Guests from South Calgary Hospital Cognitive Clinic (Heather, Leon and Andrea)
At the provinicial meeting one of the issues discussed was the need for "one-stop shopping". Participants identified the problem with GPs needing more education, and then after you go through a process to get a diagnosis, everyone gets different information. Also, there are lots of things that happen that a caregiver needs help with but doesn't know where to go. The question was, "Is Calgary South Cognitive Centre" the One-Stop? What are their services?"
Calgary South Cognitive Centre provides a variety of services. First is the route to diagnosis. Because patients must be referred (typically by their GP) they will see one of the 3 physicians who specialize in Cognitive care: Dr Patry, Dr Smith (who is also at Foothils hospital) or Dr Pearson. Once the patient is seen, there are other services they may be referred to including
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- link to home care
- link to day programs/other supports
- speech therapy
- neuro psychologist (testing)
Doctors Patry and Pearson are startting to present at some of the Primary Care Clinics in Calgary and GPs are encouraged to refer patients. Any GP should be able to do a mini-mental exam which is one of the tools that may point to the need for further investigation.
Leon (social worker) said he tries to help identify resources such as finance and counselling. Many people need help with the application for medical EI (up to 15 weeks) and the CPP Disability. Also many people do not know about Blue Cross Non Group Insurance. This plan does not turn away people because of pre-existing conditions and for those who do not have medical insurance can be very helpful. http://www.health.alberta.ca/documents/BlueCross-NonGroup-Coverage.pdf some of the plan coverage includes 80% coverage for some prescribed drugs, a maximum $30 per prescription. There is a yearly limit.
There were also some questions regarding individual cases/circumstances. Good discussion. In conclusion, most participants agreed that people who suspect their partner/family member has cognitive issues should request their GP refer them to a cognitive clinic.
Note: Foothills hospital has a cognitive clinic as well. They do not currently offer all of the same services but are working towards building those services at that clinic.
No one knew whether there are any other similar clinics anywhere else in the province.