First Link®

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First Link: Navigating, Connecting and Caring

Senior woman smiling at her doctor's office.

For more information, please contact us at 519-332-4444.

What is First Link?

Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s disease, another form of dementia, or supporting someone who is, First Link® connects you to health services and information in your community, from the time of diagnosis throughout the progression of the disease.

First Link is about helping you and your family make informed choices so you can live better with dementia at every stage of the disease.

When you give permission to your healthcare provider to share your information with our First Link staff, we will contact you directly. You can also give us a call.

You will be linked to local health services and resources that best suit your situation. You will have access to Alzheimer Society programs and services to help you learn about dementia, talk about your concerns and live well with the disease.

Connecting with First Link® means you can:

  • Receive one-on-one or group support,
  • Be referred to local healthcare providers and community services,
  • Meet other people in similar circumstances and exchange experiences and
  • Get help to plan your future.

How the First Link program works

Once a referral is made, the First Link Coordinator contacts the person with dementia and family members, linking them to Alzheimer Society services and other programs and services within their community.

Connecting people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their families to support and information early in the disease is important as it helps them develop competency and resiliency in facing their journey with dementia. The Alzheimer Society helps with planning, support and information, education, and provides access to support services and dementia-specific expertise.

First Link Learning Series

The First Link Learning Series is made up of four 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 Sarnia Lambton.

For more information about the First Link Learning Series or to register for an upcoming workshop, please contact our office at 519-332-4444.

Care Essentials

Care essentials: This series will offer family members and friends caring for persons with dementia problem solving strategies, approaches for communications and available avenues for support, all of which can strengthen their ability to provide care.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Progression of dementia,
  • Understanding behaviour,
  • Day-to-day care and
  • Community resources.

First Steps for Care Partners

This 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 and
  • Community resources.

First Steps for Person with Dementia

First Steps for persons with dementia:

  • Understanding their diagnosis,
  • Coping with changes they experience and
  • Opportunity to participate in sharing and connecting with others.

Options for Care

This series is to help family members and friends caring for people with dementia evaluate their current care giving needs and explore other possible care options available, 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 and
  • Coping with change - how to make the transition.

Care in the Later Stages

This series is 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 and
  • How to provide care that promotes dignity, comfort and quality of life.

Programs and services

The Alzheimer Society of Sarnia-Lambton can help you by providing information, resources, education, support and counselling. Use this page as your guide to find the care and support you may need.

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National ambassador Tanis Rummery.