What is First Link®?
First Link® is a partnership program with health-care professionals and the Alzheimer Society of Toronto to ensure that individuals and families dealing with dementia receive the support and information they need throughout the course of the disease.
Where do I start?
To make a referral through First Link®:
- Ask your patient or their family member’s permission to forward his or her name to the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.
- Complete and submit the First Link® Referral Form below, or complete the Printable Referral Form.
Within 48 hours, one of our social workers will make the initial call to the person being referred, and help them on their first steps to living well with dementia.
Who Can Use First Link®?
First Link partners include family physicians, geriatric specialists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and social service workers, amongst others, who work in family practice, healthcare facilities and community agency settings throughout the Toronto area.
Why use First Link®?
When a diagnosis of dementia is made, individuals and families may feel overwhelmed and distressed with the challenges that lay ahead, and might not be sure where to turn to for help and support. By getting consent, and filling out the First Link referral form, you will ensure that we will get in touch with them, and begin connecting them to the resources and supports provided by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, and to other community services they might need throughout the city.
Research has shown that by making a referral through First Link the average time between diagnosis and when we see individuals with dementia and their care partners is reduced from 18 to 7 months. This means that the people being referred are able to get the help they need sooner, will be able to begin taking steps to plan ahead, and hopefully decrease visits to the emergency department and keep people with dementia living at home for as long as possible.
To get more information about making a referral, request brochures and materials, or ask other general questions, please contact the following resource.