What is First Link:
First link gets individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias and their families connected to a community of learning and support through early on in their journey. First link is a referral program that offers direct referral that enables a person diagnosed with Alzheimer disease or related dementia and their partner in care to access a wide variety of services and supports within the community and the Alzheimer Society .
• First Link will provide one-on-one support to families.
• First Link will provide education about what to expect throughout the progression of the disease and how to cope.
• First Link ensures individuals are connected to the appropriate resources in the community.
• First Link referral partners would include Primary Care Practitioners, Geriatric specialist and Health Service providers, Community Health Centres, Nurse practitioners and Pharmacies.
Why First Link
Often, people with Alzheimer Dementia related disease find the diagnosis very overwhelming and do not contact Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts or other support agencies until a crisis occurs. We want to get people connected early in order to reduce the number and intensity of crisis. To reduce caregiver burnout and pre-mature long term care placement.
Here's What You Do
During their visit with their Health Care provider, individuals recently diagnosed with dementia and their accompanying caregiver, are informed about the programs provided by Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts and are asked whether they wanted a direct referral from Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts. With consent, the referral is faxed to Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts who then follows up within the time frame specified by the client. Referring partners will inform the family, that they will receive a call from the First Link Coordinator.
Here's What We Do
First Link Coordinator will contact the individual referred, giving them an opportunity to ask questions about the disease, offer education about Alzheimer and provide information on programs and services offered by Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts. This program is unique, in that it allows us to reach out to the families as opposed to waiting for them to call. First Link connects families to services available at Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts and resources that are available in the community throughout the continuum of the disease.
Benefits of the First Link Program
• Fewer and less intense crises impacting families.
• Families will be more knowledgeable and prepared with enhanced coping skills.
• Families will be strengthened in their caregiving role.
• One of the most beneficial components of the First Link program, is the Learning series which provide educational information and support to people with dementia and their families from early stages on.