First Australian National Memory Clinic Guidelines under way

About 250 Australians are diagnosed with dementia every day.

For some people, it is a long and difficult pathway to receive their final diagnosis.

Memory Clinics are specialised centres for the comprehensive assessment of people with cognitive disorders. In Australia there is no formal collaboration between memory clinics, no harmonisation of diagnostic procedures, no comprehensive list of memory clinics, and no agreement on how to conduct interventions or research.

The Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) is developing the first national Memory Clinic guidelines aiming to harmonise the activities of memory clinics. We hope that this will result in more Australians having access to high quality dementia assessments and support, regardless of their geographical location and socioeconomic status.

We are gathering feedback from people living with dementia, carers and family members of people living with dementia, clinicians working in memory clinics and dementia researchers.

This feedback will form the basis for recommendations that can guide memory clinics to provide the best experience for people undergoing an assessment for dementia and  the best support for  people living with dementia and their family/ carer after diagnosis.

A comprehensive survey was distributed to memory clinic health professionals to document current processes and opinions on best practice.  A consumer panel provided insights about what people living with dementia and care partners want from memory clinics.

The next steps in the process include review of the outcome of the survey by memory clinic health professionals. Recommendations from the consumer panel will be circulated widely to people living with dementia and care partners for comment. A final meeting of the expert group and consumer panel will determine the final guideline recommendations.

Guidelines will be finalised before the middle of 2021.