Saturday, January 24, 2009

Geriatric Assessment

The absolute need for geriatric assessments is documented. Seniors are at great risk for falls and hip fractures, which result in needless hospitalizations. There are many uses for such tests, including weeding out drivers who should no longer be on the road.

We test and assess babies for noral development, surely we should be determining if seniors are at risk. If they have gait and balance issues, mechanical supports can be put in place. If we have seen 'failure to thrive' in babies, chances are that our seniors are at risk when they face the death of a spouse, friends, and their old life as they knew it. Depression is a difficult issue, and often hidden in labels and classifications such as "Sundowner Syndrome".

Many assessment are available. Seniors take up much time of the medical profession, with many comorbidities, but they save time and promote wellness.

Individualized assessments

Goal Attainment Scaling

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
ADL Scale
Lawton-Brody assessment

Gait & Balance
TUG test (pdf): Timed up and go
Berg Balance Scale (BBS)

Cognitive Functioning

Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)
Clock Drawing Test - (GAS form )

Geriatric Depression Scale
Assessment Scale for Depression (EBAS-DEP)
Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia

Medical Complexity
Cumulative Illness Rating Scale
Rand MOS Measures
Quality of Life Measures in Dementia
Assessment of Chronic Care

There are other tests, such as those that quantify health status and quality of life for those sent home from hospital, or the doctor's office, with few or no measures in place to support them, other than adult children or seniors.

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