World-wide, populations are ageing and people are growing older than previously. Increases in longevity mean an increase in the number of older persons displaying cognitive symptoms. Some individuals may experience mild memory loss, while others may have a memory disorder that interferes with daily functioning. Memory loss can occur with normal ageing and forgetfulness is common in older people.
What is a memory disorder?
Persons with a memory disorder will gradually become more forgetful, and as the memory loss increases, changes may appear in their judgement, concentration, behaviour and personality. Memory disorders occur in several forms such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
How does the Memory Clinic at Claremont Neuropsych Services work?
Each person suspected of having a memory disorder who is referred to the Memory Clinic by a medical practitioner or a concerned family member is given a thorough clinical evaluation. A memory disorder must be differentiated from the forgetfulness that occurs during normal ageing and from depression or anxiety which may affect memory. The presence of other medical problems such as brain tumours and infections also needs to be eliminated.
The multidisciplinary clinic offers focused, holistic assessment and treatment to an older person suspected of having, or diagnosed with a memory disorder. Support and counselling are offered to the carer. The services of different disciplines are integrated at the Memory Clinic to provide efficiencies of cost and time. Specialists and professionals, among whom are psychiatrists and psychologists, assess a patient in a single consultation.
How long does an assessment take?
An initial screening assessment takes about 2,5 hours and includes an interview with the patient, neuropsychological assessment of the patient and an interview with a family member or caregiver. A feedback session will take place 1 week later. If indicated, an appointment will be made for a patient to revisit Claremont Neuropsych Services at a later point for follow-up assessment and treatment.