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Double Take: Dementia Pathways Tool successfully launched in South East Melbourne

29 April 2015

During April 2015 the South Eastern Melbourne Dementia Pathways Tool was officially launched to an audience of local primary health care workers. The Dementia Pathways Tool provides general practitioners and practice nurses with online information, resources and local contact information to assist with the diagnosis, early intervention and management of patients with dementia.

This is the second Dementia Pathways Tool with the initial version developed in 2013 for health practitioners in the Grampians. Interest in developing a similar Tool for South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (SEMML) has led to collaboration with Federation University (Federation University) culminating in the launch of a customised Dementia Pathways Tool, available via the SEMML website, and comprising core content, contextualised to the local region.

The Dementia Pathways Tool provides both regions with a comprehensive yet intuitive web-based repository of dementia-related information, tools, service directories and resources and unlike many other resources, is publicly available. This enables community access to information about dementia that may be of relevance, such as family and carer support, financial and legal issues, driving capabilities, powers of attorney etc.

The expanded adoption of the Dementia Pathways Tool is timely given the increasing prevalence of the disease. Currently over 340,000 Australians have dementia with the incidence rates expected to increase to over 900,000 by 2050 (Alzheimers Australia, 2015).

National disease data now identifies dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as the second leading cause of death in Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, 2015). With dementia declared a National Health Priority, major funding has been committed by the federal government towards dementia research.

The collaborative development of the SEMML Tool included the original partner group (the Grampians Region Dementia Advisory group), along with the SEMML Aged Care Advisory Group, Dementia Pathway Working group. Together they have guided the development of the latest version of the Tool with updates to the content having also occurred in consultation with Associate Prof Mark Yates, from the Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service Ballarat Health Services and Deakin University.  

A recent Federation University evaluation of the Grampians Dementia Pathways Tool confirmed positive feedback from GPs and practice nurses. Similar research will be undertaken in coming months to further understand how the adoption of the Tool in South Eastern Melbourne is proving beneficial to practitioners and enhancing the pathways for dementia care.

The SEMML Dementia Pathways Tool is available

The Grampians Dementia Pathways Tool is available

For further information about these projects, please contact:

Dr Helen Thompson, Director, CeRDI, Email:

Ms Elaine McDonnell, Aged Care Project Officer, SEMML: Email:;  


ABS (2015).  Causes of death, Australia 2013. Available at:

Alzheimers Australia (2015). Summary of Dementia Statistics in Australia. Available at: 

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