Access to appropriate information and resources should be provided to patients and their families early. Raising awareness of local services, resources, education and support groups can help reduce the stigma of dementia, minimise the impact of social isolation and keep patients involved in their own care and future wishes.
The practice nurse could provide this information and resources when performing a chronic disease management plan.
Dementia Australia is the peak body providing national dementia programs and services funded by the Commonwealth as well as providing national policy and advocacy for the 321,600 Australians living with dementia.
Dementia Australia provides various Commonwealth and State government funded services including counselling, Living with Dementia Programs, Memory Lane Cafe, education and information.
Ring the National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500 and ask for the Dementia Australia Grampians Regional Office
9am - 5pm
For interpreter services contact the Helpline through the Telephone Interpreting Service on 131 450
If your patient is worried about increasing lapses in memory or other changes in thinking and behaviour the following checklist can be a useful tool that can provide a basis for further discussions and tests.
Downloading the following resources:
Grampians region resource: Memory Support guide
The Memory Support Guide has been developed as a sector support and development initiative bringing together dementia peak bodies, and Commonwealth Home Support Programme funded services. The Guide assists people with dementia and their carers to access relevant information and support that is specific to living well with dementia across the Grampians region. This guide replaces ‘Grey Matters’.
Three region-specific guides are available.
Advance Care Planning
Advance Care Planning is designed to allow people to express their preferences for future treatment and care. To do this, people need to be supported to develop an advance care plan that will guide medical treatment and care if they become unable to communicate or participate in decision making.
Advance care planning is a tool for supporting client–clinician communication. It is a process for planning for future health and personal care whereby the person’s values, beliefs and preferences are made known so they can guide future decision making. It enables the person with dementia's “voice” to be heard so that health professionals and family know what is important to the person even when they lose the capacity to make decisions.
The benefits of advance care planning are:
- The person with dementia continues to have a say in their medical care, even once they lose capacity to have a say
- The person with dementia will have peace of mind, knowing that they are more likely to receive the medical treatment they would want, and not receive the treatment they would not want
- Family and friends of the person with dementia are relieved of the burden of having to make decisions without knowing their loved ones choices
- Talking about these things can help to strengthen relationships between the person with dementia and their family and friends.
For more detailed information on Advance Care Planning and Respecting Patient Choices resources, go to the diagnosis pathway and click on 'immediate interventions'.
Ring the Decision Assist National Phone Advisory Service: 1300 668 908 to receive help with advance care planning information.
8am - 8pm
The Department of Health and Human Services also provide information and resources on Advance Care Planning. Go to http://www.health.vic.gov.au/acp/advanced-care-plan.htm