Alzheimer Society says LTC homes can help spread this year’s campaign message

Representatives from the Alzheimer Society of Canada say long-term care homes can play a role to help the organization spread its 2022 awareness campaign and help enhance quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

The focus of the Alzheimer Society’s 2022 campaign is its First Link program. First Link is an initiative the organization has created nationwide to help connect people living with dementia and their caregivers with programs and supports they need.

In an e-mail interview with The OMNIway, the Alzheimer Society’s chief of research and knowledge translation Dr. Saskia Sivananthan and marketing manager Nathan Christie say not only can long-term care homes help raise awareness of this campaign, they can also help create the connections to First Link that people need.

“For people living with dementia and their care partners, the Alzheimer Society is (their) first link to a community of caring, support, knowledge and more,” say Sivananthan and Christie.

“Calling us can change everything because there is a lot that you can do. There is support.”

There are several ways long-term care homes and anyone else wishing to help raise awareness of this year’s campaign can participate.

Downloading the First Link toolkit, connecting with local Alzheimer societies and using social media to share information are just a few of the ways to help.

Today, people living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia are facing unique challenges, say Sivananthan and Christie. The world is now two years into the COVID-19 pandemic which has created new challenges for people living with Alzheimer’s, they add.

The Alzheimer Society created a COVID-19 and dementia task force to examine how the pandemic is affecting people living with dementia and their caregivers. According to Sivananthan and Christie, the task force found that the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Raising awareness of the First Link program can be an important step towards stemming the impact the pandemic is having, they say.

“In the frustrating puzzle that is the fight against dementia in Canada, the Alzheimer Society is a vital piece, and this campaign underscores our mission: To alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s and related diseases and to promote the search for causes, treatments and a cure,” Sivananthan and Christie say.

The launch of the First Link campaign coincides with January being National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

For more information on First Link, please contact the Alzheimer Society at 1-855-705-4636 (INFO) or info(at)alzheimer.ca.

– This is Part 2 of a two-part series

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