As Canada’s population ages, dementia diagnoses are on the rise—there are currently 564 000 Canadians living with dementia, and 25 000 new cases are diagnosed every year. A diagnosis of dementia, known as “the disease of a thousand goodbyes,” is life altering for patients, their families, and their caregivers, and creates a need for support and guidance as they help their loved one navigate their dementia journey.
As a patient’s disease progresses, family members often turn to GPs for information and resources. To ensure doctors are equipped with all the necessary information to support patients and their families through these conversations, the Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice created the Dementia Roadmap for Practitioners and the Dementia Roadmap for Families as part of their work on the GPSC Residential Care Initiative.
The Dementia Roadmaps are the brainchild of Dr Trevor Janz, a local physician and member of the Kootenay Boundary Division. Dr Janz theorized that if GPs were able to educate families about signposts (the events and incidents that may occur as a result of symptoms) to look for over the course of their loved one’s dementia journey, they would be better equipped to understand what happens during each stage of the disease, and provide the best care possible as these changes unfold.
Both the family roadmap and the practitioner roadmap split the progression of dementia into four stages:
- Early dementia
- Middle dementia
- Late dementia
- Actively dying
For each stage, readers are provided with a list of symptoms and impacts that may be displayed by the patient at that stage of disease, followed by a list of potential signposts. The practitioner roadmap then provides a list of questions physicians may ask family members about their loved one’s safety and comfort, and a list of treatments and next steps. The roadmap for families and caregivers provides advice and suggestions for keeping their loved one safe and comfortable.
In the spirit of collaboration, the Kootenay Boundary Division has made the Dementia Roadmaps available for distribution by other divisions and communities. Over 1500 copies have been distributed in communities in Kootenay Boundary and East Kootenay; in the Abbotsford, South Okanagan Similkameen, and Vancouver Divisions of Family Practice; and in the community of Camrose in Alberta.
The Dementia Roadmap for Practitioners and the Dementia Roadmap for Families are available on the Kootenay Boundary Division website at www.divisionsbc.ca/kb/residentialcare.
Divisions and physicians who wish to distribute the Dementia Roadmaps may contact email@example.com for permission to do so.
Director, Community Partnership and Integration
This article is the opinion of the GPSC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.
1. Alzheimer Society Canada. Dementia numbers in Canada. Accessed 11 July 2018. http://alzheimer.ca/en/Home/About-dementia/What-is-dementia/Dementia-numbers.
2. General Practice Services Committee. Residential Care. Accessed 11 July 2018. www.gpscbc.ca/what-we-do/longitudinal-care/residential-care.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org