Call for dementia-specific tools for GPs

Dementia Australia

Friday, 15 March, 2024

Call for dementia-specific tools for GPs

The newest Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisor is highlighting the importance of dementia-specific tools for GPs.

Dr Marita Long, who has a strong interest in both women’s health and dementia, has been officially welcomed by Dementia Australia as an Honorary Medical Advisor.

One resource Long particularly recommends for GPs when treating patients with dementia diagnoses, or general cognition concerns, is Dementia Australia’s GP referrer pack. The referrer pack includes a dementia service guide, The Dementia Guide, information on the BrainTrack app and a GP referral script pad.

The script pad in particular provides further support, information and resources by directing patients to Dementia Australia for support. GPs fill out a pre-prepared form template and have the options to forward the referral to Helpline@dementia.org.au, suggest their patient directly contact the National Dementia Helpline, or alternatively complete an online referral at www.dementia.org.au/referral/script.

“Whether a patient is seeking a clearer understanding of their diagnosis, guidance on adjusting to change, or further education about cognitive impairment, these GP referral scripts can validate their concerns and prompt important conversations with qualified helpline advisors,” Long said.

“It is essential that GPs are better supported and equipped with risk reduction and diagnostic tools to provide informed, personalised support for people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia as well as for people with mild cognitive impairment, their families and carers.”

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM said Long, who is a Victorian-based GP working across clinical practice, medical education and research, has made a significant contribution to dementia treatment and care.

“We are honoured to welcome Marita’s medical expertise and passionate advocacy onboard at Dementia Australia,” McCabe said.

Long is a current committee member for the Australian Society of Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a member of the Women in General Practice (Vic) RACGP committee, the Victorian/Tasmanian director on the Board of the Australasian Menopause Society and a co-host of the podcast Dementia in Practice.

“I am thrilled to join forces with Dementia Australia to raise dementia awareness and provide support for people living with dementia, mild cognitive impairment and the medical practitioners providing care,” Long said.

Image credit: iStock.com/Portra

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