“Where are my keys?” “Where did I leave my glasses?” The age-old questions we occasionally ask ourselves when we experience mild forgetfulness. However, what happens when those questions become a daily reoccurrence? Mild forgetfulness is likely not the cause and the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres (CKCHC) are here to assist you.
Courtesy of the Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) Program, the CKCHC is one of over 90 healthcare organizations across Ontario who has established a primary care memory clinic. The clinic is led by a team of professionally trained CKCHC and Alzheimer’s Society staff members who complete a thorough assessment with the client and their family members during a 2-hour appointment. It is their goal to assist clients with memory difficulties maintain independent living and the best quality of life for as long as possible.
One benefit of the clinic is the client’s primary care provider (PCP) continues to play a vital role in their care as the memory clinic team acts as a resource. The team guides the client’s PCP by providing detailed clinic notes and recommending blood work, X-ray tests and other tests as needed. By collaborating together, the client receives the best approach for managing their memory difficulties or disorder.
Supported by the ARTIC Program, the primary care memory clinic was developed by Dr. Linda Lee, a Kitchener-based family physician. Dr. Lee noticed an evident gap in care for persons with memory problems who were undiagnosed or undertreated which sparked the creation of the clinic. The model of the ARTIC Program accelerates the spread and implementation of evidence-based health care interventions across Ontario. Steering the ARTIC Program is the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and Health Quality Ontario, and it is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.
The CKCHC memory clinic team members were trained using an accredited five-day program which allows them to build capacity within the centres to care for their clients right in their own community. In partnership with our local Alzheimer’s Society, the CKCHC continuously strives to improve the client and PCP experience and the memory clinic supports this cause by also eliminating inappropriate use of specialists’ referrals and community supports.
The primary care memory clinic is only offered to clients of the CKCHC and appointments take place on a monthly basis at the Chatham and Wallaceburg sites.
Interested clients should speak with their Physician or Nurse Practitioner for a referral.
For more information about the primary care memory clinic, please contact Ashley McLellan, CKCHC Director of Clinical and Client Services, at 519-397-5455.
For more information about the ARTIC Program, please visit the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario website at http://caho-hospitals.com/.