Health services used by people with dementia
Services provided by health professionals, including general practitioners (GPs), other medical specialists (such as geriatricians and psychiatrists) and allied health professionals (such as physiotherapists and speech pathologists), as well as prescribed medications, play a crucial role in the diagnosis, treatment and/or management of dementia.
The following pages present statistics and information on:
- GP and specialist services overview
- GP consultations, management plans and medications reviews
- Specialist consultations and other health services
- Dementia-specific GP consultations
- Prescriptions for dementia-specific medications
- Antipsychotics and other medications dispensed to people with dementia
- Prescribers of dementia-specific medications
- Hospital care.
See Hospital care for First Nations people with dementia for more information on hospital care for First Nations people with dementia.
While some information on dementia-specific consultations is available from GP activity data (see Dementia-specific GP consultations) these data are either out-of-date or do not cover all GPs across Australia. The lack of national GP and other community-based medical specialist data containing dementia diagnosis information is a key data gap for monitoring dementia in Australia (AIHW 2020; Royal Commission 2021). Fortunately, advances with data linkage now enable some examination of GP and other community-based medical specialist services utilised by people with dementia (see GP and specialist services overview). This is possible by linking GP and specialist data with other datasets that have dementia diagnostic information.
For more information on existing data gaps for dementia and future possibilities for filling in these gaps refer to the AIHW reports: Dementia data gaps and opportunities and Australia’s Health 2020 data insights.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2020) Interfaces between the aged care and health systems in Australia—GP use by people living in permanent residential aged care 2012–13 to 2016–17, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 17 August 2022.
Royal Commission (2021) Final report: Care, dignity and respect — Volume 1: Summary and recommendations, Royal Commission, Australian Government, accessed 17 August 2022.