No one in Ashcroft, Cache Creek and the surrounding region should face the dementia journey alone.
Alzheimer's disease and other dementias affect thousands of British Colombians, but asking or being diagnosed can be difficult and families often do not know what to do.
This is why the Alzheimer Society of B.C. offers the first connection line for dementia (1-800-936-6033) in Ashcroft-Cache Creek and across the province.
A free phone line, the first line of dementia Link Link is for those living with dementia or is a caring partner for someone who does it.
It is also for people worried about their memory, for people who work with people living with dementia or for any member of the public who would like to know more.
"Some might call because they are starting to see changes in themselves or someone close to them and want to learn more about the warning signs and how to get a diagnosis," says Tara Hildebrand, Alzheimer's Society Support and Training Coordinator. Central internal resources center of BC.
"Most callers are health professionals who need to know who to call or where to turn in. We guide them to services that will help them develop skills and confidence to live with dementia."
Deanne Matthews called the line of care about a year after her mother Barb was diagnosed with dementia, when she and her sister began to notice changes in the mother's ability to communicate.
"We realized it was something we had to start dealing with," says Matthews. "We were looking long-term and we had to start making decisions while my mother was still able to tell us what she wanted."
The assistance line is also a resource for people who have not felt comfortable in reaching fear.
"It's the people who did not touch until the crisis," says Hildebrand. "We guide them through the scenarios and help them understand how they could respond to people living with dementia."
Ashcroft-Cache Creek residents who call the care line will be connected to the full range of services offered by the Alzheimer Society of the first BC dementia link, including support groups, community resources and community labs. training for each phase of the journey.
First Link offers an education as "Giving shape to the journey: living with dementia", a series of six weeks with which Matthews was able to participate with his mother.
"He really helped us get ready," he says.
Matthews and his mother also participate in Minds in Motion, a social and fitness program for people in the early stages of the disease to attend with their care partner.
Regardless of why a person calls the first connection line for dementia, Hildebrand states that the goal is always the same: "Make sure they get the support they need."
Ashcroft-Cache Creek residents who are worried about dementia may call the first dementia link (1-800-936-6033) or visit www.alzheimerbc.org. They are encouraged to talk with their health care provider to find out if a reference to First Link dementia support could help them.
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