At WellSpan Geriatrics, our board certified geriatricians will conduct a geriatric assessment, which is a comprehensive evaluation designed to assess changing physical and mental health. The goal of the assessment is to improve overall quality of life, reduce the need for hospitalization and/or institutionalization and enable the patient to live independently for as long as possible. By conducting a comprehensive evaluation, our experienced specialists will be able to plan the correct course of care. We will look at the following:
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the health changes listed above, ask your physician to refer you for a geriatric assessment. Once a referral is made, an appointment will be scheduled for you. Prior to the first appointment, the patient, family member or caregiver will be asked to complete an initial questionnaire. In addition, the patient may be asked to come to WellSpan Geriatrics for cognitive testing by our social worker.
At the first physician office visit, the healthcare team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation that includes a complete medical and social history, mental status testing, physical examination and nutritional review. This appointment is scheduled for one hour. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the appointment. The team may suggest other diagnostic tests that may reveal the cause of symptoms including blood work, x-rays and brain imaging (MRI or CT scan). The doctor may also suggest consultation with other medical specialists, such as physical therapy. A home safety evaluation may also be requested.
Approximately two weeks later the patient will be scheduled for a family conference. At the family conference, the physician will discuss the findings with the patient and caregivers and review the diagnoses and recommendations for treatment. Families receive practical suggestions for the care of their loved one that will hopefully improve the patients' and families' quality of life. Upon completion of the assessment, the patient may be asked to attend follow up appointments at three to six-month intervals.
Following the evaluation, WellSpan Geriatrics will supply the referring physician with a written summary of results and recommendations.