Project description: Research has demonstrated that dementia caregivers have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, chronic stress, as well as new or exacerbated health problems. Likewise, patients with dementia experience depression, anxiety, agitation, and apathy at higher rates than the general population, further exacerbating their dementia symptoms. Providing mental health services to both patients with dementia and caregivers could mean a significant increase in quality of life to affected families and a significant reduction in health care costs, yet few care programs exist to address these critical needs. The Memory Counseling Program (MCP) and the Memory Assessment Clinic (MAC) are co-located mental health and medical dementia care programs atWake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a NIA-funded Alzheimer's disease center, that provide multidisciplinary health services to those with dementia and their families. In this model, geriatricians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and licensed mental health providers work side-by-side to assess the physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual resources of dementia patients and their caregivers in order to provide supportive care through medical services (diagnosis and follow-up), individual psychotherapy, group counseling, psychoeducation, case coordination and collaboration with other professionals, and referrals to outside resources. The MCP is staffed by an administrative coordinator, two licensed clinical social workers, a licensed professional counselor, a dually-trained medical doctor and counselor, and master's level social work and counseling interns. Care begins with a referral from the MAC when the geriatrician, PA, or NP has cause for concern on behalf of the patient with dementia or a family member due to changes in mental health status (caregiver stress/burden, anxiety, depression), or at the time of stressors in the dementia lifespan including initial diagnosis, transitions from independence to dependence or from dependence to full care, and at end of life. MCP clinicians then conduct a thorough initial assessment and tailor interventions and services based upon individual and familial needs. The MCP operates on a fee-for-service basis though some services like initial assessment and group counseling are provided at no charge. Philanthropic support is actively sought to supplement operational expenses. The MCP is a novel model of multidisciplinary care.
A.S., B., K., J., K.M., S., C.E., H., C.C., W., M., Y., … E.G., S. (2017). Improving the quality of mental health care offered to dementia patients and their families through co-located medical and mental health services. Alzheimer’s Dementia, 13(7), P488. Retrieved from http://www.embase.com/search/results?subaction=viewrecord&from=export&id=L620610574 U2 - L620610574