Memory Clinic at St John of God Kildare Services


The St John of God Kildare Services Memory Clinic was established in 2013 to coordinate the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support of service users with and at risk of dementia. The purpose of the Clinic is to provide a memory assessment and dementia support consultation service for adult service users with intellectual disabilities and their families and carers. In line with best practice guidelines for the care of older adults with intellectual disabilities (British Psychological Society and Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015), a primary aim of the clinic is to provide baseline cognitive assessments for all adults with Down syndrome over the age of 30. The risk of dementia is significantly higher in people with Down syndrome, and screening is recommended in order to support early detection of any concerns and facilitate intervention to improve quality of life. Adult service users without Down syndrome are also seen for assessment on a referral basis.

Assessments are carried out by members of the Psychology and Psychiatry Departments. These involve cognitive assessments with the service user to directly assess memory and other cognitive abilities, as well as interviews with staff or family carers to assess for any observed changes in daily functioning or behaviour. Cognitive assessments are conducted in a relaxed and supportive manner, and are usually experienced as positive by our service users. A multidisciplinary meeting is held monthly (involving disciplines of psychiatry, psychology and nursing), where assessment findings are reviewed, diagnosis considered, and recommendations made regarding interventions and support plans. The clinic also provides an information and education resource for service users, family carers and staff.

Queries regarding the Memory Clinic can be addressed to Dr Seán Shanahan, Principal Clinical Psychologist (01-6288161).


British Psychological Society and Royal College of Psychiatrists (2015). Dementia and People with Learning Disabilities: Guidance on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support of people with learning disabilities who develop dementia. London: BPS/RCP.

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