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5.3 Plan to use services

Services can help you maintain independence and provide practical support.

Types of Services

There are a number of types of services that people with dementia use: 

Medical services

  • This includes your doctor or nurse practitioner, medical specialists, and their teams.
  • Your family doctor or nurse practitioner will oversee your care and make referrals to specialists as needed. 
  • Nurses and allied health professionals may be part of your family doctor’s or nurse practitioner’s team. In most cases, family doctors and nurse practitioners can diagnose and manage dementia.  

In some cases, a family doctor or nurse practitioner may need support and will refer their patients to a specialist (e.g., geriatrician, geriatric psychiatrist, or neurologist). Some specialists work with allied health professionals such as nurses, occupational therapists and social workers. The medical specialists will conduct assessments and provide you and your family doctor or nurse practitioner with a diagnosis and management recommendations. 

Regardless of who makes the diagnoses, when a diagnosis of dementia is made, the person and their family/friend care partner should be connected to the Alzheimer’s Society through the First Link program. Any health care provider one can make this referral. Visit the Alzheimer’s Society to learn more about First Link

Home and community services 

These services can help you to live at home, independently and safely. Home and Community Care coordinates access to provincially-funded allied health professionals (e.g., nurses, occupational services, physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, social workers, dietitians) as well a care in the home. In Ontario, Home and Community Care services also coordinate admissions to long-term care.  

These services provided by Home and Community Care may include assistance with medications, showering, dressing, and meals, transportation, and support around the house. Home care is provided by your provincial home and community care programs. For example: 

If your needs are greater than the supports that are covered by the province, additional supports can be purchased privately. Your Home and Community Support services contact may be able to direct you to services available in your area. 

Dementia and other community support services

The Alzheimer Society provides information and education and, depending on the society, they may also provide counselling services and run support groups for people with dementia and/or care partners.

Other community organizations might also provide support for people with dementia including adult day programs and respite services. 


Emotional reactions

Make a life plan

  • Write down goals, barriers, and steps needed to put your life plan into action 

Talk to family and friends

  • Talk to family and friends about your goals and ask for their support 

Access therapy and services

  • Ask your doctor or specialist about services that may be helpful to you. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Society for more information about services and supports in your area.