Group reaches out to patients newly diagnosed with dementia

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories will be reaching out to the medical community in Central Alberta to assist patients who are newly diagnosed with dementia.

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories will be reaching out to the medical community in Central Alberta to assist patients who are newly diagnosed with dementia.

“Often what we’re finding is when families get a diagnosis of some type of dementia — that’s often all the get.

Families are kind of left on their own,” said Arlene Huhn, manager of client services for the society in Edmonton.

The new program First Link will bridge the information gap by reminding health professionals to refer their patients to the society.

“We’re just trying to do that early intervention. If we can connect to (patients) earlier, then when things start to go astray we can provide them with those helpful tips, hints, services and links to other people in the community.”

In March, the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories received a $2.76 million provincial grant for First Link.

The grant runs for two years.

Funding will also allow the society to develop web-based education programs and web-based support groups to assist clients in rural and remote communities.

The society will start meeting with people in the medical community in Central Alberta this fall. Web programs will be available next year.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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