ADNeT launches first national Memory and Cognition Clinic Guidelines

Researchers from the Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) are excited to announce the release of the first Memory and Cognition Clinic Guidelines: National Service Guidelines for Specialised Dementia and Cognitive Decline Services in Australia.

Memory and Cognition Clinics, also known in Australia as Cognitive Dementia and Memory Services (CDMAS), Memory Clinics or Cognitive Decline Assessment Services, are operating in this country for over 40 years. But until now, no national standards have been proposed.

The ADNeT-Memory Clinics team developed the Guidelines in consultation with over a hundred researchers, health professionals, people with dementia and care partners. These Guidelines contain consensus-based recommendations for the ideal service provision at Australian Memory and Cognition Clinics, covering aspects like referral processes, assessment procedures, effective communication, and post-diagnostic support.

The Guidelines aim to harmonise service provision and diagnostic process of Memory and Cognition Clinics across Australia and provide a framework to initiate policy changes that might be required to further raise them to international standards. Lead researcher Professor Perminder Sachdev said that “These guidelines will help to ensure that clinics across Australia provide high-quality services that result in a correct diagnosis and hopefully change a familiar and demoralising narrative that a dementia diagnosis means that person’s life is effectively over.”

A recent national survey of Memory and Cognition Clinics in Australia showed that there is currently little or no funding for post-diagnostic care. “These Guidelines will help demonstrate why funding is important to not only improve patient’s quality of life but also save money by reducing the need for emergency interventions and extensive hospital stays” says lead researcher Professor Sharon Naismith. “With the potential for new medication to counter the effects of dementia being approved in Australia next year, Memory and Cognition Clinics need to be as well prepared as possible.”

The full Guidelines can be accessed here.

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