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As part of the Melbourne Young Onset Dementia Service (MYOD), we have established a close collaboration with Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria (AAV), who offer a Young Onset Dementia Key Worker Program for clients with YOD. The AAV and RMH collaboration advocates for the promotion of early diagnosis, increased community awareness and a reduction of stigma. The collaboration enables a smooth referral pathway between services, as well as a shared model of continued care across both services. Early diagnosis has a wide range of benefits, including access to medical treatments, services, education and the ability to plan for the future while people still have capacity. The MYOD team also provide community education to individuals and families affected by YOD through the Living with YOD program (formerly Living with Memory Loss program) which is facilitated by AAV.
In 2014, Alzheimer’s Australia’s national office committed funding to contribute to the appointment of a dedicated Young Onset Dementia Registrar. In conjunction with this appointment, opportunity for regular consultation nationally was commenced in January 2015. The Neuropsychiatry Outpatient Team provides clinical consultation with Alzheimer’s Australia Young Onset Dementia Key Workers on a fortnightly basis. The purpose of this joint initiative is to provide specialist input, clinical supervision and education regarding Young Onset Dementia for the nationwide Key Worker Program.