning Series are:

  • First Steps for people with dementia and caregivers
  • Taking Control of Our Lives
  • Next Steps for families and friends
  • Care essentials
  • Options for care
  • Care in the later stages

 

First Steps for persons with dementia and their family

The first course in the First Link® Learning Series is designed for the person living with dementia and their primary caregiver.

Through this course, participants can understand their diagnosis and the changes they experience. It also offers an opportunity to share and connect with others.

Topics covered during this course include:

  • What is dementia?
  • Memory loss and changes to the brain
  • Coping strategies
  • Drugs and treatments
  • Future planning
  • Community resources

First Steps is offered weekly in two-hour sessions over a four-week period.

Taking Control of Our Lives

This eighteen hour series held for two hours weekly over nine weeks will offer the person living with dementia and their primary caregiver an opportunity to find their voice, and be empowered to overcome the stigma associated with dementia.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • What is dementia?
  • Communication Strategies
  • Adapting to Change
  • Living Safely in the Community
  • Finding Meaning and Purpose
  • Building Connections
  • Staying Well

This program is offered twice annually in the Spring and Fall.

Next Steps for families and friends

This eight hour series will offer family members and friends caring for persons with dementia an overview of dementia.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • What is dementia?
  • Memory loss and changes to the brain
  • Coping strategies
  • Drugs and treatments
  • Future planning
  • Community resources

 

Care essentials

This eight hour series will offer family members and friends caring for persons with dementia problem solving strategies, approaches for communication and available avenues for support, all of which can strengthen their ability to provide care in the middle stages of the disease.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Progression of dementia
  • Understanding behavior
  • Day-to-day care
  • Community resources

 

Options for care

This two hour session is offered in partnership with the South-West LHIN and is designed to help family members and friends caring for people with dementia evaluate their current care giving needs and explore other possible care options, including long-term care.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Where to turn when care needs are increasing
  • Long-Term Care – how the system works
  • Coping with change – how to make the transition

 

Care in the later stages

This six hour series is offered in partnership with a long-term care home and is designed to help family members and friends of persons with dementia understand what to expect in the later stages of the disease. The series will explore how participants can provide comfort to the person as well as review the experiences of grief and loss.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Natural course of the later stages
  • How to recognize pain and distress
  • How to provide care that promotes dignity, comfort and quality of life

 

First Link®

If you are newly diagnosed with dementia, First Link® can connect you to the help you need as soon as possible.

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