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This webinar presents core competencies needed for the assessment and diagnosis of cognitive impairment in older adults. Common clinical case presentations of memory problems are subtle in onset, often with a lack of patient awareness, which can result in under-diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and a delay in care management. In addition, normal age-related changes in memory may be misdiagnosed as dementia. The prevalence of dementia in late life is age-related, increasing particularly after age 85. The different causes of dementia include vascular disease and Lewy body dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) the most common cause for late-life progressive cognitive decline. Primary care providers can, in most cases, accurately assess cognitive changes. The assessment process includes a careful history, physical examination, functional, cognitive, and social/economic assessments, and selected laboratory and radiological tests. Effectively communicating the diagnosis to patients and their family/caregivers is a critical part of the diagnostic process.
- Identify at least three major causes of progressive dementias in older adults.
- Demonstrate knowledge of at least one tool used to assess cognitive functioning.
- Outline some key elements of a social assessment that may inform a comprehensive evaluation of dementia.
- Moderator: Carol Regan, Senior Advisor, Community Catalyst
- Chris Callahan, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, Indiana University; Director of Indiana University Center for Aging Research
- Beth Galik, PhD, CRNP, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Maryland; Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar
- Irene Moore, MSW, LISW-S, Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine