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What is First Link®?
Through the First Link® program, we work together to link individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia to a community of learning, services and support as early as possible in the disease process.
Why should you consider First Link®?
- First Link® gets you connected early for support throughout your journey.
- The more you know about dementia, the better you may be able to cope with your situation.
- You will be linked to community supports and services.
First Link® services for individuals
Have you or someone you know been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia? First Link® is your first step to living well with dementia.
Connecting you to information, support and services
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.
First Link® is easy to access
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
- Get help to plan your future
You are always connected
The progression of dementia brings with it new challenges. First Link provides support and connects you to informative workshops to help you better understand and respond to each phase of the disease with practical tips and strategies.
Working together for you
First Link is about bringing together Alzheimer Society staff, primary care physicians and other health professionals to make it easier for you to get the help you need.
First Link® for healthcare providers
How does First Link® work?
When your patient gives you permission to share their information with our First Link® staff, we will contact them directly.
We will immediately connect them with a network of education and support services specific to their situation. We are their link to community help, both at the time of their diagnosis and throughout their illness.
Because First Link® focuses on service coordination, resources and planning, clients become more confident and involved in their own care, reducing the burden 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.
Why use First Link®?
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.
Families are often too overwhelmed to pick up the phone and ask for help. When you refer them to First Link®, we call them, connecting them to the information and resources they need to make informed choices.
First Link® gets them the help they need right away, averting possible crises and helping them meet challenges as they come up. That translates into fewer emergency room visits and lets caregivers keep family members with dementia at home as long as possible.
How to make a referral through First Link®
Read our brochure on First Link® for more information on the program. For copies that you can give to your patients or clients, please contact us.