A geriatric assessment can help you figure out the level of care your loved one needs.
Taking a team approach can net the best results for your parents
By Eileen Beal, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, for Next Avenue
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.