What’s a comprehensive dementia assessment?
The purpose of the comprehensive dementia assessment is to identify the abilities the individual with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or a related form of dementia has lost as well as those that remain.
My approach during the evaluation is intentionally conversational in style. That is, I am skilled in engaging individuals with dementia by speaking about topics of interest and importance. In this way, they feel understood and more comfortable than barraging them with clinical questions.
I collect information on how well individuals function as well as medical history, history of falls, mental health and social capabilities. The evaluation includes an assessment of the individual’s activities of daily living (adl), functional level of personal care, medication management regimen, history of interests and hobbies.
The comprehensive assessment also includes input from family members, especially the primary caregiver. Input regarding history of cognitive decline, relevant past illnesses and recent life changes is obtained. Information is collected to determine both the level of understanding of the causes and progression of dementia as well as the current skills required to render effective meaningful dementia care. The caregiver’s availability to continue social, recreational, and health needs are also evaluated.
The results of a comprehensive assessment provide the basis for the design of meaningful care plans, document the need for appropriate services, and result in optimal dementia care.