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Medical Assessments for Senior

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Health

Are you planning on moving into a nursing home or some other kind of senior living facility from your own home? Remember, you will be required to furnish a medical assessment certificate for admission to any such home. This is a legal formality, which stipulates what kind of medical assistance you will require while staying at the home.

The kind of assessment for the seniors mentioned above is called a Patient Review Instrument or PRI. There are many other types of medical assessments for seniors as well. In general, medical assessments at regular intervals have a number of benefits. It is like a long-term investment that pays you regularly and faithfully over a long stretch of time.

The process of the senior medical assessment can be compared to the task performed by an accounts expert who examines in detail the debits and credits of a company. Just like the accounts expert, a medical assessment considers every nook and corner of your health. Not only does a medical assessment evaluate your current health, it provides a tool to help diagnose any problems you might be experiencing in the near future.

The benefits of a medical assessment can be summarized in the following way:

l     As a result of medical assessment you get improved health.

l     The symptoms are detected at an early stage and, as a result, your needs for acute nursing care are reduced.

l     Medical assessments on a regular basis help you avoid emergency situations.

l     In general, you achieve greater longevity.

As mentioned earlier, a medical assessment is the investigation of the bottom line of your health. As such, it involves answering such questions as, what is the general routine of your day-to-day life? How well do you feel in your day-to-day living? You have to provide information on your past medical history including the illnesses or surgeries you have undergone. You are also asked what types of assistance you are contemplating in the near future.

Medical Assessment for Seniors can be divided into three broad categories:

l     Routine Screenings

l     Functional health assessments

l     Patient Review Instrument

A routine screening is an issue-specific check up. The main objective of this kind of assessment is finding out about any specific problem, condition or disease. This kind of assessment looks for the presence of some general disease like skin cancer. It also looks for the diseases which you have a higher risk of developing. For example, if you are identified with a higher risk factor of diabetes, you have to go for routine screening for the early detection of the disease.

The Functional Assessment on the other hand involves the medical evaluation of a senior persons general health. This assessment includes:

l     Health risk analysis

l     Physical examination of the functioning of different organs

l     Dementia screening

l     Medication review and review of immunization including influenza, tetanus etc.

l     Nutrition screening

PRI assessment is mandatory before entering into a skilled nursing facility. This is the most detailed assessment and includes:

l     Overall health review

l     Treatments and medications needed

l     Special diets or therapies needed

l     Level of mental clarity or limitations

l     Degree of assistance needed for the acts of daily living such as eating, moving and toileting

l     General mood and behavior

This is the kind of assessment needed to determine the level of care and the type of facility required by the patient in the nursing home.

The medical assessment for the seniors is a kind of "multi-disciplinary" approach. It is performed, in most cases, by health care nurses who are trained in the specialized senior health care condition that is involved.