Second memory clinic to open in Moscow this summer

Second memory clinic to open in Moscow this summer
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
A ‘memory clinic (rehabilitation clinic) will open in eastern Moscow in August. The special outpatient department of the district out-patient clinic will not only treat minor disorders but instruct patients how to take care of themselves and to live and work with memory loss. The classes and appointments will be carried out by psychiatrists, gerontologists, psychologists as well as (behavioural) therapists. The clinic will be free for senior citizens, stroke patients or those people suffering from other diseases that affected their ability to memorise and remember things. All treatment will be available without hospitalisation on a daytime visit basis.

The city’s second medical institution of this type will open in August in eastern Moscow. A special department of Gannushkin Psychiatric Clinical Hospital No. 4 will be based at District Outpatient Clinic No. 191 in Pervomaiskaya Street. Professional help and treatment will be available for stroke patients or people suffering from cerebral vessel diseases as well as memory disorders (dementia).

“This is the second clinic in Moscow treating people with memory problems. In early 2017, the first clinic opened for senior citizens with first signs of cognitive disorder at 3 Palikha Street, Bldg 3. The clinic offers training for memory preservation and even restoration, communications and self-care skills,” Georgy Kostyuk, Chief Psychiatrist of Moscow’s Healthcare Department and Chief Doctor of Alekseyev Psychiatric Hospital No. 1, commented. 

Memory loss specialists will not only provide medication treatment but also help people to adapt to their condition. In addition to coaching, the patients will have one-on-one sessions, therapy, physical therapy as well as meals, personal care and regular checkups. Doctors will teach them how to behave and take care of themselves at home when memory loss has already set in .They will be instructed on how to preserve and develop cognitive functions. They will also be told how to stay active as well as how best to deal with memory loss on a daily basis.

“Classes and appointments are led by gerontologists, psychiatrists, behavioural therapists and psychologists. They are free and available during the day without the need of hospitalisation. Most of the classes are held in groups so that patients could communicate and discuss common problems. Knowing what others go through, they will not think that these problems are a personal drama anymore. The programme requires daily attendance,” said Larisa Burygina, Chief Doctor of Gannushkin Psychiatric Clinical Hospital No. 4.

Now primary care physicians and general practitioners will be able to re-direct their patients with alarming symptoms to a memory clinic. In fact, to get treatment at the new clinic, patients are not required to first visit a GP. The clinic is not tied to any specific neighbourhood in Moscow and any resident can request help. The clinic can treat 50 patients at any given time. The pilot project on creating psychiatric dispensary modules based at city outpatient clinics for their registered patients was launched in 2017. The ambulant module of Alekseyev Clinical Hospital No. 1 was the first to be opened in Branch 6 of the Outpatient Diagnostic Clinic No. 121 in Yuzhnoye Butovo.

The Moscow healthcare system is to a large extent aimed at supporting, rehabilitating and training patients in addition to giving treatment itself. For example, Moscow doctors teach special courses and classes for patients with chronic diseases and their families to help them deal with serious health conditions. Pirogov Clinical Hospital No. 1 (First City Hospital) has opened a school for patients awaiting knee or hip replacement operations where they will learn what they should and should not do after the procedure.

Municipal Clinical Hospital No. 13 offers courses for patients with osteoporosis. Free training courses are available to anyone interested in osteoporosis treatment, regardless of their relation to the disease. Doctors will speak about osteoporosis prevention and how to avoid recurring fractures.

Inozemtsev Municipal Clinical Hospital started free training on quality post-hospital care for relatives of critically ill patients.