Most of our referrals come from the community through family, neighbours, friends and our awareness campaign.
When people are referred to BMF with concerns relating to dementia, we carry out a comprehensive screening and assessment process. This includes:
- interviews with the client
- interviews with the carers and relatives who live with the client
- gathering background history of the client
- collecting the medical history of the client
- listing current concerns from the client and those who know the client well
- listing the current symptoms shown by the client
This process may take several home visits or telephone and Skype video calls over a period of time. The information is passed on to specialists who may use it in identifying and excluding other conditions that exhibit similar symptoms to dementia but which may be treatable.
Where assessment results indicate the possibility of dementia, we offer clients the option for a formal diagnosis by specialists. We refer them to the clinic for preliminary tests and then on to specialists.
At the hospital, the client will receive more intense investigations:
- brain scans - (CAT or CT scans) and in depth cognitive testing
To make the diagnosis, the specialist will take into account:
- - all the information from the history
- - symptoms
- - results from physical exams
- - scans
- - any other relevant information
Post diagnosis support
After diagnosis, clients are referred back to us for post diagnosis support. We liaise with all the institutions to ensure that all the tests are completed. When they come back to us, we:
- offer counselling to the client and family
- explain to families the meaning and implications of the results of the diagnosis
- involve family and all stakeholders concerned in working out a care plan for the client
- provide psycho-education on dementia
- advise clients and carers on how to manage the changing and sometimes difficult behaviours
- encourage clients and carers to attend our support groups where we engage them in social activities including reminiscence therapy
- when the family is ready, help with planning for future care of the client
- help prevent situations deteriorating by responding to any arising concerns and problems
While we encourage our clients to undergo a formal diagnosis, some families do not want to go through this process. They are happy to receive support in the form of advice and knowledge on how to deal with symptoms.
For those where the assessment points to other illnesses, we refer them to organizations or agencies that are best placed to address their concerns. We are constantly looking to forge professional relationships with other organizations in the field of mental health.
Anyone with concerns or worries can contact us for a chat
031 836 7290 or 071 451 7551