Your dad prides himself on being active and independent – always the life of the party. But lately you’ve noticed he is becoming forgetful, showing signs of depression and is losing interest in doing the things he loves. While life’s later years can be active and satisfying, sometimes obstacles arise.
Complex health or social problems can make life more difficult than it should be. Fortunately, the physicians and staff of the Washington University Older Adult Assessment Program provide comprehensive assessments and recommendations for older adults and their families.
Difficulties can include:
♦ Memory loss and confusion
♦ Depression and anxiety
♦ Osteoporosis and falls
♦ Medication complications and side effects
♦ Poor appetite and weight loss
♦ Decreased ability to perform daily activities
♦ Concerns about living situations
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
David Carr, MD, the clinical director of the program explains, “A complete evaluation of the individual’s health is the first step. This involves two appointments with our geriatric experts at the Center for Advanced Medicine.
We use the first appointment to gather information and develop a plan of care. During the second appointment we present the plan of care to the individual and his or her family.”
EVALUATION: The evaluation has three major parts:
Medical assessment: Complete medical history, provided by the family physician, will be reviewed and discussed at the first appointment.
Functional assessment: explores the individual’s ability to function independently and the potentialfor additional services. Objective, standardized tests are used and include memory and physical performance screenings.
Mental, emotional and social assessments: Explore the individual’s feelings and mood, living situation, level of activity and/or caregiving issues.
Based on the evaluation, a care plan is developed. According to Dr. Carr, “The clinical team members review the findings of the evaluation, and explain the recommended care plan to all at a family conference. We are committed to promoting the independence and well-being of older adults with compassion and expert care.”
A complete written assessment summary is provided and is also sent to the individual’s primary care physician.
WE WORK WITH PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS
An individual’s primary care physician will always be the best source of ongoing care. We will be available for consultation and can assist the primary care physician with the management of certain problems, such as:
♦ Memory loss
♦ Difficulty performing daily activities
♦ Behavioral disturbances
Medicare and major insurance companies generally cover most of the charges associated with the assessment. We accept Medicare Assignment. You should confirm specific coverage with your insurance carrier.
If you or a family member has complex health problems and is at least 60 years old, we can help address your concerns.
For more information, please call 314-286-2700, option 2. Patients are seen at the Center for Advanced Medicine, Medicine Multispecialty Center, 4921 Parkview Place, Suite 5C.