People 65 years and older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. It is anticipated that the number of older adults with mental and behavioral health problems will almost quadruple by the year 2030.
Everyone grows older— and many people face mental and physical health issues as they reach their senior years.
For those with memory problems and dementia, this process can be particularly difficult. It is important to recognize the early signs of dementia, for the greatest chance of success in treatment, improving quality of life, and managing emotions.
Some of the key aspects to recognizing and treating dementia include: neuropsychological testing, neurocognitive assessment, and establishing a care plan from a psychologist after diagnosis.
Pica & Associates offers the following testing & services from our Certified Dementia Practitioner:
Neuropsychological testing is designed to measure the health of the brain, and how it relates to thinking skills and behavior. This type of testing includes multiple domains of functioning including: attention, language, spacial, memory, and executive.
Neuropsychological testing helps with:
Diagnosis- cognitive changes due to illness, neurological problems, & underlying mood disorder
Determining cognitive strengths & weaknesses after a stroke or brain trauma
Establishing a baseline- after stroke, brain injury, re-exam for improvements, or re- examine for progressing dementia to modify medications
Aiding with treatment planning & intervention- focus on rehab and ways to strengthen or compensate
Informing level of care needed: independent living, assisted living, nursing care, or home health services
Neurocognitive assessment helps to evaluate how the brain is able to process aspects such as pattern recognition, perception, and hand-eye coordination. While neurocognitive assessment can be used in a variety of settings including evaluating a sports player after concussion, this type of testing in older adults can help to detect the early signs of dementia.
When to use neurocognitive assessment:
Encepholopathy, toxic chemical exposure
Chronic substance abuse
Assess for dementia
Vascular or cardiac disorders
For further questions about Geriatric & Dementia services, feel free to contact Dr. Shalayska by phone: (630) 549-6497 x 707, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Source: Taken from “Psychology and Aging”, the American Psychological Association.