Background: The background into the setting up of the Kilkenny Memory Clinic established in 2013 was to provide access to care pathways for people living with Dementia within the Kilkenny area.
The research review for Irelands National Dementia Strategy “Creating Excellence in Dementia Care 2012” highlighted the importance of a timely and accurate diagnosis of dementia.
People were presenting to both the acute and long term settings in the area with obvious memory problems but with no diagnosis or pathway of care
The aims and objectives were to provide a service to assess memory and cognitive / functional ability, give a diagnosis and create a pathway to linked services within the area.
Methodology: A multi-disciplinary team approach: Consultant Gerontologist, OT, Hospital management, CNM2 Dementia care.
St Columbas Day Centre was the location for monthly clinics
Assessments consist of: Initial Physical and nursing assessment and Bloods taken
Cognitive and functional assessments conducted by OT.
Followed by : MDT meeting where history and assessment results discussed followed by patient and family having a consultation with the Consultant, a diagnosis maybe given, referral for further assessments, referral to link services as specific to each individual.
Outcomes/Results: Growing client numbers indicate continued need.
Increase number of younger adults attending the clinics
Greater demand from PCCC Teams who refer clients early to the service
Increased communication between the services with positive feedback from PHNs, Community Psychiatry, Community Physiotherapists and OTs, Respite, Day Care Services and Support Groups. Very positive links with support groups such as Kilkenny contact and ASI
Reduction in crisis calls to the services as clients are known to team
Phone follow up service for clients and their families offering support and advice following diagnosis.
Early on following establishment of the clinic the lack of support for people following diagnosis and in the early stages of dementia was highlighted ,DREAM ( Dementia, Research, Education, Advocacy in Motion ) a peer support group is now running twice monthly in Loughboy Parish Centre, Kilkenny. This service is facilitated by nurses from the memory clinic so links to services and supports are maintained
The support that this group gives to one another is invaluable. The group have taken part in research and were part of the recent launch of the Understand together Dementia awareness campaign and 3 members are now part of the Irish Dementia Working Group.
Future Plans: Launch of Kilkenny Memory Clinic Brochure in early 2017 to increase GP and community awareness of service.
Assistive technology Library being developed on site sponsored by Genio
Ongoing audit and assessment of the service so as to enhance the service to clients and continue to grow links with other services in the area
Acknowledgements to Hospital management, The Director’s of Nursing and administration staff of St Columbas Hospital, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny