Geriatric Evaluation - Geriatrics and Extended Care
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Geriatrics and Extended Care

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Geriatric Evaluation

Geriatric Evaluation

Geriatric Evaluation is a comprehensive evaluation and a developed treatment plan by a team of experts that may include geriatric physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, psychologists, physical/occupational/recreational therapists, dieticians and/or other health care providers that is designed to:

  • Optimize Veterans’ ability to maintain good health
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce the need for hospital and long term care services
  • Promote independent living, taking into consideration all available (VA and non-VA) resources

Geriatric Evaluation is available to all enrolled Veterans who need it.  All Veterans enrolled in GeriPACT receive this benefit as often as needed.  Geriatric Evaluation is available through Geriatric Consultation. Geriatric Evaluation can help Veterans whose circumstances are medically complex, and their caregivers, learn to manage and cope with both normal age-related changes in health and the more complex kinds of medical problems that may develop with aging; which are referred to as “Geriatric Syndromes.”  These syndromes may include:

  • Hearing problems
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness
  • Unhealthy weight loss due to decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity
  • “Frailty” or diminished strength and endurance and reduced physiological function that make recovering from illness or a hospital stay more difficult
  • Delirium or sudden confused thinking or disturbance in mental abilities
  • Difficulty with balance or walking and/or falling
  • Changes with bowel or bladder function, such as constipation or incontinence
  • Dementia and other causes of impaired cognition
  • Depression
  • Polypharmacy, or taking five or more medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements

The Geriatric Evaluation consists of examination of the Veteran’s physical, mental, and psycho-social health status, such as:

  • Ability to function independently and perform basic activities of daily living, including dressing, bathing, meal preparation, and medication management
  • Veteran’s living arrangement, social network, and access to support services

Current problems identified are evaluated as to their potential to cause future problems.  A comprehensive care plan is then developed to include resources and support services to address current and potential problems.

Geriatric Consultation

Geriatric consultation, both inpatient and outpatient, may be another efficient means to obtain access to a Geriatric Evaluation and other geriatric resources. Consultation is provided by health care professionals trained in geriatrics, and can be provided in person, through Telehealth, by record review, or telephone conference.

What to expect at an evaluation visit

Because of the comprehensive, multi-dimensional nature of the geriatric evaluation, this service, especially for new patients, can be lengthy and may even take several visits. Geriatric evaluation can be done in these locations:

  • Inpatient settings
  • Outpatient settings
  • Long term care settings at home, in the community, or in the VA and can be performed in person or by Telehealth

Geriatric Patient Aligned Care Team GeriPACT

The geriatric patient centered medical home model is called GeriPACT, which stands for Geriatric Patient Aligned Care Team. These care teams specialize in providing Geriatric Evaluation and ongoing health care for Veterans with more than one chronic disease and with declining physical abilities and/or challenges with their thinking or memory. The goal is to promote as much independence and quality of life as possible for Veterans with these challenges. GeriPACT combines VA health care services with those offered in the community.

Services offered in GeriPACT include:

  • Chronic care management for patients at high risk for complications or illness
  • Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of acute health conditions
  • Routine mental health care
  • Management of common acute and chronic pain conditions and consults with providers in pain medicine and other related specialty care
  • Military Health History and unique concerns and health risks associated with deployment
  • Advance care planning
  • Assessing Caregiver needs
  • Coordination of services tailored to the Veteran and caregiver, both within and outside of VA
  • Preventive health services such as:
    • Immunizations
    • Screening for conditions such as cancers, depression
    • Health education about health effects associated with certain health behaviors, such as physical activity, healthy eating, alcohol and/or tobacco use
    • Health education for safety concerns such as driving, firearms safety, elder neglect or abuse
    • Medication review and education
    • Education and referrals for preventive care services such as colonoscopy, mammography and PAP smears for women, nutritional and exercise program