We can help patients, their family and carers, and their healthcare professionals provide appropriate care in the person’s home or care facility.
Inform their GP
If we suspect that a patient may be suffering from dementia, we must communicate this to the patient’s GP who will provide ongoing primary care and coordinate diagnosis and management. Provide the GP with results of cognitive and other screening and tests performed during the person’s admission.
Consider referring the person to other relevant services, such as:
Memory clinics known as Cognitive Dementia and Memory Services, CDAMS, in Victoria. These clinics incorporate a range of specialists (such as neurologists, geriatricians, psycho-geriatricians, psychiatrists and neuro-psychologists) involved in diagnosing dementia and provide diagnostic services for all types of dementia. They have more detailed knowledge of memory and behaviour changes associated with dementia and may perform, or arrange, in-depth assessments. In Australia, a specialist must confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease for a patient to be eligible for subsidised Alzheimer’s medications.
Aged care assessment services (ACAS) These comprise multidisciplinary professionals who conduct comprehensive, medical assessments for older people needing community services or aged care residential services. They help identify the type of care that best meets the needs of older people and their family and carers, put them in contact with relevant services, make recommendations about the level of care required and approve eligibility for certain services and packages.
Alzheimer’s Australia provides information and support for people and carers with dementia. There is a national dementia helpline: 1800 100 500.
Provide patients, family and carers with a written discharge summary, including dates and contact details for any follow up required.