When Should You Push for a Geriatric Assessment?

Elderly man in home with care provider or survey taker in kitchenTo learn more about the geriatric assessment at Advocare, visit HERE. As Professional Care Managers, we provide geriatric assessments throughout South Florida. 

Navigating the maze of eldercare options can be challenging. A geriatric assessment can help you figure out the level of care your loved one needs.

“The phrase geriatric assessment is a bit confusing,” says Norbert “Bert” Rahl, director of mental health services at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging.

Sometimes an assessment looks at just one issue that’s causing problems for a loved one. For instance:

  • If you are concerned about your mother’s physical status, the medications she is taking or how she is (or isn’t) managing a chronic condition, a physical assessment may be in order.
  • If your father has mobility issues and you’re worried about how well he is (or isn’t ) getting around on his own, he may need a functional assessment.
  • If you are worried about the psychological and emotional well-being of your loved one, a mental health assessment could be helpful.
  • If your aging relative is displaying issues with memory, decision making and financial management skills, a cognitive assessment should be scheduled.

Or, to get the whole-person “picture” of what’s going on, Rahl suggests a comprehensive assessment, which looks at all those things and how they are interacting and overlapping in your older loved one’s life.

A comprehensive assessment could be coordinated by your loved one’s primary care physician. However, since these assessments require the skills and expertise of a team of specialists, they are best coordinated by a geriatrician: a physician who has trained and specialized in the care and treatment of older adults.

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