CDAMS is a specialist diagnostic clinic for people with early cognitive changes or concerns about memory loss. CDAMS provides:

  • Expert clinical diagnosis and treatment
  • Assessment of the impact of any impairment within a home or other familiar environment
  • Feedback, education, support, short-term counselling, family therapy and advice
  • Referral for appropriate investigations via a general practitioner or principal care provider
  • Referral, if appropriate, of clients or carers to other service providers.

CDAMS provides an initial assessment that may include a visit to the home or familiar environment. When appropriate, a series of medical, neuro-imaging and neuropsychological assessment will be conducted by CDAMS.

A GP referral is required for CDAMS assessment. This should include results of a dementia screen: CT Brain, bloods, MMSE or equivalent.

Referral to CDAMS is appropriate where:

  • Early dementia diagnosis is the primary reason for referral (rather than testamentary capacity, carer stress, functional issues or abuse)

Please note: CDAMS does not provide capacity assessment or general cognitive assessment/ Neuropsychological assessment only

  • Cognitive changes have been observed over months/years
  • The person shows cognitive changes, such as short term memory loss, word finding difficulties and mild changes in ability to perform everyday tasks
  • Multidisciplinary and comprehensive assessment is required for diagnosis
  • Specialist diagnosis is required for consideration of medication to manage symptoms of dementia
  • The person is medically stable in the community and has not had a recent hospitalisation within the past 3 months where delirium has occurred which may be the cause of cognition changes
  • The person is physically able to attend centre based appointments and can tolerate a 1.5 – 2 hour intensive appointment
  • The person agrees to attend or can be persuaded by family/carer
  • The person is community-dwelling

  • People with recent changes to cognition.
    • Acute changes for community-dwelling people may indicate need for assessment by GP or Emergency Department as they may indicate other causes of cognitive changes.
    • Consider referral to Complex Care Clinic for admitted patient/recently discharged patients with onset of cognitive deterioration which has occurred over last few days or weeks
    • If cognitive decline was noted prior to the hospital admission, the discharge plan should include request to the GP to refer client to CDAMS 3-6 months post discharge once the delirium has stabilized
  • People without formal dementia diagnosis but displaying moderate to severe symptoms of dementia. Consider referral to Complex Care Clinic for people with symptoms of more advanced dementia such as:
    • disorientation within home or familiar environment
    • requiring assistance with personal care
    • neglecting nutrition
  • People with complex psychiatric conditions in addition to cognitive changes. An initial referral should be made to the appropriate psychiatric service (eg. Aged Person’s Mental Health Service). Referral to CDAMS  following this review may be accepted if still required following psychiatric assessment
  • People with longstanding cognitive impairment (stroke/ABI/intellectual disability) are not generally eligible unless there are new changes suggesting emergence of a neurodegenerative disorder
  • People under the age of 50 complaining of memory problems in the context of stress, anxiety, depression or where other psychiatric conditions may be the cause
  • People who are actively abusing of drugs and/or alcohol
  • People whose diagnosis is already confirmed (e.g. Dementia, Huntington’s Disease, ABI, Stroke etc.)
  • People whose diagnosis is known and where behavioural or psychological disturbance is the primary issue
  • People requiring neuropsychological assessment only

There is a cost for our service, which we will explain to you when we call to discuss your treatment plan.

We understand that covering the cost of health can be hard, even if you received the service in a public hospital. If you are worried that you may not be able to pay, please contact Patient Revenue Services to talk through your situation.

Eastern Health CDAMS provides an interdisciplinary service that includes Geriatricians, Neuropsychology, Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Nursing and Social Work.

Eastern Health Wantirna


251 Mountain Highway, Wantirna South, 3152


Ph: (03) 9955 1230

Fax: (03) 9955 1388


Monday, Thursday and Friday

Frequently Asked Questions

Some people notice mild changes in their memory or thinking as part of normal ageing, or in times of stress or related to being medically unwell. These changes may be normal. When changes in memory and thinking are getting worse over time and begin to impact on day-to-day life, an assessment of memory and thinking may be appropriate.

There are many causes of memory loss or changes in thinking. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Depression, anxiety/stress
  • Neurological disorders such as Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Side effects of medication
  • Vitamin deficiency

Dementia – such as Alzheimer’s disease – may also be the reason for changes in memory or thinking