10 Tips for Successful System Navigation
Caregivers tell us that caring for someone with dementia has ups and downs. Finding the resources for the various issues that can arise can be challenging. Here are some tips:
Get connected to resources and community services as soon as possible.
Plan ahead before crisis occurs.
Prepare the groundwork today for the services you may need tomorrow.
Don't do it all yourself.
Let family members and friends help.
Turn to your health clinicians.
Turn to your health clinicians to help with system navigation for example:
- Reitman Centre counsellors
- Alzheimer Society Counsellors
- Agency social worker/case manager
- CCAC case coordinator
Make sure everybody knows about everybody.
Provide a list of all your health care providers and services to your healthcare team.
Ask, ask and ask.
The more you ask the more you know about your choices/options and the better decisions you can make for yourself and your loved one.
Use as many resources and social support as possible.
Keep an organized binder.
Keep an organized binder with all documents and assessments to bring with you to medical appointments (Medical history, meds, etc.).
When meeting with your family physician.
- Prepare updated information about conditions and services.
- Make a list of concerns and prioritize.
- Present your request in a simple and concise manner.
- Be flexible, ask the physician what is realistic for you to address at each visit.
- Suggest possible solutions/ services of interest.
- Let your physician know about how you are coping.
Here are some useful numbers and links for resource information
- The Reitman Centre for Caregivers
Phone: 416-586-4800 ext. 5882
- Home and Community Care
- Alzheimer Society First Link Program
- Toronto Seniors Helpline
- The Toronto Dementia Network