How much does this cost? The in-person visits are covered by Medicare in the same way that other visits are covered. Telephone calls and other services are at no cost.
What can I expect in my initial appointment? In your initial appointment, you'll have a 90-minute in-person visit with one of our Dementia Care Specialists (DCS) . At the end of the visit, your DCS will have developed a personalized care plan that she and your referring UCLA physician will collaborate on together.
During my initial assessment will a memory evaluation be done? Patients who join the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program typically have been diagnosed with dementia by their physician. A brief memory test will be performed by the dementia care specialist as part of the initial evaluation to determine the severity of the patient's cognitive impairment, but this is not meant to be diagnostic. If the patient has not received an evaluation and/or diagnosis of dementia, we would be glad to facilitate referral to a physician who can do this prior to the initial visit to the dementia care program.
Will I see a physician during my initial assessment? During the initial assessment you'll only be seen by the Dementia Care Specialist, a nurse practitioner, who is supervised and under the guidance of the medical director.
Why do I need a dementia care specialist? Dementia is a complex disease that involves medical, social and psychological issues that may not be entirely addressed by primary care physicians and specialists. The UCLA ADC program fills the gaps in care for dementia patients and their families.
How is a dementia care specialist different from a social worker? Dementia Care Specialists are nurse practitioners who are clinicians and have expertise in the medical and psycho-social aspects of memory disorders. They are able to approach each case from a unique perspective that integrates the clinical, social and behavioral complexities of the illness.
How do I make an appointment? Speak to your UCLA physician about your interest in joining the program. If you don't currently have a UCLA Primary Care Physician, please contact UCLA Referral team at 800-825-2631.
How long does the program last? We follow patients and their families through the course of the illness. We work alongside your primary care doctor in helping you cope with the challenges of dementia.
Will this program pay for caregivers or day care centers? The program does not cover costs for caregivers or day centers. We can direct you to certain government and private programs that you might be eligible for.
Will you take over my primary care? No, the program does not take over primary care. We work alongside your PMD to ensure comprehensive and coordinate dementia care.
If I have a problem, who do I contact? We provide 24/7, 365-day a year assistance and advice for patients and caregivers for dementia-related issues. Monday through Friday 8am-5pm you'll be able to reach your Dementia Care Specialist, after hours and weekends, you'll be connected to a Geriatric on-call physician. However, your primary contact should still be your primary care physician for other non-dementia related issues