About the Sam and Ida Ross memory clinic
Memory and other changes may occur as a result of normal aging, or may be due to a number of different medical or emotional problems. At the Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic in the Brain Health Complex, Kimel Family Building, at Baycrest, our health-care team can help determine whether or not there is a problem and what can be done to help. Each patient is seen by a team of specialists depending on their needs.
“What makes us unique is that we expend as many resources as possible under Baycrest’s roof,” explains Dr. Tiffany Chow, a clinician-scientist with Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute. “This means that someone walking into the Ross Memory Clinic is immediately adopted into a team with expertise in handling the patient’s needs for diagnosis, treatment and referrals to other experts and programs, and the caregiver’s needs for counselling, support and education.
“Unlike many clinical specialists who see patients with dementia and don’t have multidisciplinary resources available, the first visit with us in the Memory Clinic can last 2-3 hours because we get as much of the team involved from the get-go as possible,” she adds. “Each client can rest assured that he or she has many experts in care and management on his or her side.
“In addition to those long first evaluations, the team meets weekly to discuss how our clients are doing and what can be done to optimize their quality of life and management plan. Other clinics generally don’t have the time or the manpower to offer the services that are offered at our Ross Memory Clinic.
“As a result, clients often want to stay with us instead of returning to the referring practices,” Dr. Chow adds. “Having a wide range of programs at Baycrest is definitely a strength. We have access to Day Programs, and an in-patient neurobehavioural unit where medication adjustments can be made under closer observation, and of course, our Apotex Centre [home for the aged].”
Frank Lochan, whose wife is a client in the clinic, appreciates not only the care his wife is getting but also the support available to him. “I think the clinic is great. There’s a willingness to try things. Dr. Chow is sympathetic, keeps us informed and refers us to other health-care specialists as she sees appropriate. I have joined a caregiver support group which I find very helpful.”
Research also plays an important role in the clinic. There are many clinical trials taking place and many outpatients, as well as their caregivers participate.
Mr. Lochan’s wife recently completed a clinical drug trial at Baycrest. “My view is that any research project is worthwhile. Even though it may not help my wife, someone else may benefit from it down the road,” he explains.
Dr. Chow believes that participation in research has helped many families bring meaning to the dementia diagnosis of a loved one. “They feel good knowing that they are helping advance research in dementia for others who will go through this painful process in the future.
“Many people want to be cared for in a facility that is cutting edge. In order to be cutting edge, you need to be involved in research,” says Dr. Chow. “Here at Baycrest clinicians are leading the way in research on memory disorders.”
If you would like more information about our research projects, please visit Research at Baycrest website.