memory clinics

December 2023

Memory Clinics In December 2023

The suspicion that your ageing relative may be experiencing signs and symptoms of dementia can result in a great deal of worry and stress. Perhaps you may have noticed that they’re starting to forget essential things such as events, dates and appointments. 

Also, they may start getting confused about their current financial status and losing their items frequently than usual while at the same time struggling to remember familiar things and names. 

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Currently, dementia cannot be cured; however, it can be treated when in its early stages.

It means that a prompt diagnosis is vital to minimise the progression of this illness. If you notice any signs of dementia, the first port of call should be your loved one’s general practitioner, but unfortunately, most of the physicians just do not have the resources and time to enable them to make an accurate diagnosis.

This leads to delays in diagnosis and the chances of the illness progressing without the necessary treatments. A complete diagnosis of dementia follows a wide range of memory clinic tests that a general practitioner probably has neither the necessary skills nor time to carry out.

It means that you and your loved one are more likely to be referred to the nearby memory or dementia clinic.

Currently, there are various reasons why most elderly individuals visit memory clinics. Most of them experience memory issues due to age as well as other conditions. These conditions can include the early stages of dementia conditions like Alzheimers disease.

The objectives of the memory clinics are to discover memory issues as well as other illnesses like vascular dementia and to provide patients with the appropriate information, treatment and support that they need to help them live an independent life.

What is a Memory Clinic?

A memory clinic is a specialist health facility that diagnoses, treats, and manages diseases that can lead to memory loss or cognitive decline in adults. 

Memory clinics offer complete evaluations of memory issues and tailored treatment plans that address the physical, mental, emotional, and social elements of living with a cognitive illness. 

Patients will have access to various professionals in a memory clinic, including physicians, psychologists, social workers, and rehabilitation specialists.

Each patient receives a complete evaluation and individualised treatment plan developed by these doctors in collaboration. 

Memory clinics offer various supportive services, such as education programmes and support groups, in addition to medical care. 

Memory clinics are essential in assisting patients in maintaining optimal cognitive health and performance. They are intended to assist in identifying and treating memory-impairing problems before they become incapacitating or irreversible. With the proper diagnosis, care, and support, patients can effectively manage their symptoms and live full lives with an enhanced quality of life.

The objective of a memory clinic is to encourage early diagnosis and aid patients in maintaining their cognitive health for as long as possible. 

Memory clinics offer proactive care, allowing clinicians to diagnose and treat cognitive abnormalities swiftly. In addition, they provide assistance and education to patients and their families regarding optimal illness management. 

Ultimately, memory clinics can aid in reducing the burden of cognitive decline on individuals, families, and society as a whole. It also improves the quality of life by offering access to specialist treatments that can halt or even reverse the progression of symptoms. 

Individuals are more likely to retain their abilities if a memory clinic provides early diagnosis and individualised treatment.

Here is a video on what happens at a clinic.

What Happens at a Memory Clinic?

Currently, there are many memory clinics in the United Kingdom providing the diagnosis of various illnesses including Lewy body dementia.

These clinics offer the services of multiple specialists including geriatricians who deal with matters relating to ageing, nurses with specialist vascular dementia as well as Alzheimer’s training and psychologists who handle mental health illnesses.

When you visit memory clinics with your loved ones, they will be provided with a baseline assessment to identify their current memory issues. Specialists will offer them a wide range of memory clinic tests to check on their respective ability to remember things and retain information which will provide an initial insight into the mental capabilities.

It is essential to stress to your ageing relative to supply urine and blood samples to the health professionals. Also, they will undergo some scans which include the CAT scan that is commonly referred to as computerised axial tomography. The CAT scan helps the health experts to take some x-ray images of your loved one’s brain.

Other scans include the MRI scan that utilises magnetic resonance imaging to display a detailed image of your loved one’s brain. The MRI scan is vital since it helps the doctor to identify damages caused by vascular dementia. Memory clinics also use machines that utilise electroencephalogram imaging to view and record activity within your brain.

They also use a SPECT scan that primarily depends on a single-photon emission and computerised tomography to assess the blood flow through your ageing relative’s brain. These scans may seem daunting; however, they are painless.

They are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia disease. The scans also allow healthcare professionals to quickly identify any areas of anomalies or shrinkage which indicate the diagnosis of dementia.

How to get a GP referral to a memory clinic?

If you or a loved one are suffering from memory problems that make daily activities difficult, you should consult your GP about receiving a referral to a memory clinic.

Your doctor will assess the situation and refer you for further assessment if necessary. 

Some memory clinics may require a doctor’s referral, although others may not. After receiving a referral, directly contact the clinic to book an appointment. 

During your evaluation at the memory clinic, different tests and evaluations will be administered to detect any cognitive impairments and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific requirements. 

Individuals have a greater chance of keeping their abilities for longer durations if they receive an early diagnosis and aggressive care from a memory clinic.

Overall, memory clinics are valuable services for persons with memory problems and cognitive decline. 

Memory clinics can aid patients in managing their diseases and leading full lives with enhanced quality of life by providing complete evaluations, tailored therapies, and supportive services. 

Individuals can effectively manage their symptoms and maintain their independence for as long as feasible if they receive the appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and assistance. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from memory problems that make daily activities difficult, you should consult your GP about receiving a referral to a memory clinic.

Why would a doctor order a memory test?

A doctor may order a memory test to assist in the diagnosis of cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. 

A memory test often evaluates a person’s short- and long-term recall and ability to recall past material. In addition, it can assess attention and concentration levels influenced by illnesses such as depression and anxiety. 

Skilled medical experts in hospitals or clinics usually do memory tests. Results may provide useful diagnostic information to develop subsequent evaluation and treatment plans. 

Consult your primary care doctor about requesting a referral to a memory clinic for evaluation and therapy if you or someone you know suffers from memory problems. 

Memory tests can provide helpful information into the cause of cognitive decline and guide the development of individualised therapies suited to each patient’s specific needs. A memory clinic’s early diagnosis and treatment may enhance an individual’s quality of life by protecting their independence and optimising their performance.

Memory clinics provide extensive evaluations, specialised therapies, and support services meant to preserve cognitive health and performance.

Memory clinics utilise a mix of physicians, including neurologists, geriatricians, neuropsychologists, psychogeriatric nurse practitioners, and others, to provide individualised therapy for persons with memory issues. 

In addition, they frequently offer various supportive services, such as educational programmes and support groups, to help patients maintain optimal cognitive health and performance. 

If you or someone you love has memory problems, a referral to a memory clinic may provide the essential treatment and support for optimal mental health.

How will You be Assessed at the Memory Clinic?

During your first visit to a dementia clinic, nurses, psychologists or doctors will assess you. You should bring your friend or family member along during the visit since the health expert may need to talk to them about any of your signs and symptoms that they may identify.

Remember to carry your hearing aid or spectacles if you always use them. Also, carry the details and reports of other medications that you are currently taking.

During the assessment process, the health care professional will discuss with you any current and past medical issues as well as other memory illnesses you may have encountered.

The health experts may request you to carry out some tests to check your thinking and memory processes. It might be daunting to do some of these tests, and it is easy to get stressed up, but you should try your best not to experience such things during the assessment process. You should remember that they are not trying to show you up or catch you out; they only need accurate results and ideas of how you are coping.

Is a memory clinic just for dementia?

No, memory clinics are not only for those with dementia.

Memory clinics evaluate and treat various cognitive decline illnesses, including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other types.

They give extensive evaluations and individualised therapy for each patient. Memory clinics employ neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, neuropsychologists, and psychogeriatric nurse practitioners for optimal care.

In addition, they provide a variety of supportive services, such as educational programmes and support groups, to help individuals maintain optimal cognitive health and performance.

Individuals have a greater chance of retaining their abilities if a memory clinic provides early diagnosis and individualised treatment.

Memory clinics ultimately offer a proactive approach to cognitive deterioration that can improve quality of life.

What Happens After Visiting a Memory Clinic?

Depending on the facilities available in the clinic, you may undergo other tests either in the facility or be referred to the nearest health centre’s neuropsychology unit for further scans. At the end of the scans, you will be given the results, and they will inform you if and when you need to revisit the facility.

Also, they will send the results of your test to your general practitioner. They may request you to come back to the facility in a few days or months for additional check-ups and follow-up tests. In cases you or your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which is a type of progressive dementia, healthcare professionals will be in the position to prescribe medication, counselling and talk therapies or even support for the life story work.

If your family member is diagnosed with dementia, you and your loved ones will need to access information, training and even advice on how to handle the person as well as other care activities.

"Some signs and symptoms of dementia can be treated with physical therapy or medication. It means that it can be beneficial to find out what is causing the symptoms sooner rather than later. "

What are the Examples of Memory Clinic Tests?

Some signs and symptoms of dementia can be treated with physical therapy or medication. It means that it can be beneficial to find out what is causing the symptoms sooner rather than later. It can help you make decisions about finances, health care, legal matters and living options as well as planning for your future.

Also, knowing the symptoms will provide you with more time to build and develop an excellent relationship with your caregivers and doctors. Your general practitioner may work closely with you to find out what is behind your current symptoms or might refer you to various specialists such as neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist or geriatrician, who specialises in the care of ageing adults for further tests.

what is a memory clinic

Currently, there are no single tests for Lewy body dementia that will tell a doctor if you or your family member has the illness.

Some of these tests include:

Physical Exam

Your primary care physician will start with this type of test. They will ask you several questions about your previous medical reports as well as other things such as if you are currently taking any medications, if the illness is common in your family, any changes in personality and behaviour among other basic things.

Also, the physician will ask your close friend or family member about any cases of dementia in your family since most individuals with this illness are not always sure of their conditions.

Cognitive Tests

The cognitive tests help to measure the ability to think. They mainly focus on things such as counting, memory, language skills and reasoning.

For example, a physician may request you to draw a simple clock and then mark the hands at specific times. They can also provide you with some numbers or words and ask you to repeat and remember them. They may also request you to make simple calculations like counting backwards.

Neurological Tests

During neurological tests, your medical expert will test your eye movements, reflexes, your balance and assess how well your senses will work. For the physician to perform this test, they may request you to pull or push their hands using your arm or even stand with the eyes closed and touch your mouth.

Concerning reflexes, your medical professional will tap a rubber hammer against any part of your body and assess your response. Other tests include short-term memory, working memory tests and healthy brain tests.

What type of doctor treats memory problems?

Various professionals can treat memory issues, depending on the source and severity of the condition. 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease often require a neurologist, geriatrician, or psychiatrist.

However, other physicians, such as general practitioners and internists, may also diagnose and treat memory problems. In addition, neuropsychologists are experts in assessing cognitive changes resulting from neurological illnesses and implementing therapy procedures accordingly. 

Memory clinics frequently employ a combination of these professionals to give complete exams and individualised treatments. In the end, it is advisable to consult with your primary care physician, who will review your case and, if required, recommend you for additional evaluation. 

With early diagnosis and individualised medical therapies, people have a greater chance of keeping their talents for longer durations. Memory clinics provide individuals with memory issues with a useful service, allowing them to keep their independence and quality of life. 

Consider visiting your primary care physician for a referral to a memory clinic if you or someone you know is afflicted with memory problems that make daily activities difficult. You may also contact the clinic directly to schedule an appointment.

With early diagnosis and individualised medical therapies, people have a greater chance of keeping their talents for longer durations. 

Memory clinics give comprehensive examinations and therapies that enhance life quality and ensure optimal mental health.

Where to Find a Memory Clinic near me?

Many people search for a ‘memory clinic near me’. 

Currently, there are many places across the United Kingdom where you can find a memory clinic. It means that you can easily find much-needed support services near you.

You can find local support services for individuals with Alzheimers and their carers in Northern Ireland, Wales and England. If you have any concerns or questions about Alzheimers and dementia, you can use the Society Dementia Helpline to provide you with support and information.

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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