Every day, people living in Ontario who suffer from dementia and other memory disorders go undiagnosed or undertreated. This can lead to unnecessary emergency room visits or long wait times to see specialists, which places undue burden on the individual, their families, and the health system.
Dr. Linda Lee, a family physician with special expertise in caring for the elderly, recognized gaps in caring for people with memory problems and created a unique program to help address these gaps.
Called Primary Care Memory Clinics, this proven model ensures patients can be well cared for by their family doctor and other professionals, such as nurses and social workers, who are all specially trained in caring for people living with dementia.
With the population aging in Ontario, it is vital that the diagnosis, treatment and care for people living with dementia improve, including at the primary care level.
The Primary Care Memory Clinic model focuses on training clinicians from the identified sites in a five-day accredited training program. After training, the teams continue to receive further mentorship and support to establish the memory clinic. Through this model and mentorship, primary care teams build their capacity to care for patients living with dementia, and support their caregivers too. In turn, patients receive more integrated care closer to home, right in their community.
More than 85 memory clinics have been established by Dr. Lee in Ontario. With support from ARTIC, Dr. Lee will train clinicians in an additional 17 clinics in rural, remote and underserviced communities, accelerating the spread of a proven intervention that improves the quality of care for people living with dementia. To date, 14 communities have been identified for expansion.
Read the press release about the Primary Care Memory Clinics ARTIC project.