Written by Dr. Leena Jain, Geriatrician

We are enhancing the way we care for people with dementia in our communities.

We are enhancing the way we care for people with dementia in our communities. Our new approach will streamline timely diagnosis and access to community resources, strengthen partnerships between specialists and primary care providers and better support the South Asian community.

Over the next year, we will pilot the following initiatives in the communities of Surrey-North Delta, White Rock-South Surrey and Langley:

  • An inter-professional dementia pathway that will simplify the process for family physicians or nurse practitioners to diagnose and help manage the early stages of dementia, enabling patients and families to get help sooner.
  • A mentoring program that partners dementia specialists with primary care providers, enhancing providers’ knowledge and skills, strengthening relationships within the care team, and spreading familiarity with dementia resources at the community level.
  • A series of dementia education presentations in Surrey temples, gurdwaras and community centres focusing on awareness of dementia, recognizing the early signs, reducing the risks, talking to your family physician and accessing community resources.
  • A Punjabi-speaking South Asian support and education coordinator will also be available through Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link® Dementia Helpline for the duration of this pilot (which lasts until fall 2018). The coordinator can be reached at 604-449-5003 from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and provides culturally-sensitive information and language support to South Asian people. Currently, there are more than 200,000 people of South Asian descent in our region and this allows us to provide patient-centred education about dementia in a culturally-sensitive way while addressing potential misconceptions and barriers.

Our new approach to caring for people with early stage dementia in the community unites many partners and will enable people to obtain earlier diagnosis and timelier management of dementia.

Read the full news release.

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