Awareness & recognition of significant symptoms

This stage incorporates recognition of dementia signs and symptoms requiring consideration for further investigation, assessment, diagnosis and support.

In this stage the primary focus is on:

  • the benefits of early diagnosis
  • understanding and responding to the signs and symptoms of dementia
  • acknowledging dementia as a chronic, progressive and terminal disease
  • timely recognition and referral for further specialist investigation
  • maintaining social connection and accessing community care and support. [1]

When patient or family raise concerns about memory / cognition, do not dismiss as "old age".

Be alert to cognitive decline in older patients especially those aged 75+. Routinely ask about difficulties with memory. [2]

KPMG Dementia service pathways - an essential guide to effective service planning 2011 pg. 13

14 essentials for good dementia care in general practice. Dementia Collaborative Research Centre 2011