Stacks Image 1454
Stacks Image 1451

Melbourne Young Onset Dementia Service (MYOD) and Alzheimer's Australia Collaboration:

Over the past 5 years, The Neuropsychiatry Unit has developed a specialised service, Melbourne Young Onset Dementia Service (MYOD). MYOD provides assessment, treatment and ongoing follow-up for people with dementia who are under 65 years of age and their families.

As part of 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. 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. Referrals can be made to MYOD through the Neuropsychiatry Unit’s website. See the Referrers tab for more details.

In January 2015, the Neuropsychiatry Outpatient Team commenced teleconference clinical consultations with Alzheimer’s Australia Young Onset Dementia Key Workers on a fortnightly basis. These clinical consultations are a joint initiative between Alzheimer’s Australia national office and the Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital. The purpose of the consultations is to provide specialist input, clinical supervision and education regarding Young Onset Dementia for the nationwide Key Worker Program.

This two day Summit was the first of its kind, offering an environment for all of the Young Onset Dementia Key Workers from around Australia to network, and provided an opportunity for members of the Neuropsychiatry Team to meet interstate workers with whom they have been consulting via teleconference. In addition to strengthening the collaboration by having face-to face contact, the Neuropsychiatry clinicians were invited to present to the Key Workers. Dr Kelso launched the release of the updated Quality Dementia Care Series Five booklet: Younger Onset Dementia: A Practical Guide. This guide is a resource for families and consumers, which she was involved in developing in Sydney in 2008, and has now taken the lead role in editing in 2015.  (See link below). JoAnne Bevilacqua presented a summary of the Clinical Consultation outcomes to date. Both presentations were well received, and a “wish list” of outcomes identified has been endorsed by Alzheimer’s Australia. These include flying Neuropsychiatry outpatient clinicians to Tasmania quarterly to provide face-to-face clinical consultations in light of the significant shortage of specialised services in the state.

The Quality Dementia Care document, Younger Onset Dementia: A Practical Guide can be downloaded here.