Memory Clinic-Type Programs for Those With or at Risk of Dementia and Their Caregivers: The Lay of the Land in New Brunswick
by Jamie Clark, Dr. Shelley Doucet and Dr. Alison Luke
Abstract: The concept of a memory clinic was first introduced in the 1980’s to address the needs of people with or at risk of dementia and their caregivers (Jolley, 2006). With the second highest elderly population in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2020), New Brunswick is preparing for a surge of dementia-related disorders to accompany their rapidly aging population (Government of New Brunswick, 2017). The purpose of this environmental scan is to identify memory clinic-type programs that currently exist in New Brunswick and to determine current practices, with respect to the structure, function, processes, and services being implemented within these programs to provide care for people with or at risk of dementia and their caregivers. The primary method of data collection was an electronic questionnaire sent via email to each participating memory clinic-type program. Completed questionnaires were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. New Brunswick is home to three memory clinic-type programs, with one in Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. Moncton and Fredericton provide both diagnostic and post-diagnostic services while Saint John only provides post-diagnostic services. Both Moncton and Fredericton believe that with adequate resources, their clinics could be run much more efficiently. Further research should aim to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of these programs through a program evaluation and their findings used to guide the development and implementation of existing and new memory clinic-type programs in New Brunswick.