Project Background

Grampians Region Community Aged Care Dementia Project

Dementia diagnosis can be a complicated process.  It is recognised that community ideas about dementia and ageing are often filled with misconception, lack of awareness, education and acceptance.  Societal stigma and denial limit the opportunity for people to receive an early diagnosis and the resulting benefits and merits associated with early diagnosis.

Interviews and discussions undertaken through the consultation period of the project identified factors and barriers that further exacerbate the complexity and add to delays in diagnosis and support.  The input highlighted that individuals with dementia and their carers, health professionals and service providers do not have a full understanding of what services exist in the region and that there is no localised pathway for primary health professionals in place to assist with diagnosis, timely referral to specialist services for further investigation of dementia and timely referral to local support options pre and post diagnosis.

The development of the Grampians region GP Dementia Pathways tool provides General Practitioners and nursing staff with a web-based repository of information, guidance, tools, service directories and resources aimed at enhancing current assessment and referral practices and ensuring a responsive and structured approach to initial concerns of cognitive decline.

The pathway content development has been undertaken by the Grampians Region Department of Health as the lead agency and has worked in collaboration with Medicare Local Grampians and Associate Professor Mark Yates of the Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) at Ballarat Health Services.  The Grampians Region Department of Health provided funding to the Federation University Australia's (formerly University of Ballarat) Centre for eCommerce and Communications to develop the software component of the pathway.  All information provided is current at the time of development. 

Thank you to the members of the GP Dementia Pathway Working group and the Grampians Region Dementia Advisory group whose guidance in developing this pathway was invaluable.

Feedback on the Dementia pathway tool and the information and resources contained within the web-site is encouraged.  For further information on the Dementia pathway or the regional project please contact:

Carolyn Gargiulo
Regional Dementia Project Officer
Grampians Region Community Aged Care Dementia Project
Department of Health | 35 Armstrong Street South, Ballarat, Victoria, 3350
p. 03 5333 6424 | f. 03 5333 6093 | m. 0400 083 166
e. carolyn.gargiulo@health.vic.gov.au

Further acknowledgements

The Department of Health wish to acknowledge the involvement of Associate Professor Mark Yates of Deakin University during the development of the pathway and for allowing access to publications and  work currently under development by Professor Yates and Professor Dimity Pond of the University of Newcastle.

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