A senior assessment is a comprehensive evaluation designed to optimize an older person’s ability to enjoy good health, improve overall quality of life, reduce the need for hospitalization or institutionalization, and enable him or her to live independently for as long as possible.
Often what looks like Alzheimer’s or dementia may be the result of medication interactions or other health problems.A senior assessment helps determine the root cause so the right treatment can begin. An in-depth senior assessment may include any of the following:
A board-certified geriatrician takes a medical history, reviews all medications—both prescribed and those taken over-the-counter— and performs a complete physical examination. The physical examination includes an eye exam and hearing assessment with referral for a full audiological evaluation, if necessary.
This assessment by a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist includes a thorough psychiatric history,mental status evaluation, and specific assessment tools to diagnose depression, anxiety,memory impairment, behavioral problems, and other psychological symptoms.
A licensed clinical social worker completes a psycho-social assessment to identify the individual’s social support system. The social worker also explores the emotional impact of illness on the patient and family, and the best way to cope with medical issues.
A senior assessment team conducts a summary conference with family members to discuss the results of the senior assessment. The team explains the diagnosis and makes recommendations regarding further tests and treatment options to the primary care physician. The team provides educational materials about resources available in the community to assist with additional support. Issues regarding living wills, advance medical directives, and power of attorney are also discussed.
A follow-up call is made to assist with any of the initial recommendations and to answer any questions. The team will also coordinate additional family meetings to further assist with services, support, and intervention.