Edmonton services to support memory problems and early Alzheimer’s disease

Memory changes are normal – and actually expected – across all ages and stages of life.  However, sometimes memory loss becomes a problem.  It’s normal to start keeping lists, or to ask friends to help you find an obscure word in conversation.  However, it’s less normal to forget important appointments or avoid talking to close friends because you might not be able to remember recent events clearly.   People experiencing these changes often are intensely anxious, and worried, about losing control over their life.  And so, we tend not to talk about options that can support people to stay at home longer… and even thrive.

Edmonton services open to self-referral*

In many cases, families who delay accessing AHS services find that the system must “catch up” to urgent care needs later in the process, potentially resulting in preventable admissions to hospital or seniors lodges.  Family caregivers without strong support systems also report greater stress.  In times of caregiver distress, the only recognizable community supports may be a family physician or Emergency Department.  However, there are often many more avenues available to help with non-urgent concerns in the community.

AHS-funded professionals are specially trained to help seniors “age in place” as a priority of care.  So, when families and caregivers engage with most AHS services, they are often helping their mom or dad stay safely in their home environment.

Here’s a list of some great non-urgent health resources that are open to self-referral from Edmonton seniors:

1. Medical CareTo assess & treat memory loss

Good Samaritan Senior’s Clinic
The GSS Senior’s Clinic consists of a multidisciplinary team led by medical doctors who specialize in the Care of the Elderly.  If you do not have a family physician, this clinic can take on the primary care of community-dwelling seniors in Edmonton.  This AHS-funded Senior’s Clinic in Southeast Edmonton is currently open to self-referral from seniors (age 65+) living in Edmonton with complex health needs.  Caregivers and patients who self-refer must complete the clinic’s referral form – see website.
Website:  gss.org/services/seniors-clinic
SAGE Health Services Program
Developed in partnership with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing, this walk-in and by appointment clinic is located downtown in the SAGE Seniors’ Association building (next to Edmonton City Hall).

The SAGE clinic is managed by Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Faculty, and connected to a suite of social services on-site.  As a result, seniors (age 65+) living in Edmonton may walk away with expert medical care, nursing interventions and a strong sense of connection with community service providers, all in one visit.

Website:  www.mysage.ca/at-sage/health-services

2. Home Care & Placement |  To get help at home

AHS Dementia Advice Service
Any Alberta resident can call a 24/7 phone hotline for advice from a Registered Nurse.  When required, calls are referred to a specialized dementia nurse.
Phone:  811
Website:  www.albertahealthservices.ca
AHS Community Care Access
Any Edmonton resident can self-refer to home care services by calling a 24/7 call centre.  If you are calling for someone else, you must have their consent to call on their behalf.

The AHS Community Care Access program provides a single point-of-access for:

  • home care (publicly funded)
  • palliative care
  • day programs
  • placement in supportive living & long-term care facilities
Phone:  (780) 496-1300
Website:  www.albertahealthservices.ca
Occupational Therapy Services for Chronic Disease Management
Many seniors do not qualify for publicly funded home care because they are “too independent”.  Yet, they still notice problems with physical functioning and independence at home.  An Occupational Therapist (OT) can solve a lot of these problems by taking action to prevent falls or prescribe home adaptations.  In order to use this service, you must be an Edmonton resident who is not receiving AHS home care services.
Phone:  (780) 342-8302   [Note: This is a centralized AHS phone number.  You need to ask specifically for “OT Services for CDM” when calling.]
Website:  www.albertahealthservices.ca

3. Seniors Apartments & Lodges |  To find a safer home

SAGE Housing Advice
When struggling to live at home, many seniors think about moving to safer accommodations like apartments and lodges.  Staff at the SAGE Seniors’ Association (next to Edmonton City Hall) are ready to help with housing advice and connections to many housing providers.  So, drop-by or give them a call.
Website:  www.mysage.ca/help/housing
Greater Edmonton Foundation (GEF)
The GEF manages affordable housing for low-income seniors (age 65+).   Seniors apply using a central application form for multiple housing sites.  This includes:
  • Seniors Apartments & Townhomes
  • Seniors Lodges (incl. meals & housekeeping)
Website:  www.gef.org

* This post is not intended to replace medical advice, nor is it meant to alter your current Medical Plan of Care.  If you have any urgent health concerns, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.