What does Sherlock Holmes have to do with a geriatric assessment? A written geriatric assessment is a report that tells family or at times a probate court how to solve an older person’s very serious, pressing problem.
In order to solve the elder’s problem, the geriatric or aging life care manager, uses a method detectives use to solve a crime.
Just as detectives meticulously sift through clues, leave no stone unturned to make certain all the evidence
is taken into account before reaching conclusions, so does the geriatric care manager. Like Sherlock Holmes, GCMs conducting a geriatric assessment must strive to make sure all facts have been gathered and examined, both individually and in combination with one another, before writing a report and developing a care plan.
A comprehensive assessment is essential to provide the right services at the right time. Older people often have complex health problems. Elders have cognitive and affective problems that make history taking difficult. They react strongly to medication, are frequently socially isolated, and can be economically compromised. If a comprehensive assessment is not done, older people may be at risk for premature or inappropriate institutionalization.
The geriatric assessment should be done by an experienced care manager. This person is usually either a registered nurse (RN) or human services professional such as a gerontologist or social worker They should have several years of experience in their field plus be certified or licensed in their discipline.
A team approach involving an RN and a social worker can be very effective, but a non-RN GCM using a functional assessment tool can gather both the health and psychosocial information needed for a comprehensive assessment.
The first step the aging life or geriatric care manager takes in a basic geriatric assessment, looking at the client’s physical and mental health and social, spiritual, economic, functional, and environmental status. Much like Sherlock Holmes or his new sleuthing wife, Mary Russell , you observe the clients through the lens of a magnifying glass, which is the GCM’s assessment tools.
Learn more about creating a care plan, doing multiple assessments and writing a geriatric assessment in my free webinar ‘ Writing a Winning Geriatric Assessment ” January 25 . Get 1.5 CEU’s from NACCM Sign-up . In the meanwhile watch my You Tube Channel- Geriatric Care 1 and the segment on merging multiple into one care plan and writing a geriatric assessment.