New dementia guidelines for GPs and nurses

  • Nicky Wagner

Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner is encouraging primary healthcare professionals to use recently published guidelines to help identify early signs of dementia.

The eLearning Dementia Education Resource for GPs and Practice Nurses is designed to build primary care confidence, competence and consistency in assessing, diagnosing and managing mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

“New Zealand’s population is ageing, and sadly, that means rising levels of dementia. Early detection is incredibly important — the sooner people get help and support, the better," Ms Wagner says.

The guidelines, published on the University of Auckland’s Goodfellow Unit website, were developed to support the District Health Boards’ Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Pathways.

“This is a great example of collaboration and cooperation across the health sector. This resource provides health professionals with helpful guidance at no cost,” Ms Wagner says.

Each of the 17 topics covered by the guidelines includes a short video presented by a geriatrician or psychiatrist of older people, with key points, printable resources and links.

“The Government is committed to improving dementia care in New Zealand through increased funding — including a boost of more than $100 million since 2011 — and the release of the New Zealand Framework for Dementia Care in 2013,” Ms Wagner says.

Note: The Goodfellow Unit is a medical education/professional development provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

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