Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment

What is a geriatric assessment?

Geriatric conditions result in impaired functionality and remain unrecognised unless the affected individual undergoes regular geriatric assessments. Continuous geriatric assessments help manage and delay complications from associated geriatric illnesses.

Geriatric syndrome refers to a collection of health conditions affecting older individuals. These conditions do not necessarily refer to organ malfunction but conditions that affect the individual’s neurological ability.

Common geriatric health conditions include the following:

  • Incontinence
  • Malnutrition
  • Unexpected falls
  • Issues with balance
  • Confusion
  • Ulcers
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease

A geriatric assessment is considered a thorough diagnostic process because it involves evaluating and managing geriatric health conditions. The assessment is labelled a healthcare tool because doctors can use the results to determine the individual's health status and psychological, mental, physical and emotional well-being. With age, the body naturally changes, and, as a result, specific healthcare needs require urgent attention. An older person's body requires prolonged medical care and regular health checks to ensure they are able to function optimally.

What happens during a geriatric assessment?

A geriatric assessment is not a one-size fits all approach for all individuals. Instead, a geriatric assessment consists of tests and physical assessments.

Typically, geriatric assessments are done to assess the individual’s daily living patterns, the risk of sudden falls, chronic medical conditions, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, nutrition and cognitive and memory function. For example, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess your daily activities. A survey helps determine whether you are able to prepare your meals without help and take your medication on time.

Usually, a geriatric assessment does not provide a specific score. It is not an ability test but rather an essential component that makes up a precise treatment plan to reduce uncomfortable symptoms and debilitating issues in the future. A geriatric assessment evaluates differences in each individual’s lifestyle in an attempt to improve treatment modalities. These assessments are critical in ensuring patients receive the best medical care possible.


Will a geriatric assessment help?

A geriatric assessment helps determine your health status, the support provided at home and the possible risks you face. The outcome of the assessment helps tailor-make your treatment plan to your specific needs.

Are geriatric assessments common?

Regular geriatric assessments are recommended for individuals 65 and older. These assessments determine whether there are significant changes to your health and if any changes need to be made to the medication you are currently taking.

How long does a geriatric assessment take?

A thorough geriatric assessment is expected to last two hours.