The MINT Memory Clinic
More than 560,000 Canadians live with dementia. By 2030, that number is expected to reach nearly one million. Evidence shows that delays in dementia diagnosis and intervention lead to worse health outcomes for patients and caregivers — and yet, supports for both are limited.
Patients, family caregivers and health care providers all agree that a new model is desperately needed to make better use of our limited resources and improve access to dementia care. A new approach would address the urgent need to help relieve the stress and burden placed on family caregivers. Studies have shown that nearly half of caregivers for people living with dementia experience depression and almost 25% experience emergency department visits or hospitalization (over a six-month period).
The only one of its kind in Canada, the MINT Memory Clinic model is breaking new ground by delivering better dementia care that’s closer to home.
At MINT (Multispecialty Interprofessional Team) Memory Clinics, patients and caregivers are a central part of the care team and have played a key role in shaping the innovative model of care. The MINT model includes training for primary care teams (physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and others) through a nationally-accredited program. It also fosters collaboration with specialists through virtual consultation. Today, there are more than 100 clinics across Ontario.
The MINT Memory Clinic goal is to provide patients and their caregivers with high-quality, ongoing compassionate dementia care in primary care settings within their own communities (in some cases, all required services are offered at a single one-stop-shop location). Clinics address the dementia care gap, giving families somewhere to turn. They also build capacity for community-based care by integrating primary care, specialist care and community supports.
MINT teams continue to depend on ongoing input from patients, caregivers and family physicians to generate a comprehensive plan of care that meets each patient’s unique needs.
Dementia is not an easy condition to manage and it can be isolating for patients and caregivers. With MINT Memory Clinics, they have a trusted team that knows their experience and history, that's close to home, and that's always there to offer guidance and support throughout the care journey.