As we mature, we all tend to lose certain areas of functioning along with our peers and gain in other areas of functioning. Evaluation of dementia or early Alzheimer’s must take into consideration the differences between normal aging versus a more troublesome memory loss. Assessment also needs to consider and rule out the effects of depression or other issues that may falsely appear as a dementia. Treatment planning, need for memory enhancing medication, or other recommendations can result from such an accurate assessment. Go to the Alzheimer’s Association website www.alz.org and see the 10 warning signs of dementia.
Elder abuse can take varied forms. Oftentimes, older individuals can be victim to malicious intent of a predatory person and be subject to undue influence, persuasion, or other malevolent motives. It is often an advocate, conservator, family member, guardian ad litem, or attorney who seeks a professional opinion.
Assessment of older adults with suspected diminished cognition requires databased assessment to speak to one's ability to live independently on one extreme, versus the need for conservatorship on the other. The contributing condition(s) may represent acute or transient loss of abilities or be permanent or progressive. The report will detail data-based opinions to speak to capacity, consent, or competency and offer recommendations as it applies to the specific client and issues.