The individual patient

For the individual patient make sure that all his or her various needs have been assessed by the appropriate specialist. Close liaison with the general practitioner is, of course, essential. Vigilance is important: the doctor must be constantly alert to the possibility that a change in behaviour is due to poor vision or hearing, or pain or infection, or other medical problems. Indeed, a strategy for ensuring regular check-ups of teeth, eyesight, and hearing, as well as general health may be appropriate.

Case conferences, particularly if the patient is living in the community, are necessary to ensure that all agencies know what is being done and to identify unmet needs. These conferences will facilitate liaison with social services who, in the United Kingdom at least, play a large part in case management, and can be expected to undertake a community care assessment.

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