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Get the most out of a GP assessment

The GP or practice nurse will ask about when the changes started and how they impact on day-to-day life.

GP taking notes during patient assessment

What to expect from a GP assessment

A GP assessment might take several appointments. The GP or practice nurse will ask about:

The GP will also conduct a physical examination and organise blood tests (see Tests and investigations). They will ask questions to test memory and thinking. They might also ask to speak to a family member.

You will usually need to return to the GP when they have the test results. The GP will explain their findings and discuss what happens next.

At the appointment to discuss test results, the GP may:

Get written information and ask questions

Get further advice if needed

Some people with dementia have told us that their GP initially dismissed their concerns about changes as ‘part of ageing’.

If you are not satisfied with how GP responds to your concerns, ask them to refer you to a specialist such a geriatrician or memory clinic. You could also try visiting another GP for a second opinion.

Ask for a management plan

A GP should help ensure you get the treatments and other supports you need. The GP should:

Phil Hazell, who is living with dementia, describes his relationship with his GP in this short Dementia Australia video:

What’s next?

In this article, you’ve learned what to expect from a GP assessment. Try next: