Gather Relevant Information About the Person With Dementia

Meet in person or by telephone with the Person Responsible and family to identify issues of concern for the family, and to explain how the meeting will be run. Obtain the family's written consent and gather their input on items to discuss using the family consent and agenda items form (147kb pdf) and ask for it to be returned before the case conference.

Meet with any care staff who know the person well to identify issues for inclusion. In aged care, encourage all staff to contribute by placing the Staff Communication sheet (196kb pdf) in the resident's file. Identify the most appropriate team members to present the information at the case conference.


Formal assessments validate information about the person’s current clinical condition where family may otherwise dismiss staff’s appraisals of functioning as subjective.

Where the person with dementia is unable to communicate verbally, observations of symptoms/signs and of the person’s behaviour are key to identifying symptoms and planning care to relieve them. Some of the symptoms will have signs that nurses and carers can observe and measure. Important symptoms to consider are pain, shortness of breath, delirium (acute change in cognition), and general signs of distress.

Depending on the clinical need the following assessment could be considered.

Last updated 20 September 2015