A geriatric assessment is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary assessment designed to evaluate an older person's functional ability, physical health, cognition and mental health, and socioenvironmental circumstances. It is usually initiated when a family member or primary care physician identifies a potential problem. Specific elements of such an assessment include the evaluation of the individual's functional, cognitive, psychological and medical status. The geriatric assessment aids in the diagnosis of medical, and more specifically, neurological conditions. Furthermore, the assessment leads to the development of treatment and follow-up plans; coordination of management of care; and evaluation of long-term care needs and optimal placement. The geriatric assessments completed at The Neuropsych Center of Greater Cincinnati differ from other geriatric assessments provided locally in that they include the use of a formal neuropsychological evaluation, the most sensitive evaluation tool for distinguishing mild cognitive changes caused by normal aging versus underlying cognitive deterioration not deemed "normal". Furthermore, neuropsychological testing is the most sensitive tool for distinguishing between different types of cognitive impairment or dementias. The geriatric assessment performed at this Center also includes a medical evaluation, review of medications, psychological clinical interview and a family interview. Results of the assessment usually yield a more complete and relevant list of cognitive issues, medical problems, functional problems, and psychosocial issues. Because of the demands of a busy clinical practice, most geriatric assessments tend to be more comprehensive and can provide valuable information to primary care physicians such that they can provide better care for their geriatric patients.
Geriatric Assessment //
Neuropsychological assessment can aid in the diagnosis and management of patients with dementia or other psychiatric and neurological disorders. Neuropsychological assessment is the standardized administration of cognitive tests and the individualized interpretation of the results of these tests to form conclusions about brain-behavior relationships and brain function.
A typical neuropsychological evaluation for a patient will last 1 or 2 hours, depending on the patient’s tolerance, and will involve standardized testing of memory, attention, processing speed, language, visual-spatial skills, executive functioning, and motor skills. By examining the patient’s pattern of performance on these tests, neuropsychologists can help specify both the type of dementia experienced by the patient and the prognosis.
Neuropsychological testing has been recommended by the American Academy of Neurology since 1996 for patients who may be experiencing cognitive deterioration perhaps the result of a type of dementia. Guidelines published by the American Academy of Neurology note that neuropsychological testing “is particularly valuable in distinguishing between normal aging and mild dementias.” Furthermore, neuropsychological testing has been found to be the most sensitive means to determine the type of cognitive impairment or dementia.
Neuropsychological testing can help develop individualized strategies that the patient and caregivers can use to manage specific deficits. Repeated neuropsychological testing can track the progression of the dementia and can also assess the effectiveness of medications or other rehabilitative strategies.
COMPONENTS OF A TYPICAL ASSESSMENT
-Completion of pre-assessment Background Information questionnaires
-Psychological Clinical Interview
-Formal Neuropsychological Evaluation
-Review of Medications
-Assessment Feedback Session
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
-How long does the assessment take?
We generally say to allot 3 to 3 1/2 hours for the entire assessment including the feedback session, although this just an estimate.
-How long does it take to get the report?
It generally takes between 2 to 3 weeks to get the written assessment.
-What do we need to bring to the assessment?
Completed paperwork we sent to you (unless there was not enough time for us to get it to you), your insurance cards, and a list of medications. You can also bring any copies of medical records which you may feel are relevant.
-Who should come to the assessment?
We leave that up to you, keeping in mind that it is often helpful to have someone accompany the patient who knows them well and has fairly regular day to day contact with the patient.
-Does my insurance pay for the assessment?
We are traditional Medicare providers and Medicare pays 80% of the assessment. For other Medicare Advantage products we are covered by many of them, but it is the responsibility of the patient to ensure coverage before the appointment. We do not have the staff availability to assure coverage before the assessment.