How We Treat Dementia
With the right care a dementia patient can slow their progression of dementia and have more life to live.
How we treat dementia
We’ve seen it too many times
We’ve seen too many families receive a dementia diagnosis and then hear, “There’s nothing we can do, come back in a year”. A loved one receives the dementia diagnosis, but the family and patient receives no direction on what to do next. No suggestions for dementia-related services provided. The family and patient feels helpless and struggles to find hope.
A better way
We believe that collaborating with a patient, their family and their dementia clinician can slow progression of dementia symptoms leading to more life to live. We start with a thorough dementia risk assessment and evaluation in our office, then formulate a diagnosis and management plan. A patient’s referring primary care or specialty clinician remains in charge of their care, but we partner with them to provide a more thorough and successful management. Through personalized recommendations for diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, personal connection, health habits, and therapeutics can be effective in slowing progression.
Tracking a patient’s progress
We offer patients regular follow up in collaboration with their primary clinician and dementia services providers. And, we provide caregivers and families educational sessions and prevention strategies to help them partner in their loved ones progress.
Initial consultation and ongoing personalized care
First Visit Consultation
We start by getting to know the patient, asking them several questions − preferably with a loved one / caregiver present. We review their current symptoms and any problems, caregiver status, medications and their dementia risk factor questionnaire results. We conduct cognitive and other screenings and perform a brief physical examination. If a caregiver is present, we also conduct a caregiver interview and assessment.
Care Plan, Diagnosis and Recommended Next Steps
Next, we create a care plan that outlines our findings, patient goals and recommended steps and follow up. The plan may recommend additional tests or referrals for specific counseling for things like nutrition, sleep hygiene, exercise or stress relief. With the patient’s permission, we will send all reports and recommendations to their primary or specialist physician for collaboration on next steps, follow up or any referrals.
We will see the patient approximately four or more times per year or as needed to follow them for adherence to the care plan for as long as they are interested. We will offer on-site and outreach education for caregivers, employers or family. At each visit we will review patient and caregiver progress toward specific goals tailored for each patient and outlined in their care plan. We will document their participation and reaction to any referrals for dementia services providers or other professionals. We will discuss our collaboration with their dementia clinician and/or services provider. New testing or referrals will be requested as need arises with each visit. Most patients will benefit from additional DRC visits for specific education for improving their dementia risk factors and for general dementia education for themselves and their care partners. We will keep carefully secure and confidential all patient/caregiver information according to HIPAA regulations, while providing a warm, positive place of hope and positive culture. The DRC will eventually be run as a team operation including an executive director, medical director, dementia educators, administrative and volunteer staff. We will answer phone calls on-site for any questions or problems. The executive director will also head up the D-CAN nonprofit operations under its Board of Directors.
Dementia Prevention Consultations are available to current and new Dementia Resource Center Clinic patients and their caregivers. Are you concerned about dementia for you or a loved one? Call our Dementia Resource Center Clinic and book an appointment.