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Dementia can easily go unrecognized in primary care. However, a Neuropsychologist can help to reliably establish whether or not your forgetfulness or behavioral changes are the result of normal aging or dementia. If you are an questioning your own mental ability – If you are a caregiver to an individual who appears to be having symptoms of forgetfulness or behavior changes – If you are the Provider of a patient/client who is exhibiting these symptoms and others, Neuro-Psychology Consultants can help you find the answers you are looking for.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most prevalent progressive neurodegenerative disease. A person with Alzheimer's lives an average of 8 years from diagnosis and could live as many as 20 years. By the year 2000, there were about 4.5 million in the U.S. population with AD with 1 in 10 persons over the age of 65, and nearly half of those over age 85. By 2050 the number is projected to increase to 13.2 million.
A Neuropsychologist is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who is trained to understand cognitive and behavioral disorders from childhood through adulthood, and how these disorders may be affected by certain neurological conditions.
In addition, they have knowledge of how brain function controls behavior, and how this relationship changes over the course of human development.
These specialists understand that an individual’s cognitive and behavioral presentation is the result of complex interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors.
The primary aim of the geriatric neuropsychological evaluation is to identify the person’s unique sets of strengths and weaknesses.
Results of the evaluation are used to inform diagnoses and disabilities, as well as to generate recommendations and a treatment plan to facilitate immediate and long-term intervention (including care/placement recommendations) that can help you and your loved one best achieve his or her potential.
Another serious issue with elderly clients is their medication management.
Many elderly clients are facing a variety of medical problems (heart, circulation, respiratory, infection, digestion, etc.). Often they spend much time in the waiting rooms of one or more physicians.
With many medical advances and Managed Care, clients are often treated primarily with medications: pills for lowering or raising blood pressure, pills for keeping lungs clear of fluid, pills for pain, pills for joint flexibility, pills for constipation, etc.
Not only do many physicians not fully understand the effects of medications and dosages on their elderly patients, but also many rarely look at the synergistic effects of multi-medication regimes.
Even more serious, multiple physicians may be treating the same patient and they are not communicating with each other as to the treatment and the effect on the patient.
We, as therapists, and certainly non-medical professionals, become our clients’ chief advocates, as we oversee their medications and their effects, noting the clients’ functioning, thinking, acting, mobility, vision, hearing, etc. We can frequently become a conduit between their client and physician with respect to side effects and proper dosages or medication choices.