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Dementia is a progressive condition with age, recognising early warning signs is important mitigation, Dementia Doctor Melbourne

Understanding Dementia: Recognise your early signs and seek help from doctors

By | Clinic News

What is Dementia?

Dementia can be defined as a group of symptoms caused due to the loss or damage to the nerve cells that form the brain. It affects a person’s cognitive abilities and impacts a person’s ability to carry out their everyday tasks.

According to Dementia Australia, dementia is an umbrella term to define a number of neurological conditions of which memory loss is the most common symptom.

A person with dementia shows a variety of other symptoms including disorientation, mood swings, displacing things and changes in personality leading to a progressive cognitive decline.

If you notice any warning signs in yourself or identify anyone in your family and friends, it is best to seek medical help and talk with your doctors.

Importance of early diagnosis of dementia

Early signs of dementia are mostly vague and they even greatly vary from patient to patient. Perhaps one of the most usual signs is facing problems with remembering recent events.

Therefore, early diagnosis and access to critical medical services can help people take control of their condition. Apart from providing early treatment alternatives, it can help identify other medical conditions with dementia-like symptoms.

Being able to identify the early signs of dementia helps you prepare for the future. It gives you the time to explore a variety of drug and non-drug treatments available and access relevant resources and support from doctors and specialists.

Recognise the early warning signs of Dementia

Confusion and disorientation can be warning signs for Dementia, Dementia doctors MelbourneOne of the easiest ways to recognise dementia is if your memory loss starts to impact you in your everyday life. You may find it almost very difficult to recollect recent events and activities that gradually increase as you age. This could be a warning sign and medical intervention is very important.

However, early memory loss with dementia should also not be mistaken with aging. Failure to recognise the early signs of dementia could lead to people not being diagnosed with dementia for many years. Hence a doctor’s intervention is a must to diagnose dementia.

Apart from the most common symptom of memory loss, the other common early symptoms that a person might experience includes:

  • Not being able to remember or facing difficulty in remembering recent events and activities
  • Increased confusion
  • Changes in behaviour, personality and judgments
  • Decreased concentration at work
  • Loss of ability to perform everyday tasks
  • Facing problem in communicating like trouble in finding the right words or using words that might not fit well in a sentence or in context
  • Difficulty in abstract thinking like finding difficulty in counting, managing finances
  • Poor cognitive and spatial abilities like difficulty in judging speed, distance and direction while driving
  • Mood swings including sudden confusion, feeling remorseful, withdrawn and suspicious at times.

The 4 common types of Dementia in Australia

1. Alzheimer’s Diseases

This is the most common type of Dementia in Australia accounting for almost 70% of all Dementia diagnoses in Australia. Although it starts with a sudden short term memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, with its progression rate varying from person to person.

People with Alzheimer’s disease find it difficult with thinking and reasoning. They may also have little or no orientation at times. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is increasing age, with about 3 in every 10 people over 85 having dementia worldwide.

2. Vascular Dementia

This type of Dementia which is also sometimes called “Post-Stroke Dementia” is caused due to brain damage as a result of cardiovascular problems and strokes.

This is also one of the easiest types of Dementia to recognise due to the drastic changes in a person’s behavior almost immediately seen after a stroke. Vascular Dementia mostly impacts your cognitive abilities which is due to the result of damage in the brain.

The progress of Vascular Dementia is shown to be slowed or even prevented by the use of drug-based treatment.

3. Lewy-Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia is more or like a combination of Alzheimer’s Diseases and Parkinson’ Syndrome. Often misdiagnosed, this is the second most common type of Dementia, that can be identified by the early signs of visual hallucinations.

A patient with LBD also experiences declined cognitive skills, problems with sleeping followed by times of confusion and extremely sensitive to psychotic medications that can be fatal.

4. Fronto- Temporal Dementia

As the name suggests, this type of Dementia is caused due to damage in the Frontal and Temporal lobes of the brain leading to people experiencing issues with language and adverse changes in their personality.

People with FTD are usually withdrawn to themselves and as the condition progresses, they lose their emotional side and show little to no emotions and needs to others around them.

Diagnosing Dementia at Inkerman Medical Group

Local Melbourne GP like Inkerman Medical Group provides comprehensive dementia screenings, Dementia doctor Melbourne

The best place to start your Dementia diagnosis is by talking with your local GP. A GP will conduct many tests and assessments to achieve a more definitive diagnosis.

At Inkerman Medical, our GPs have a special interest in diagnosing dementia.

What to expect at Inkerman Medical Group Dementia Assessment

  • A thorough medical examination and psychological assessment will be conducted by our GP to identify the type of dementia. This is done in regards to ensuring the presence of dementia in a patient and if the correct treatment is done.
  • A detailed medical history of your family is studied as part of the assessment to identify if anyone in your family had been diagnosed with dementia before.
  • An assessment of your mental health is also conducted followed by biopsies including blood- test, glucose tests, urine tests.
  • Further referrals to memory specialists, neurologists or psychiatrists are provided if necessary.

If you have any concerns, discuss with our doctors by making an online appointment or call us at (03) 9527 4355 for further information on Dementia Assessments.

Telehealth and Phone services by Inkerman Medical Group, Doctors in Southeast Melbourne

Changes to MBS Phone/Telehealth Bulk-Billing Services

By | Clinic News

Dear patients!

Inkerman Medical Group has been on the front line in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis providing the best possible care to our patients. We would like to continue providing the much-needed support to our patients and would like to advise you of the changes to the Medicare Benefits Scheme in regards to billing of appointments.

As of 1 October 2020, the following changes will come into effect:

We will return to our previous pricing structure for consultations, the same fee will apply whether a doctor sees you in person or provides a telehealth consultation. Reception staff will call you later in the day to process the payment and facilitate the Medicare rebate claiming process.

Charges for in person / telehealth consultation are as follows:

  • Standard appointment (up to 15 mins) – $82 (Medicare rebate $38.75)
  • Long appointment (up to 30 mins) – $140 (Medicare rebate $75.05)

Additional charges apply on weekends.

These changes will allow our doctors to see you in a safe and convenient way.

Reception is always happy to assist you in booking and organising payment for your phone/telehealth appointment, however, please note that reception cannot ask the doctor if your appointment will be bulk-billed.

Thank you for your understanding!

Thrive Magazine Issue 2 with health and wellbeing information for family health, Doctors in Inkerkman Street

Thrive Magazine #2

By | Clinic News

Welcome to Issue 2 of Thrive Magazine!

Health and Wellbeing Information for you and your family.

Welcome to the second issue of Thrive magazine. We’re delighted by the feedback we’ve had to our launch edition last month; how much you appreciated the diverse, comprehensive health and wellness information designed to help navigate these ultra-challenging COVID-19 days. As well as entertaining and inspiring you, of course!

Click the button below to read the 2nd issue. Featuring Sally Obermeder as our cover story.

Thrive Magazine #1

By | Clinic News

Welcome to Thrive Magazine!

Health and Wellbeing Information for you and your family

Every month Thrive will deliver fresh information to guide and inform you on issues and challenges similar for all of us. Such as keeping our immune systems strong, our fitness and mobility healthy, our minds and emotions calm and focussed, and our friendships and relationships nurtured.

In this issue read about Sam Wood on tips for Dad-time in lockdown, hear Olivia Newton-John talk about her recent safe skincare launch, learn why now really is the time to learn to meditate, get some financial advice for challenging times, and much more…

Click here to read the magazine!

 

With Stage 4 restrictions, Victorian has 10 additional mental health sessions with experts

A message from Dr Debbie Herbst: How to access mental health help

By | Clinic News

The Victorian Government has recently announced additional mental health support services for those impacted by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Through this initiative, any Victorian resident would be able to seek up to 10 further mental health consultations across the state in addition to their 10 medicare mental health sessions with experts.

Given the amount of stress the second wave is creating, it is important to remember that there is hope and help for you or anyone in need.

Read further and check the video below on what Dr. Debbie Herbst emphasises and how we can emerge from this crisis together.

What’s included in the new initiative?

Dr. Herbst emphasises that we can go to any GP and seek help if required.

She says, “Right now in Victoria, anybody can go to their GP, either their own GP or perhaps sometimes people like to go to a GP who’s not as well known to them and get a mental health plan and have access to 20 government-subsidised sessions with a psychologist over the next few months”.

Who should access these services?

It is essential to visit your local GP if you’re anxious, stressed or just feeling low with the Stage 4 restrictions. So anyone who has been mentally impacted from the lockdown can seek expert’s help.

Dr. Herbst says “these sessions are available to anybody who is feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, it’s not about feeling that you really are falling apart and that you’re not coping at all”.

And with Inkerman’s online telehealth service, our doctors are available to guide you even remotely.

The next question is pretty obvious,

Do I need to worry about my mental health?

One thing we all should all do is to remain at our best selves.

Dr. Herbst explains, “everybody at this point, it’s all-new for all of us. None of us have ever been in this situation before. So it is entirely within normal that everybody is dealing with this and struggling with different parts of what we’re being put through at the moment”.

As we further live through this 6 weeks lockdown, any one of us might need guidance irrespective of our age.

No one should minimise how this is taking its toll on each and every single one of us and our children and our families. So either for adults or for our children, there is a lot of support available now”, says Dr. Herbst.

What do we do next?

According to Dr. Herbst, there are three simple ways to take charge of your mental health. She points:

Number one, make an appointment with the GP.

Number two, get a mental health plan, either for ourselves for our children.

Number three, get a referral to an appropriate psychologist or counsellor, whether it be someone who you know or have been recommended or whether you take advice from the GP.

Number four, Take that step and make the appointment.

Your GP via telehealth

Dr. Herbst’s message on telehealth:

We are very fortunate also at the moment that we can do this via telehealth – we can see the GP through telehealth and we can also if appropriate and desirable have the counselling sessions via telehealth. Some people would rather see a counsellor face to face, but others are more comfortable in doing remote sessions. So please, this is available to each and every one of us during this very, very difficult and challenging time. So if there’s any way that you feel that you could do with support, and we can all do with support right now, please see your GP. Get a mental health plan and avail yourself of the very supportive and generous offer. Our government has 20 subsidised mental health sessions during this time.

We are now taking bookings for your mental health issues.

For a GP’s consultation, you can book online or contact us at (03) 9527 4355 for further details on our telehealth services.

National Diabetes Week for a healthy and happy family, Doctors in Melbourne

National Diabetes Week: An impactful way to fight Diabetes is to raise awareness

By | Clinic News

Did you know that over 500,000 Australian are not aware of their diabetic condition? Yes, diabetes can strike you even though you don’t experience any visible symptoms and remains a huge problem in our community.

Diabetes is a medical condition where your body is unable to maintain healthy glucose levels, which can lead to both long-term and short-term medical complications and the worst part is that many Australians are silently diabetic and their symptoms are often very sudden.

This brings a huge responsibility for every one of us to educate ourselves and raise awareness of the importance of early detection and its prevention.

This July, we celebrate National Diabetes Week (12th – 18th), and we would like to encourage everyone to help our community to reduce the impact of diabetes on our medical system by visiting your doctors for tests and learning more about it.

Diabetes doesn’t see age

Diabetes can affect anyone, putting every one of us at some level of risk.  According to Diabetes Australia, an estimated 2 million Australians are currently at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and are already showing symptoms irrespective of their age.

Diabetes can be the silent killer 

Even though Diabetes is manageable, thanks to early detection, it still remains a leading cause of overall medical deaths in Australia. The death rate stands at 16.2 for every 100,000 Australian, with a higher prevalence in men than women.

Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune condition where your body reduces/stops insulin production. Regular insulin administration is almost a definite routine for people with Type 1 Diabetes apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Type 2 Diabetes which also represents almost 85% of all the Diabetes cases is a more gradual condition. This occurs when your body starts losing the capacity to produce enough insulin that can be linked to either lifestyle choices, genetics and other physical issues.

Symptoms and signs 

The symptoms for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are quite typical. Although it is difficult to see visible symbols in Type 2 Diabetes, a common list of symptoms can be realised.

  • Urinating often and feeling thirsty
  • Feeling tired and fatigued during the day
  • Feeling dizzy, suffering from headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts that heal slowly (Type 2)
  • Weight loss (Type 1)

Who may be at higher risk

  • People with a family history of Diabetes
  • People at the age of 45 and above
  • People who are overweight or obese
  • People with High Blood Pressure
  • Physical Inactivity
  • People with abnormal cholesterol levels

GPs can help in the management and early detection

Insulin shots for Type 2 Diabetes management, Diabetes Week at Inkerman Medical, Doctors in Melbourne

Your lifestyle choices go a long way to reduce the impact of diabetes on your health. Early detection and seeking help from doctors is the best way to keep yourself risk-free. Early detection means your doctors would be able to start their prediabetes management plans and diagnosis.

A diabetes educator is still the primary source of care for diabetic patients. They along with GPs play a central role in assessing your medical conditions. Usually, tests like blood tests or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test detect high glucose content in your blood. They can also help to plan a management plan to reduce the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes or at least delay it.

This July, we encourage anyone with symptoms of diabetes to visit our practice for a consultation.

If you’ve noticed changes in your general health, speak with our Diabetes Expert, Meredith Shaw for a proper assessment today. She specialises in diabetes management and has years of expertise in its management and prevention as well as educating patients.

You can book an appointment by giving us a call at (03) 9527 4355

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in Inkerman Medical Group, Doctor Toorak

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: This June, let’s learn how early screenings can help

By | Clinic News

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, an initiative observed across Australia aimed to reduce the impact of bowel cancer in our communities and help recognise the importance of its early detection. According to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia has one of the highest rates of Bowel Cancer, affecting both men and women and killing over 100 people every week. So we urge our community to proactively seek help from doctors and don’t become a statistic.

This June, we celebrate to enhance awareness and let everyone know that Bowel Cancer is still one of the most treatable forms of the disease.  Bowel cancer affects your bowel with abnormal cell growth called Polyps. Often non-cancerous they grow in the inner lining of your bowel causing noticeable bleeding in some cases. If these polyps are not removed timely, it can become cancerous and spread to nearby tissues.

One of the best diagnostics of this type of cancer is undergoing Bowel Cancer screenings regularly. We encourage everyone to consider screenings and reduce the risk of potential cancer especially if you have concerns about a change in your bowel habits.

How is Bowel Cancer detected?

The primary aim of a bowel cancer diagnosis is how early it can be detected.  According to Australian medical standards, anyone between the age of 50 to 74 should undergo a screening test.

  • Most often, a faecal immunochemical test (iFOBT) every two years is recommended. However, with the rising occurrence of bowel cancer in younger and middle-aged groups, screening is beneficial even if you don’t fall in the risk group.
  • Your GPs can perform these screenings in the medical centres and advice on further examinations according to your results. If a small amount of blood is found, further investigations and consultations are always advised by GPs.

Although bowel cancer screening can be done at your home, GPs are still the best to consult. They have a thorough understanding of the types of tests available and also its risks associated.

What are the benefits of bowel cancer screenings?

  • If your test result is positive, GPs can prepare diagnostic plans including further tests usually a colonoscopy.
  • Early detection can help GPs to discuss your case with specialists. They can discuss and provide referrals for further care services.
  • Screening also reduces the risks of being affected by cancer and you can actively take part in your own overall well-being to not suffer from bowel cancer in the future.
  • Early detection also helps in taking a crucial decision on surgeries, which specialists to visit, explore more diagnostic services and a host of other cancer-specific decisions becomes easier to take with early detection.
  • Successful recovery is almost certain if bowel cancer can be detected earlier.

So, if you are concerned with your bowel health and think you have a change in your bowel habits, it is best to visit a doctor. At our medical centre, our doctors have been successfully conducting screenings for years and have developed effective GP management plans for bowel cancer detection. If you would like to consult with our doctors, book an online appointment or contact us to speak to our friendly staff today.

A couple walking to prevent further health issues due to coronavirus lockdown

Don’t neglect your health- We have measures in place to provide a safe environment when you visit us.

By | Clinic News

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a dangerous trend is emerging whereby people are ignoring their existing health issues. As the ABC reports:

Australians are delaying lifesaving medical tests, as they heed the message to “stay at home” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

With the potential of this isolation to continue more than a few weeks, if not months it is vital that we all take care of our normal health too.

While the entire medical world is focusing on reducing the spread of the virus, there has been less attention given to the well-being of the unaffected population. We all need to take care of our health and especially take charge of our mental well-being and not overlook the consequences of this social isolation on us.

Don’t neglect your health

Woman suffering from back pain due to working from home, covid-19 affects.

 

It is a concern that many people are ignoring their health and possibly not seeking medical help during this pandemic. It is important to seek help from GPs who are the best first point of contact for your health issues. If you are already using medications, it is important to continue with your medications and visit your local doctor for referrals or prescriptions.

It would also be a bad idea to neglect your back pain or neck pain due to spending most of your time at home or even forgetting your necessary flu shots. Even neglecting simple health issues like headaches, fatigue, skin allergies can take a heavy toll on your normal day to day life. These simple issues can cause stress that can lead to major health conditions. So neglecting your health is a bad idea, and the best way to deal with it is to seek help from a doctor.

Safety measure at our medical centre.

To help our doctors and staff as well all our patients, we have placed a range of safety measures to protect and provide a safe environment for our medical services. At our centre:

  • All our doctors, staff members, and all visiting patients are screened before they enter our facility.
  • We have implemented telehealth appointments via video or phone. We use Zoom for our video consultation which is free to download. You can also read our blog on how to use Zoom here.
  • To ensure your safety, all our staff members and doctors are in uniform or scrubs and wear appropriate PPE where necessary.
  • All patients are asked to wait in their car or in the car park (weather permitting). In cold weather, we allow patients into the waiting room with social distancing measures in place.
  • We have all social distancing practices at our facility and we take extra care on following them.

It could be understandable to notice that people would fear to visit their local GPs but many centers like us now have telehealth facilities to provide you assistance remotely. We are also committed to our safety steps and keep providing our services to all patients. If you have any concerns or want to know more about what measures are in place please call our friendly staff on 03 9527 4355. You can also check our new post on what we are doing on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/InkermanMedicalGroup/.

 

Mental health issue consultation via telehealth at Inkerman Medical Centre

Don’t neglect your mental health

By | Clinic News

In this difficult time of COVID-19, as we strive to “flatten the curve”, lockdown and social distancing have proven to cause psychological distress for many of us. This crisis can affect people’s mental health in many ways. Feeling lonely, stressed about work & relationships, and boredom has become the new normal which can lead to people showing symptoms of anxiety, depression, psychosis, or even post-trauma stress disorders.    

Even though restrictions have eased somewhat, the entire Australian population is still in some kind of confinement, preventing us from accessing universities, workplaces, gyms, or parks. Social isolation affects our mental well-being that could lead to an impact on both our physical health and cognitive health. The number of people suffering from some kind of mental health issue is on the rise. Lack of social connection and the inability to move freely can magnify health risks to almost anyone in the community. While it adds extra health risks to people with known mental issues, it can also be overwhelming for people who haven’t previously suffered from anxiety or depression. If this goes untreated, it could lead to psychological issues for an extended time that may need specialist treatments.   

 

Telehealth and your mental health 

 

Telehealth services have become very effective and reliable in overcoming the barriers of social isolation. Telehealth plays a vital role to ensure the wellbeing of the affected people by making the provision to consult doctors and seek assistance remotely. 

In an effort to extend our support to the community, we have established a robust telehealth consulting facility as well as in-clinic visits for all our patients to seek help with your mental health issues. Our GPs are qualified and have years of experience in providing the first contact assistance to your mental health problems. They have the know-how of the local mental health services and they work with other doctors at our centre to provide a more comprehensive care plan to you. 

Don’t want to use telehealth?

That’s fine, we are open and you can come in for an appointment at the clinic.

If you are a GP/health care worker or admin in a healthcare setting then the local Primary health network has offered 3 sessions for free. Follow the link to find out more Feeling stressed? SEMPHN is offering free support for general practice staff

 

To make an appointment with our GPs, you can visit our Book Online page or give us a call at (03) 9527 4355.