Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Government Offers support for families affected by Alzheimer's Disease

January 11, 2012


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New Alzheimer Society of Manitoba Program Offers Early Information, Support, Education to Individuals, Families, Caregivers: Selinger
Over the next three years, the province will provide $555,000 to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba (ASM) to support the delivery ofFirst Link, a new program that provides information, education and supports to people and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“Dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is very difficult for patients and their families,” said Selinger.  “This program supports people early in the process by helping to improve awareness, understanding and coping skills.  This investment will help prevent crisis situations by connecting individuals and their caregivers with resources in the early stages of their illness.”
First Link is a formal program that links individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia with services and support as soon as possible after diagnosis.  Formal referral by physicians and health professionals allows for proactive support from ASM to help the family better cope with its situation.  Supports available include information, support groups, education sessions and referral to other health resources as needed.  While physicians and health-care providers can make referrals via First Link, individuals and their families can also contact ASM directly for assistance. 
“The Alzheimer Society is thrilled to receive funding for First Link from the provincial government,” said Sylvia Rothney, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.  “Together we can move forward with this valuable program that is so very important to help Manitobans access resources, support and information to assist them along their dementia journey.  Caregivers need to realize that they don’t have to go through this alone, there is help available.”
Currentlymore than 19,000 Manitobans have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.  In 2011 alone, more than 4,300 Manitobans over the age of 65 developed Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
To access First Link, individuals can contact ASM directly for further information on supports available for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia at 204-943-6622, toll-free at 1-800-378-6699 or online at
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