There are practical ways in which you can help people with dementia and their care partners (i.e., family members or friends) make plans and move forward with dementia. These plans need to be flexible and responsive as needs and circumstances change.
Having a care plan enables you to write down current needs and management plans for your patients’ health care now and into the future.
A care plan can also include the person with dementia’s wishes. The care plan should be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.
Post-diagnostic Services and Supports
Here are some items to consider talking about with your patient and their care partners (e.g. family members or friends).
This is a lot of information and several visits will likely be needed to cover these topics. Not all topics apply to all patients and their care partners. Tailoring specific recommendations based on their individual needs for several of the items listed below can be helpful.
- Donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), rivastigmine (Exelon), memantine (Ebixa) are approved for use in Canada for patients with a diagnosis of dementia.
Donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine are cholinesterase inhibitors which are approved for use with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Memantine is approved for patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.
- Discuss driving safety and driving assessments, your responsibility to report to local driving authority, as well as contingencies if the person stops driving.
- Click here for a video a presentation by Dr. Gary Naglie in partnership with Alzheimer Society of Canadan and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), called “Approaching Driving Cessation in Older Adults with Dementia”. This video is available in English.
- Discuss exercise, eating a ‘Mediterranean’ diet, staying cognitively and socially active, limiting alcohol, and stopping smoking.
- Management of medications, and optimal control of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose.
A referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist may be necessary for your patient.
- You may wish to reference the Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health 2021 guideline updates, “Canadian Guidelines on Prevention, Assessment and Treatment of Depression Among Older Adults.” which provides recommendations for interventions focused on depression prevention strategies.
Support with cognition, communication, and function
Refer to occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology, and/or psychology.
- The availability of these services may vary depending on where you practice and these services often require the patient to pay for them.
Education and information
Provide the website address for our website (forwardwithdementia.ca) and for the Alzheimer Society of Canada website.
Managing work or usual activities
Discuss issues as relevant.
Care partner support
Refer patients and their families through the First Link Program in your province.
- For additional information for health care providers on how to refer to First Link, click here.
- Additional information related to services and supports in your province or territory may be found here, on our provincial resources page.