Health of Older People  |  Uncomplicated Dementia Pathway - Specialist Health Services For Older People

Health of Older People

Uncomplicated Dementia Pathway - Specialist Health Services For Older People

Refer as directed by pathway to either:

Memory Service

This service is based with Mental Health Services for Older People. Referrals sent via Tauranga Referral Centre. Referral access to this service is for people, of any age, who have been screened through the Dementia Care Pathway and now due to complex presentation or diagnostic uncertainty require a specialist review. The service is keen to see younger people who have cognitive decline as we recognise the high risk and rapid decline in this group of people with early onset dementia. We also want to rule out any other diagnosis causing this impairment as soon as possible.

Referral information must include:

  • Vision and hearing checked.
  • Physical Examination.
  • Full Blood Count Urea and Electrolytes, Liver Function, Calcium and Phosphate, Thyroid Function, Syphilis Serology, Serum Vitamin B12, Folate, C-reactive protein (if under 75 consider homocysteine), Glucose (HbA1c), MSU.

Reason for Referral:

  • Description of cognitive issues and clinical history.
  • MOCA.
  • Medical Conditions Medication List.
  • Social History and current supports.
  • Referral to other agencies completed.


Health in Aging

Early dementia, with or without multiple co-morbidity, is not in itself an indication for referral to specialist medical services for older people. Referral should be considered for those with changing neurological signs and symptoms eg abnormal brain imaging, gait and balance disturbance; decline in function not proportional to the dementia. Referral for a comprehensive geriatric assessment may be indicated where dementia is critically affecting the patient's or a significant other's physical ability to be appropriately clinically managed in the community.

Mental Health Services for Older People

1. Access Criteria:

a) Adults of any age with an established diagnosis of dementia (Alzheimer's, vascular, mixed or idiopathic front temporal dementia type) complicated by significant behavioural or psychological symptoms.

b) Adults aged 65 or over with significant mental health and addiction problems.

c) Carers who have are experiencing significant adjustment disorder or complicated grief may need assessment and appropriate referral for treatment.

d) Adults aged 65 or over with delirium with significant behavioural disturbance that requires specialist environment and intervention.

e) Urgent respite for adults of any age with an established diagnosis of dementia where there is not appropriate community beds available and if there is an inpatient bed available.

2. Exclusions:

a) Where the presenting problem is acute delirium without the need for specialist mental health care.

b) Solely drug & alcohol, intellectual disability or brain injury.

c) Mild mental illness.

d) Homelessness or other social/financial difficulties.

Contact Details

Tauranga Hospital Referral Centre   
Private Bag 12024
Tauranga 3143

Phone:  07 5798335
Fax:      07 5713900

MHSOP Eastern Bay Referrals
Level 2 Commerce Plaza

Commerce Street, P O Box 241,

Phone: 07 306 0154
Fax:     07 308 9675



Last updated : Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Next review date : Wednesday, July 17,2019

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