The memory clinic is run by specialised mental health doctors and nurses who provide comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and medication.
They also offer support and advice for those with dementia, their relatives and significant others.
What happens at the memory clinic
The initial appointment is an information gathering interview and will involve:
the person referred
a relative / partner
a specialist doctor
Following this initial appointment is as assessment period, which may include several appointments over a period of weeks with other members of the team.
Each assessment is unique to the person and will address specific concerns and needs. They may include:
Once this assessment is complete, a doctor will discuss the results of the tests alongside a diagnosis and any appropriate treatment.
What is a care co-ordinator?
A care co-ordinator is a trained professional who visits the diagnosed person at home. Depending on the level of care needs, a care co-ordinator may be assigned to an individual.
What the care co-ordinators provide
The care co-ordinators provide families with the following:
help with planning and accessing services as and when required
a main point of contact between the person with dementia and their families
practical advice and support
individual packages of care
guiding families to other services with the community
promotion of health, well-being and quality of life
Types of care co-ordinators
A care co-ordinator may be a community health nurse, an occupational therapist or a social worker.
It will depend on the person’s specific needs as to which care co-ordinator they are allocated.
Community mental health nurses
A community mental health nurse is a senior registered mental health nurse and will often visit people in their own home.
They would have worked within a mental health hospital setting and have extensive clinical knowledge and experience of caring for people with dementia.
Occupational therapists are skilled professionals whose role is to support practical difficulties.
They support those with dementia by:
helping people to function at an optimal level by modifying or adapting their activities
altering their physical and social environments so restrictions and risks are reduced
supporting people to carry out daily activities, eg dressing, cooking, or using public transport
offering advice on assistive technology equipment
providing advice on how to prevent falls
Social workers are trained professionals who work with those diagnosed with dementia and their carers to enable them to develop their full potential and maximise their independence.
Social workers support and empower those diagnosed by promoting the right to participate and become involved in all decisions and actions that could impact their lives.
Older adult’s community services
The Community Mental Health Team for Older Adults [CMHTOA] is a large and specialist team of experienced mental health professionals and includes doctors, nurses, and occupational therapists.
The team supports people at home following a diagnosis and referral from a GP.