Specialist clinic to offer ongoing support after a diagnosis of dementia
Researchers from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) and the University of Wollongong (UOW) are launching Enhance, a nurse practitioner led dementia clinic servicing the Illawarra region.
Enhance will provide ongoing support to people living with dementia and their carers to help them to stay living at home. A clinic service providing regular and ongoing support is currently not available in the Illawarra region, making Enhance a first of its kind.
The clinic, led by nurse practitioner and researcher Amy Montgomery , aims to support independence and function in individuals and to avoid hospital admissions and aged care placement. There will also be a research component to the clinic to assist with designing future programs in dementia care.
“We will also be evaluating if the clinic model and programs have a positive impact on cognition, function, mental wellbeing and quality of life; not only for the person living with dementia but for their carer too,” said Ms Montgomery.
Enhance will offer individualised care plans and support programs, as well as assistance with the aged care system and referrals to other healthcare professionals. Group programs will also be on offer to provide support for carers as well as those living with dementia. The clinic will complement and work closely with local Geriatricians, GPs and health services.
“The clinic has collaborated with a yoga instructor, exercise physiologists, aged care and mental health specialist to offer a range of Individual and group programs aimed at improving function and wellbeing. The activities will range from cognitive simulation activities (including art and music therapy) to exercise programs to support groups,” said Ms Montgomery.
All nurse practitioner led services will be covered under Medicare, with UOW and IHMRI providing additional support to cover the cost of running the clinic. This will allow patients to access the nurse practitioner services with no out of pocket expenses.
Much of this was made possible thanks to a generous donation made to IHMRI to help establish the clinic.
“The community have played an important role in helping to establish this clinic, all set up costs to date have been funded through philanthropy,” said IHMRI CEO, Distinguished Professor David Adams.
“We are excited to see the clinic launch. It will see researchers, health professionals and the community working together to improve the livelihood of people living with dementia,” he added.
To learn more about the clinic or to register your interest visit www.ihmri.org.au/enhance
t: 0428 849 827