Dementia helpline now available into evening

To help residents of Kamloops living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, their caregivers and family members, the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s toll-free phone line, the First Link Dementia Helpline, provides support and information about dementia and memory loss until 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The pandemic has led to isolation for many.

To help residents of Kamloops living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, their caregivers and family members, the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s toll-free phone line, the First Link Dementia Helpline, provides support and information about dementia and memory loss until 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

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People who call the helpline will be connected to the full range of services offered through the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link dementia-support programs.

These include online education workshops, caregiver tele-support groups and community resources.

In addition to emotional support and a listening ear, callers can also access information about living with dementia during COVID-19, including practical strategies on a variety of topics, such as behavioural and communication challenges.

“Someone might call in because they’re 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,” said Carly Gronlund, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s provincial coordinator for the dementia helpline.

“Most callers are caregivers who need to know who to call or where to turn. We guide them towards services that will help them build the skills and confidence to live well with dementia.”

The evening hours were added in March as part of the Society’s plan to meet increased demand, particularly for support during evening hours. Since the pandemic began, the helpline has seen a dramatic uptake in phone calls.

The helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. for anyone who would like information and support on dementia, memory loss or general brain health, by calling 1-800-936-6033 (toll-free).

The helpline is also available in other languages. Learn more online at alzbc.org/fldhl.

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