Following Oak Bay talk, B.C. Alzheimer Society gets funding boost

Society's programs to expand thanks to $2 million injection of funding

The B.C. Ministry of Health announced Monday it will provide $2 million to expand a successful program through the B.C. Alzheimer Society.

The First Link program allows health-care workers and advocates to reach out to patients and their families who are dealing with dementia. It currently operates in seven B.C. regions, including Greater Victoria.

“We haven’t had a chance to sit back and look at how we’ll specifically roll out this funding,” said Kathy Kennedy, director of programs and services.

Kennedy said First Link has shown success in proactive care for dementia sufferers since it began in 2010.

Last month, B.C. Alzheimer Society board member Jim Mann spoke in Oak Bay about the need for better support for the 70,000 people in the province with dementia. That number is expected to reach 177,000 by 2038, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.