Programs Offer Support for Patients, Caregivers & Families

Jaye Waggoner, BAA

A diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) can turn the lives of patients, spouses, friends and family members upside down. There can be a real sense of fear in not knowing what the future will hold. What kind of changes will take place? Who will take on the role of caregiver? It is a lot for families to handle.

Fortunately, aside from having the support of their physicians, patients and caregivers have an extended family in the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The Society has numerous programs designed to help patients, families, physicians and paid caregivers enhance the lives of those living with AD.

TriAD is one such program. The "Tri" refers to physicians, patients and caregivers and the AD for Alzheimer's Disease. This educational support program was developed to provide information and resources for physicians and to aid them in making and communicating the diagnosis of AD. Research indicates that sometimes persons with the disease and caregivers are not made aware fast enough of the resources available through their community.

As a part of the program, the TriAD kit is made available to physicians. The kit includes a diagnostic protocol and assessment scales. Patients and caregivers also receive a kit from their doctor at the time of diagnosis, which includes brochures and a video.