One in x Australians in any given year will experience a neurological issue at some stage of their life. All Australians need to age in the mosthealthy way possible.
In 2017, neurological disorders accounted for 8% of the total disease burden and cost the Australian community $30.4 billion in health care and lost productivity.
Mindgardens Model of Care
The Mindgardens model of care is built around an “integrated system of care” to address physical, mental health, drug and alcohol and neurological disorders concurrently. This will be achieved through Apex Clinics, community hubs, and technology services across geographical regions.
Within this overarching model of care, and subject to funding, Mindgardens will address neurological conditions through a number of reforms:
Apex clinics for intensive early assessment of dementia. As part of its comprehensive concurrent approach to the whole brain, Mindgardens will provide a one-stop Apex clinic care model for tertiary pre-eminent specialist services with access to high-tech imaging and laboratory facilities to meet the complex diagnostic challenges of timely and accurate diagnoses of dementia.
Stroke rehabilitation. Post-stroke recovery remains very inadequate with limited and conflicting evidence for optimal treatment. The focus of our work in this area will be on clinical testing and validation of improved rehabilitation programs and outcomes.
Dementia outreach recovery and rehabilitation. Given the slow progress in developing new treatments for dementia, this service will address the urgent need for reablement – the process by which families and those with dementia learn how to live well with dementia. It requires a multi-disciplinary team visiting the patient in their homes, including psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and occupational therapist, to offer activities, socialisation plans, and lifestyle improvements to compensate for the deficits brought about by dementia. The service will be proactive and offer monitoring and adjustment advice and programs as patients change.
Promoting healthy ageing
While evidence is accumulating that lifestyle and good medical care can delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, vascular cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s, macular degeneration and gait disorders, implementation into practice at a population level requires a collaborative approach between researchers, clinicians, clinical trials and community education. Mindgardens will continue to research successful ageing and how to reduce risks of dementia, to inform the development of population-based strategies for healthy ageing.
- Multi-component, proactive interventions to delay dementia
- Physical activity and cognitive training for successful ageing.
- Interventions to prevent loss of balance and gait abnormalities
- Engagement in clinical trials to test effectiveness of new approaches to reducing the rate of neurodegeneration.