Assessing people to see if they have dementia, providing post diagnostic information and other support for people who have just been given a diagnosis of dementia.
- Address: Various locations across Coventry and Warwickshire,
About the Dementia Assessment Service
The Dementia and Memory Assessment Service consists of a team of clinicians from different professional backgrounds with skills in assessing people to see if they have dementia. They also provide post diagnostic information and other support for people who have just been given a diagnosis of dementia.
The service covers all of the Coventry and Warwickshire area. There are clinic bases in Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby, Leamington and Stratford.
Most of our assessments are carried out in clinics depending on where you live. However, if you have difficulties getting into clinic, perhaps due to physical health or mobility difficulties the assessment can take place in your own home.
HOW TO FIND US
Manor Court Site
Manor Court Avenue
Telephone: 0300 200 2008
Yew Tree House
87 Radford Road
Telephone: 01926 450660
Longford Primary Care Centre
Telephone: 024 7670 7968
(Sat Nav postcode: CV21 2NP)
Telephone: 01788 513712
Fax: 01788 513735
Building 1, Floor 2
Telephone: 01789 415440
Fax: 01789 417 129
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM WORRIED ABOUT MY MEMORY?
If you are worried about your memory it is important to discuss this with your GP. Don’t be embarrassed about seeking help. Memory problems are a very common reason to visit a GP. It may be nothing serious but it is always best to get it checked out as the GP may be able to offer advice and help and if need be refer you to appropriate services for further investigations. Memory problems are very common and they can be caused by many different factors. Normal age related changes, physical health problems, tiredness, anxiety, depression, work and life related stress, or side effects of some medication can all lead to our memory and other thinking skills becoming less reliable than usual. In some cases, these changes can however be a sign of dementia.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I COME FOR AN ASSESSMENT?
A comprehensive assessment will be needed to help establish the probable cause of your difficulties so that you can be offered any necessary treatment or support.
At the first appointment, we will:
- Explain the assessment process in detail
- Ask you about your personal, social, family and medical history.
- Ask about how you manage at home or work
- You may also be asked to have a blood test and a brain scan, although your GP may have already organised these.
- You will also be asked to do some practical pen and paper tasks so that we can see whether there has been any change in your memory and thinking skills over and above what we would expect from someone of your age.
- If you have brought a family member or friend along with you to the appointment, we will ask them if they can complete some questionnaires asking about any changes they have noticed in your memory and in day-to-day functioning.
- It is important that you bring any spectacles or hearing aids you might need.
It might be helpful to write down any questions or concerns you have so you can discuss these at your appointment. We recommend that your partner or someone you trust is with you during the assessment but you can be seen alone if you prefer. You may be seen at home, or you might be invited to attend a clinic appointment.
The initial assessment usually takes about 2 hours. After this, there may be a wait of a few weeks for all of the investigations to be carried out, but as soon as all the results are available, you will be offered a follow-up appointment to let you know the outcomes of the assessment.
WHO WILL CARRY OUT THE ASSESSMENT?
This depends on your individual circumstances. Most people are seen at a clinic by a nurse called a Memory Assessment Clinician (MAC). Alternatively, some people may be booked in to see a Consultant Psychiatrist or Clinical Psychologist first.
Once this initial assessment has been carried out, your results will be discussed with the team. If we need more information, further assessment might be carried out. If this is the case, you will be asked to attend a follow up appointment with a Clinical Psychologist or Occupational Therapist.
A Clinical Psychologist will do some more in-depth paper and pencil tests with you, called a Neuropsychological Assessment. These are more are more sensitive to subtle changes.
If you are required to have an Occupational Therapy Assessment one of our Occupational Therapists will visit you at home to assess how you are functioning in everyday life. Their assessment gives us more information about your memory concentration and problem-solving abilities.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ASSESSMENT IS COMPLETED?
When your assessment is complete, a follow up appointment will be arranged and the outcomes of the assessment will be discussed with you. There are usually three possible outcomes to the assessment:
- You will be given a diagnosis of dementia
- You will be given a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment
- You will be told that you do not have dementia and your memory problems are due to other factors
WHAT IF I AM DIAGNOSED WITH DEMENTIA?
The diagnosis will be discussed with you and any treatment options will be explored with you, or you and a family member if you prefer. We will also write to your GP and inform them of the outcomes of your assessment. We will offer you the opportunity to attend local post diagnostic support groups and you will receive an information pack to provide you with more information about dementia and to help you get to know what support is available in your local area.
If you have been prescribed medication for your dementia, a clinician will follow up to check that you are coping with your medicine. Once the correct dose of medication has been established, you will be reviewed on a yearly basis by a monitoring nurse.
For more information about medication, please visit the Choice and Medication website.
WHAT IF I AM DIAGNOSED WITH MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT?
In some instances, a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) might be made. This is where memory and thinking problems are very mild and they do not affect your ability to carry out your everyday activities. You will receive an information pack to provide you with more information about MCI and how to keep well and hopefully how to prevent it getting any worse. Your GP may suggest you have a re-assessment after a period of time so that we can see if there have been any changes.
WHAT IF I AM TOLD THAT MY PROBLEMS WITH MEMORY ARE DUE TO OTHER FACTORS?
Sometimes memory problems can be caused by other factors such as anxiety or mood. We will give you advice on how to manage these issues and may suggest that your GP prescribes you some medication or refers you on for counselling or psychological therapy. We may arrange to meet with you once your mood/anxiety has had chance to improve.
About Community Dementia Services
The Community Dementia Service offers specialist time limited interventions for people who have a diagnosis of dementia and their families/carers.
They support people who live in Coventry and Warwickshire provided they are registered with a GP in these areas. Community Dementia Teams are based in Coventry, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Nuneaton and Rugby.
The team consists of clinicians from a range of professional backgrounds:
- Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs) are specialist nurses who offer time limited interventions, ongoing reviews, support and advice on medication and behaviours.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors with specialist training in dementia care.
- Clinical Psychologists are able to offer psychological interventions that can help people with emotional and psychological problems manage or resolve their difficulties.
- Occupational Therapists help people to maintain meaningful activity and to remain as independent as possible
- Specialist Social Workers help assess more formal care needs and offer specialist advice about care provision.
- Support Workers/Assistant Practitioners work alongside other members of the Team and carry out specific interventions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when I am referred to a Community Dementia Service?
First, one of the Team Members will be allocated to you as a Care Co-ordinator. This is someone who will take responsibility for your care and help organise all the different elements into an individual care plan that will guide the delivery of the intervention. An assessment of your needs will be carried out, including the identification of any risks to you or other people.
A range of services will be available, depending on your needs. These may include:
- Assessment of your practical day to day living skills.
- Medication provision and monitoring.
- Mental health assessments looking at capacity, safety and future care needs.
- Psychological interventions such as helping people with dementia and their families understand behaviours or cope with mental health problems, such as anxiety & depression that are related to the dementia.
- An assessment of your eligibility for care and support services under the Care Act.
- Specialist Social Care Services including day care opportunities, home care support, respite / replacement care packages, direct payments for service users and carers, and transition into residential or nursing home care, if this should become necessary.
- Safeguarding issues; helping to protect vulnerable people.
- Advice, practical help and equipment, including telecare, to help you to remain as independent as possible
How can I access the service?
Your GP can refer you to the Community Dementia Service.
What happens after I am discharged by the Community Dementia Service?
When people are discharged from the Community Dementia Service they will be referred back to the care of their GP. However, if you are concerned about anything discuss it with your GP and they will make a re-referral back to the service if appropriate.
Please note that if you are prescribed any dementia medications and are being monitored by one of our nurses on an annual basis you will remain open to our Team. If you have any concerns please contact your local team via the numbers listed below.
For local support in Coventry and Warwickshire, please visit Living Well with Dementia.
For more information about dementia have a look at the Alzheimer’s Society Factsheets, which are designed to support and inform anyone affected by dementia.
What other support is available?
A number of other organisations exist to support people with dementia:
Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face today. Research offers hope. It is only through research that we can understand what causes the disease, develop effective treatments, improve care and hopefully one day find a cure.
One of the big difficulties researchers face today is recruiting participants for their studies. At the same time, many people are looking for studies to contribute to and take part in, but don't know where to find out about them.
This is why the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Society have developed Join Dementia Research, a service which allows people to register their interest in participating in dementia research and be matched to suitable studies.
You can register your interest in taking part
- online via www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk
- or by calling Alzheimer's Research UK on 0300 1115111