Health care - Working with health care professionals - How health care professionals can help

There are many health care professionals who can assist you, including your family physician, specialists, such as a geriatrician, and allied professionals such as nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and so forth. Each of them has a very special interest and can be very useful to help you live well with dementia.

Frequently asked questions

Who are the key health care professionals I may want/need to work with and why? Click for answer

Depending on availability, there are many health professionals you may want to consider as part of your health care team. These include:

Family doctor

They can help link you to specialists and make referrals to other community supports. They also know your medical history and can help manage ongoing health issues.

Nurse or personal support worker

They can teach you coping strategies for day-to-day activities.


They will be able to answer all your questions about medications, look at possible interactions between dementia medications and your other medications, as well as possible interactions between your current medications and dementia, and help find ways to simplify medication taking.

Physical and occupational therapists 

They can help make day-to-day activities easier by keeping you mobile, and by installing items such as grab bars and introducing new instruments you might need to make tasks easier.

Social worker

This person will have all the community links you may need in your community for learning more about dementia, finding support, and providing counseling.

Alzheimer Society staff

Alzheimer Society educators, counselors, and support staff can provide education, recommend community and in-home resources and services, and provide emotional support.

Allied health professionals

Other professionals, such as massage therapists, can help with managing stress.
Please see the Community Supports and Services section of the website to access the services of these health professionals.

How can I find out about the health care professionals available in my community? Click for answer

Services for persons living with dementia and partners in care vary within provinces and regions. To locate services in your community, the following sources may be able to provide you with the information you need:

  • your local Alzheimer Society
  • your family doctor, health clinic or social worker
  • the public health department in your area
  • home and community care (Ontario)
  • your friends, family, neighbours and others in the community

Source: The information above was reprinted with additions with permission from Alzheimer Society of Canada. (2005, October). Alzheimer care: Finding help. 

Can my health care team help me plan for my future? Click for answer

Absolutely! Be honest with them. Let them know your needs and your wishes. You may want to discuss work, retirement, volunteer activities, money, legal matters, living arrangements, and personal care planning. This will allow you and your doctors to share openly about concerns and working together to come up with solutions to address those concerns.