Dementia and primary health care
Kalucy, Elizabeth Carment
MetadataShow full item record
Dementia care is becoming increasingly relevant in Australia as our population ages, presenting challenges for an already stretched health system. General practitioners are the first port of call in dementia identification and care, and are the coordinators of dementia identification and management. There is increasing involvement of practice nurses in these processes. Carers and many health professionals believe early diagnosis is critical, though GPs report diagnosing only for functional necessity such as to prescribe medication. Referrals for carers to information and support services are often delayed until carers reach ‘breaking point’, highlighting the need for anticipatory referral processes. Carers are often called the ‘hidden patients’ as they suffer from higher physical and mental illness resulting from caregiver burden.