The objective of the Memory Clinic at Villa Anna Teresa is to improve practice in the identification, investigation, and treatment of memory disorders including dementias. Staff is specially trained to diagnose memory problems and to provide people who are concerned about cognitive and memory problems with a diagnosis, information, treatment (when necessary), and advice.
In Malta (like other countries) many persons with dementia have never had a formal diagnosis. The early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias is critical to acquiring appropriate treatments, managing financial and legal affairs, and accessing support services. Early diagnosis also enables the person experiencing the symptoms to be more proactive in lifestyle decision-making and in planning his or her own future care options.
Once a diagnosis is made, treatment can also be initiated by Memory Clinic staff and advice can be given on a whole range of topics including the use of memory aids, driving, banking, family matters, employment, and leisure-time interests. Memory Clinics may also provide post-diagnostic counseling and emotional support for people newly diagnosed.
How to avail yourself of Memory Clinic services at Villa Anna Teresa
We will only accept referrals from primary care physicians or other medical doctors. If you believe that your memory is not as sharp as before and if you are worried about this, you should discuss the matter with your GP/primary care physician. Your physician may decide that you are worrying unnecessarily or, following a series of tests make a diagnosis of dementia, or the GP may decide that further in-depth assessment is needed and may refer you to the Memory Clinic.
What information will be asked of clients and their family members at the Memory Clinic assessment?
When an appointment is made, people are usually asked to have a family member or close friend accompany them. The reason for this is that the latter can, if necessary, provide staff with additional information regarding the person’s memory and cognitive state and overall health. During the appointment, a series of questions will be asked by clinic staff of the person referred to the clinic. Where appropriate, additional questions will be asked of the family member.
First baseline information is usually sought about the person’s general health; the onset of, as well as signs and symptoms of memory problems; risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and the related dementias such as smoking, obesity, diabetes, family history and blood pressure.
Other information usually sought includes that on behavioural/personality changes, educational attainments and literacy level, physical functioning and activities of daily living. Neuropsychological assessment/testing which usually involves a series of questions assessing short-term and long-term memory, language, orientation, attention, perception and calculation may also take place. The latter can be brief or may be more in-depth.
What information is given to people worried about their memory and to those diagnosed with MCI or dementia?
Detailed information is provided to people who attend the clinic and this typically includes:
- Ways to improve and maintain cognitive health;
- Clarification of memory problem symptoms;
- Diagnosis, including differential diagnosis;
- General tips for dealing with possible memory problems;
- Treatment information such as advice about anti-dementia drugs and how they work;
- Advice about continuing or not continuing to drive;
- Advice about continuing or not continuing to work;
- Leisure time activities.
Our team will be happy to discuss the services offered through our Memory Clinic in more detail Contact us