The Alzheimer's Society of Ireland (ASI) can now refer people with dementia in Dublin to a rapid access clinic as part of a new partnership agreement.
The agreement means that ASI advisors can refer people who require an urgent, but non-critical review with a geriatrician to the Charter Medical rapid access clinic.
This is a public clinic, providing services at no cost to the person with dementia.
People can be referred for issues such as cognitive impairment, recurrent falls, reduced mobility, weight loss and syncope (fainting). However, the clinic cannot provide advice on issues relating to Fair Deal or long term-care. It also does not deal with emergency or surgical issues.
The clinic, which is based in Smithfield in Dublin 8, will initially be limited to patients from the catchment areas of the Mater Hospital and Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. It will run from Monday to Friday every week.
As part of this partnership agreement, all Charter Medical staff will be receiving dementia awareness training.
The ASI's dementia adviser service is a free and confidential service that works with people with dementia and their families/carers. Advisers provide information and advice throughout a person's journey with dementia by, for example, helping them connect with dementia supports, services and local groups.
"We work with people with dementia in their own communities and in their own homes, so this new service for people living in the Mater and Beaumont areas will make it very straightforward to get timely access to clinical expertise for changes that they are experiencing," explained ASI dementia advisor, Jean Scanlon.
Around 55,000 people in Ireland are affected by dementia and this figure is expected to reach 113,000 by 2036.
For more information on dementia and the ASI, click here, or call the ASI national helpline on 1800 341 341.