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.
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.
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