– SPONSORED CONTENT –
People learn what’s normal and what’s not
First Link® connects Albertans to
dementia services and support
The warning signs don’t alwaysinvolve loss of memory.
Dementia can begin in manyways, all of which may be jarring ordaunting.
“If I had a nickel for every time afamily member called and asked:‘Do I need to make an appointmentwith a doctor? Mom’s repeatingherself a lot lately.’ It’s veryconcerning for families to see aloved one go through what maybe some form of dementia,” saysChristene Gordon, director, ClientServices and Programs for theAlzheimer Society of Alberta andNorthwest Territories (ASANT).
And, she adds, a diagnosis ofdementia can be overwhelming forall involved.
This fall, a program new
to Calgary will be a lifeline to
information and resources for
those in need. The Alzheimer
Society of Calgary will deliver the
First Link® program to connect
Calgarians to services and support
at the time of diagnosis and
throughout the duration of the
disease. ASANT has offered the
program throughout the rest of the
province since 2013.
Gordon says First Link® helpspeople living with dementia andtheir families as early as possibleafter diagnosis.
“It can be hard for people to
determine what’s normal behaviour
and what’s not,” she says. “Then
there are so many questions after
diagnoses—not only about the
disease, but about how to navigate
the health system. We offer
support for individuals and family
members, and we are here to
be that literal ‘first link’. We then
continue working with people
as they progress through the
As with First Link® in other
regions of the province, people
newly diagnosed with dementia
and their families are referred
to the service by a healthcare
“The most important thing wewant people to know is that thoseliving with dementia can find help.You’re not alone,” Gordon says.
For more information, visit theAlzheimer Society of Alberta andNorthwest Territories at alzheimer.ab.ca, or Alzheimer Society ofCalgary at alzheimercalgary.ca.
By Theresa Tayler
Sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories