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United Way provides funding for new memory clinic

United Way Sarnia-Lambton is stepping in to help develop another memory clinic locally.

Community Investment Committee Chair Gerry Whitcombe said they’ve awarded a $30,000 Venture Grant to help the Rapids Family Health Team launch the program, which is run in partnership with the Sarnia-Lambton Alzheimer’s Society.

“This was a request for one-time funding to provide training to some members of the Rapids Family Health Team, to be able to provide training to others,” said Whitcombe. “The ultimate goal is for trained practitioners, trained members of the group to be able to implement a new memory clinic in the Sarnia-Lambton area.”

Whitcombe said currently, Sarnia’s lone memory clinic, offered by the West Lambton Community Health Centre, has a one year wait list.

“What Rapid’s is attempting to do is expand the service so that any client who’s with a physician, who is part of a family health team in our area, will be eligible for the clinic. So it’s a really rapid ramp-up in the ability of the community to have a clinic to try to help folks who may be on their way, or have the beginnings of dementia.”

The clinics will initially be offered by doctor referral two times a month in both Sarnia and Corunna.

Up to 150 people, most over the age of 60, are expected to be served annually by a team of professionals, including; a doctor, nurses, social worker, Alzheimer’s staff and an occupational therapist.

About 2,800 residents in Lambton County are living with dementia, a number that’s expected to increase as the population continues to age.