Cognitive and Psychological Assessment for Seniors

Accurate assessment of cognitive functioning and psychological diagnostics is important for professionals working with seniors.

Assessments are useful for:

  • Physicians treating patients with cognitive impairment
  • Case-managers making placement decisions
  • Nursing staff determining appropriate behavioral and clinical interventions
  • Families making plans for future care
  • Legal professionals deciding competency and probate issues

BAPTA provides diagnoses and measures the clinical severity of numerous behavioral and cognitive disorders. State-of-the-art assessments ensure that decisions about patients and family members are based on a thorough knowledge of individual strengths and weaknesses.

BAPTA's Seniors experts specialize in assessing the cognitive and psychological functioning of seniors. Each BAPTA psychologist will:

  • Provide differential diagnostics
  • Assess clinical severity
  • Evaluate functional capacity
  • Develop highly individualized recommendations

Below are some examples of cases when a professional might refer a senior client for testing:

Case 1: The Confused Older Medical Patient

An older patient who presents with memory loss and confusion could be suffering from a variety of illnesses, including Alzheimer's or multi-infarct dementia, Pick's disease, alcohol dependence, depression ("pseudo-dementia"), delirium, or emotional trauma. Neuropsychological testing, when combined with suitable medical tests, not only provides a precise diagnosis, but also indicates the severity of the patient's deficits, and the disease trajectory. Physicians who use psychological testing can advocate most effectively for this difficult group.

Case II: The Client Who Wants to Change Her Will

The older client, brought in by a friend to change her will making her friend a beneficiary, may be a victim of "undue influence". Psychological assessment can provide the attorney with objective data to determine whether his client is able to make informed decisions and whether she is competent to make changes in her will.

Case III: The Patient Who Refuses Necessary Life-Saving Surgery

Clinicians and family members in this situation are in an ethical bind. They need to know if the patient is making a decision based on her own free will, or whether she is unable to make informed choices. Objective psychometric data enables the physician and others to make appropriate and ethical interventions.

Case IV: The Family That Wants Dad To Move To A Nursing Home

People working with families and older clients need accurate neuropsychological information to make appropriate recommendations about housing and other life-style options. BAPTA's assessments provide data on current functioning and future prognosis.

Case V: The Client Who Refuses To Stop Driving

Cognitive testing provides clinicians with objective data on their clients' capacity to perform complex tasks like driving. By referring a client for assessment, clinicians can base their decision to contact the DMV on sound neuropsychological findings.

Case VI: The Combative Nursing Home Resident

Agitated behavior could be a result of increased cognitive impairment, depression, trauma, or medical issues. Psychological testing clarifies diagnostic issues and provides specific treatment recommendations.

When used judiciously, psychological tests have high level of diagnostic accuracy. For example, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, which measures cognitive abilities ranges from an impressive .93 to .97. The Halstead Reitan Neuropsychological Battery can identify brain injured from non-brain injured controls beyond the .0001 level of significance. Additionally, tests such as the Bender Gestalt and Trail Making Test accurately produce the extent to which patients with head trauma may function independently. Accuracy is enhanced when the psychologist develops the appropriate battery of tests to answer specific diagnostic and personality questions.

BAPTA, because it is a specialty clinic that solely focuses on psychometric assessments, ensures that the highest levels of predictive accuracy are made available. BAPTA distinguishes itself from the generalist psychologist be maintaining an exclusive focus on testing and by employing specialist examiners. State-of-the-art neuropsychological and psychological diagnostics, individualized treatment recommendations, and expert testimony are BAPTA's hallmarks.

Bay Area Psychological Testing Associates
1057 MacArthur Blvd. #206
San Leandro, CA 94577
Telephone (415) 296-8081

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Copyright 2002, Bay Area Psychological Testing Associates