Dementia July 2015 vol. 14 no. 4 436-449
Delay in diagnosis and difficulties in accessing appropriate health care services plague dementia care delivery in the community setting, potentiating the risk for misdiagnosis, inappropriate management, poor psychological adjustment and reduced coping capacity and ability to forward plan.
We evaluated a clinical nurse consultant role with a speciality in dementia to provide person-centred pre-diagnosis support in the community. Clients, with a six-month history of cognitive and functional decline in the absence of delirium but no formal diagnosis of dementia, were recruited from a Home Care Nursing Service and an Aged Care Assessment Service located in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The role of a clinical nurse consultant was highly regarded by clients and other health professionals. This paper discussing the CNC role and the outcomes of the role suggests it was successful in providing timely assistance and support for consumers and support for other health professionals.