In our latest newsletter, we advised families to not avoid getting a dementia diagnosis. For many reasons, a timely diagnosis of dementia can be crucial. Of course, finding quality providers who can assist with testing, diagnosing and treating can be tricky. There are about 140,000 Georgians who have Alzheimer’s disease, but there are more that 380,000 Georgians that have self-reported Perceived Cognitive Impairment (PCI). Most of those with PCI have received no evaluation or treatment for their cognitive impairments. Part of the problem may be a lack of access to diagnostic services and to health care providers that have been trained in dementia. Georgians living in rural areas may not have any local providers that can adequately diagnose and treat dementia.
In response to the lack of providers and the growing need for care, Georgia Memory Net was created to help improve screening and care of Georgians with memory loss issues as well as provide access to early and accurate diagnosis of dementia through five regional Memory Assessment Clinics (MACs). These five MACs are located in Albany, Columbus, Augusta, Atlanta, and Macon.
Primary care physicians can refer to Georgia Memory Net where their patients will have access to a cognitive neurologist and community service educators. This may be preferable over a referral to a general neurologist as general neurologists may not specialize in treating patients with memory loss, dementia, and cognitive dysfunction.
Georgia Memory Net is supported by the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Georgia Alzheimer’s Project, along with partners in Georgia academic institutions, community organizations, professional associations, and the State Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection Network. To find out more about Georgia Memory Net, please visit gamemorynet.org