People living with dementia will have stronger connections to loved ones and caregivers as government is providing $5.4 million over two years to help fund First Link dementia support.
This is a suite of programs and services provided by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for people affected by dementia.
“For people living with dementia as well their families, we know how important it is to remain connected to each other, especially during the pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Our government is proud to provide funding for First Link dementia support, so people affected by dementia will have access to the assistance and information they need about this disease, when they need it.”
First Link provides support to people living with dementia and their caregivers throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis or before, to end of life. People can connect to First Link through a referral from their health-care provider or by calling the First Link dementia helpline at 1 800 936-6033.
“I want to thank the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for the incredible work they continue to do, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care. “The direction, knowledge and resources provided by the society have helped people living with dementia, those who care for them and their families navigate a challenging time.”
When a person receives a diagnosis and is referred to First Link, they are contacted by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to connect to programs or services that will address their needs, along with ongoing support. Since the start of the pandemic, First Link services have been offered online.
“This funding, which will help support First Link for two years, ensures that no one on the dementia journey has to face it alone,” said Jen Lyle, CEO for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “First Link has always been a team effort between the society and families, donors, fundraisers, volunteers and community partners, and we are so grateful for the ministry’s ongoing commitment to being part of that team.”
There are currently more than 13,500 British Columbians connected to First Link. In 2019-20, more than 71,000 people 40 or older in British Columbia were living with dementia.
To learn more about First Link, visit: www.alzheimerbc.org
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit: www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw136623