Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 2013 Vol. 1 - page 39

SeniorCitizensGuide.com/cleveland
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Many patients and family members who contact a se-
nior assessment center are concerned about memory
loss. But while dementia can cause memory changes,
and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of
all dementias, there are many different types of de-
mentia.
“Though dementia is prevalent as we age, people
should not assume that memory loss is a normal part
of aging or that it is a sign of Alzheimer’s. A com-
prehensive assessment can diagnose many possible
causes including vitamin deficiency, thyroid imbalance
and depression. However, if dementia or Alzheimer’s
is the diagnosis, medications are available that may
be able to improve function,” said Nelson.
The clinical team at a senior assessment center
often consists of geriatricians, a board-certified medi-
cal doctor with specialized training in preventing and
treating health problems of the older adult, geriatric
psychiatrists, a psychiatrist trained to deal specifically
with the mental health concerns of an older adult, a
geriatric clinical nurse specialist, registered nurse and
social worker.
A physician referral is not required– the care and
services provided are not meant to replace those of a
primary care physician – instead, a senior assessment
center works in collaboration with the patient’s person-
al physician to provide support, education and recom-
mendations to develop a plan so the patient and fam-
ily can successfully manage their care. In most cases,
insurance will cover the services provided; however, it
is always a good idea to verify health insurance cover-
age prior to pursuing any medical treatment.
Editorial provided by the SeniorCare Assessment Center at Cleveland
Clinic’s Lakewood Hospital.
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