Are you concerned about your own memory or about a family member or a friend? Or are you a carer (or caregiver) for someone who is living with dementia? Then this section of the GPCOG website is for you.
Carers and the GPCOG
As the name suggests the 'General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG)' and its supporting website were originally designed for General Practitioners. It is a screening test for cognitive impairment that should only be administered by trained medical staff rather than by concerned family members.
Even if it appears to be a simple test you should NOT administer the test to yourself or others unless you are trained to do so.
There are many reasons why we discourage the use of GPCOG by nonprofessionals. First, the GPCOG is a screening instrument only. Therefore, testing positive does not necessarily mean someone has got dementia. There are many other conditions which can mimic the symptoms of memory loss or dementia. Only trained medical staff can request further medical investigations which are necessary to establish and confirm a diagnosis. Secondly, cognitive testing can be confronting and distressing for the person who is tested and psychological attention and counselling may be required. Let a professional health-care worker handle this rather than putting yourself under the stress of dealing with a distressed loved one. Last but not least, cognitive tests are susceptible to training effects, i.e. the more often you do the same test the better you perform. So chances are that if you administer the test to your family member at home they might score negative (i.e. showing no impairment) when assessed by a doctor due to training effects which will only delay the process of receiving a proper diagnosis and getting access to available support services. Even though it might be tempting, we do ask you NOT to administer the GPCOG yourself but ask a doctor or other health care professional to do so.
Support for carers
However, we do not want to leave you without any information or support. In fact, the carer feedback we have received to date indicates that carers need information and help the most. To cater for this demand we have created this carer section. Here you will find links to other organisations such as Alzheimer Associations worldwide, which provide information and support for people with dementia and their families.
Please note that the list of links is not comprehensive and we don’t necessarily agree with all content provided on other websites but they might help you find the information that you are looking for. As a service for you, we will be updating this section with new links as we become aware of them. If you know of a good website that was helpful for you, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then get in contact with the hosts of this website and ask for their permission to add a link.
List of national and international Alzheimer organisations
More links for Australia
- Alzheimer’s Australia
- Alzheimer’s ACT
- Alzheimer’s NSW
- Alzheimer’s NT
- Alzheimer’s QLD
- Alzheimer’s SA
- Alzheimer’s VIC
- Alzheimer’s WA
- Alzheimer’s TAS
More links for the USA