The Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service (CDAMS) aims to assist in diagnosing and providing support to people who are experiencing changes in their thinking, behaviour or memory.

For example confusion, slowness in thinking or difficulty concentrating. We also support the carers and family of people with thinking or memory difficulties.

CDAMS provides:

  • Expert clinical diagnosis
  • Information on appropriate treatment options
  • Education, support and information
  • Direction in planning for the future
  • Information on dealing with day to day issues
  • Links for the patient or their family to other service providers or community supports

What will happen at the clinic?

The patient will be asked to come to the clinic with their carer, next of kin or a family member. At their first appointment they will meet the CDAMS doctor who will complete an assessment with them. The doctor will ask questions about their health, their thinking and memory, the types of medications they are taking and how they are managing day-to-day activities.

A review appointment may be arranged at that time and the doctor may recommend that they and their carer meet other members of the CDAMS team. The CDAMS team may arrange for a meeting with their family to discuss the assessment findings.

Who is involved in a patient's care?

At the clinic the patient will see a number of health professionals including:

  • Geriatrician
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Community Nurse

Eligibility

Anyone over 50 years of age who is experiencing changes in their memory or thinking.

We generally see people who live in the local council areas of Moonee Valley, Moreland and Hume or in North Melbourne but may accept referrals from other areas after discussion. For information on CDAMS programs in other parts of Victoria refer to the Department of Health CDAMS Directory.

People who already have a diagnosis of dementia or have had memory change for many years are unlikely to benefit from a CDAMS review. In these instances consider referral to the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS).

Younger patients experiencing memory change and possible dementia should be referred to the Young-Onset Dementia Clinic run through the RMH Neuropsychiatry Unit.

Referrals

We accept referrals from any source for this service, including GPs, family, carers, case managers and self-referral.

The Direct Access Unit also welcomes phone enquiries to discuss potential referrals or an existing referral.

Referrals are triaged depending on priority. Emergency cases can present to the Emergency & Trauma Service at any time.

To refer a patient, complete and fax your referral to Direct Access Unit on (03) 8387 2217.

You can use the following forms or a template from your own system.

Referrals should include:

  • relevant clinical history for the patient
  • list of current medications
  • the reason for referral
  • patient details including address, date of birth and contact phone numbers
  • your provider number
  • the name of the consultant (for Medicare clinics)

Consider making referrals for chronic conditions indefinite.

Once a referral has been received, a Care Coordinator will phone the patient to discuss their needs and organise appropriate services. The Care Coordinator will provide the patient with their phone number. Patients are encouraged to contact the Care Coordinator if they have any concerns.

Special referral instructions

Referrals are generally made by the GP and needs to include information about the patient's memory or thinking change, current medications and relevant medical, psychiatric and social information. The GP will need to arrange several tests prior to a patient's CDAMS appointment (eg FBE, E&Us, LFTs, Calcium, Thyroid function, B12, Folate, CT Brain and ECG).

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