It is very important that anyone who has problems with their memory has a proper assessment. If these problems are due to dementia then early diagnosis and referral has many benefits for the patient, their carer(s) and family. It can help them to plan and access the treatment and support they need and to improve their quality of life.
Memory Assessment Clinic
Penny’s Hill Practice Memory Assessment Clinic
Penny’s Hill Practice are offering an assessment of patients who may be at risk of developing dementia.
Patients with memory problems and possible dementia or related conditions can be assessed, referred for further investigation where appropriate and treated without delay. It is a common experience that dementia and similar conditions are under-recognised this means that individuals and families may receive less than optimal care and treatment.
Dementia is concentrated amongst people over 75 years and is often associated with other pathologies. It also occurs, though less commonly, among younger people (50 years and over – very rarely amongst even younger people) when it can easily be mistaken for other conditions.
Patients and families are sometimes reluctant to be referred to Mental Health Services for fear of stigma.
The clinic has been welcomed by the Partners of the Practice.
Patients will be contacted by a letter inviting them to book an appointment at the memory assessment clinic. They will also be asked to complete a consent form and bring it with them to their appointment.
The Penny’s Hill Clinic provides 20 minute appointments.
A consultation room is available within the Treatment Room. This is equipped with computer access and facilities for interview and routine Examination and blood test, if needed.
The main assessment will be completed by an experienced Health Care professional in the treatment room.
People appropriate for assessment at the clinic are identified by clinicians within the Practice. This may be as a consequence of observations during routine clinical contact or attendance at screening or monitoring appointments for ‘at risk’ groups.
The Clock Drawing Test and a structured schedule are used as initial screening for problems of cognition and mood respectively.
The materials prepared for this consultation provide a basis of core information from which future actions, investigatory and therapeutic, can follow.
It is important, therefore, that this is thorough but concise. The materials will be shared with the patient and, in most cases, with main carers, who will be invited to go on the Practice carers register.
The essential ‘inclusion criteria’ are interpreted flexibly:
- age 60 years or older
- with a history of cardiovascular disease(CVD) stroke, peripheral vascular disease or diabetes
- Patients aged 40 and over with Down ’s syndrome
- Other patients aged 50 and over with learning disabilities
- Patients with long-term neurological conditions which have a known neurodegenerative element, for example, Parkinson’s disease.
- People with memory problems at any age.