As you notice changes in behaviour you may want to seek professional advice and treatment so that you can start the process of learning about dementia and how to handle symptoms.
Getting A Diagnosis
DEMENTIA ASSESSMENT & SERVICES
Look out for changes in the behaviour of the person you care for. Keep a note or diary of any problems, symptoms or behaviours you would like to know more about.
Information is available about dementia and how to handle symptoms.
- Visit Alzheimer’s Australia.
- Talk with staff in the aged care services and programs which the person you care for is attending.
- Talk with specialist services in the community e.g. contact ACH Dementia Specialist Advisory Service on 1300 22 44 77.
- Discuss your situation with your GP, health professionals, and dementia specialists. Look for a GP specialising in aged care or dementia.
- Attend carer support groups (visit Carer Services) to talk with other carers one-to-one.
- Attend information sessions on dementia such as those run by Alzheimer’s Australia SA or carer support agencies.
- Look for resources/information/books in your library or online such as:
Health professionals will help you with medical diagnosis, advice and treatment options.
GENERAL PRACTITIONER (GP)
Your GP should be your initial and most important contact as they know the health status of the person you care for. They can provide a referral to a specialist who will assess the type of dementia. They will continue to be a useful support if the changes in behaviour have a medical basis that you need to address. They provide information to help you apply to Centrelink for Carer Allowance or Carer Payment.
GERIATRICIAN OR NEUROLOGIST
A geriatrician, neurologist or neuropsychologist will make an assessment/diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, and determine which stage the disease is in. They can prescribe medication to treat cognitive, behavioural and psychological symptoms.