The Value of a Geriatric Assessment

The challenge of caring for our aging parent(s) can be very frightening.  For me, it was hard to accept that my mom wasn’t as mentally sharp as the previous year, she wasn’t as fresh looking, and she tended to forget our short term conversations.  I wanted her to stay in the family home and be her “old independent self.”  However, I knew that it was time to take a comprehensive assessment of her physical and mental status.

Her primary care physician recommended a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment; (CGA) a CGA is defined as a multidisciplinary diagnostic and treatment process that identifies medical, psychosocial, and functional limitations of a frail older person.  The outcome of the assessment is a coordinated plan to maximize overall health and aging.  Many CGA programs have an interdisciplinary approach for care with a core team consisting of a physician, nurse, and social worker.

I was fortunate to have my mother assessed at the St. Vincent Center for Healthy Aging.  In Indiana, The Center for Health Aging is a statewide leader in geriatric services with more than 20 years of experience.  During my mother’s assessment, they evaluated the following areas:

  • Functional capacity
  • Fall risk
  • Cognition
  • Mood
  • Pharmacies/Medication management
  • Social support
  • Living situation
  • Nutrition
  • Depression/Anxiety

After her half-day of testing, we returned a month later with my mother to learn the results of her testing.  It was wonderful to have the extensive medical support.   The Center of Healthy Aging presented their recommendations to our family in a manner that reduced the anxieties that we felt from the physical, social, and emotional changes we observed with our mother.

In addition, my mother was eager to accept their recommendations because it was a team of healthcare providers.   The cost of the service was covered under my mom’s traditional Medicare A benefit with the exception of $80.00.  I highly recommend looking for a geriatrician in your area and schedule a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment.  To find out more about the St. Vincent Center for Healthy Aging in Indiana call (317) 338-7780.


About the author

I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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