A Physical at Your Doctor’s is Not Enough to Determine Eldercare Needs

September 18th, 2012

While routine physicals are necessary for elderly individuals who wish to age in place, in order to maintain a safe environment in the home and receive the proper care, studies show that a standard physical is not enough to uncover all of the possible functional weaknesses a senior may be experiencing. A physician’s analysis should always be coupled with a geriatric care assessment to ensure that the senior and his or her family members are aware of all possible issues and methods of care that may be necessary.

Nursing Link’s article “Functional Assessment – The Key to Geriatric Care in the 21st Century” states:

  • The reasons for the difficulties physicians have estimating functional status are two-fold. Physicians may not know how to effectively screen for certain functional deficits in the office, and may not have the resources necessary to evaluate function within the patient’s home.
  • Standard neuromuscular exams are not particularly sensitive in detecting functional deficits related to mobility. Patients may have cognitive problems and need help with basic functions such as dressing, or they may be depressed, not eating well, losing their urine or almost blind without their physician’s being aware.
  • Despite performing yearly physicals, managing diabetes, high blood pressure and treating the episodic illnesses of their patients, many physicians do not know about key areas of function in those for whom they provide frequent care.

Through Visiting Angel’s assessment process, we can help you and your family determine the right brand of care for your loved one. Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 to find out more or to schedule your geriatric assessment today.