“Effectively Assessing and Treating Dementia Patients in Long Term Care Part 1”

With the changes coming in the fall with MDS 3.0, there is an increased focus on the resident’s cognitive status.  Prior to October 1st, 2010, the Mini Mental (MMSE) was the standard test that most of the doctors and nursing staff used to assess residents with a diagnosis of dementia,  but  after October 1st, the “test of choice” for submission of information to Medicare via the Minimum Data Set (MDS) will be the Brief Interview of Mental Status (BIMS).  Did you know that several of the dementia tests correlate with each other?  I have found it to be very helpful to utilize references that show the correlation between different descriptions of  Dementia.  One chart that I reference routinely is  Reisberg, et. al., Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, 1994. It correlates developmental ages,  Dementia Stages, and Standardized Assessments.  Specific tests include the Mini Mental and the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS), as well as assessments that are carried out by qualified professionals.   Once the physician evaluates and diagnoses the patient with Dementia, there are several tests that, as an SLP, I can use to provide more detailed information regarding the patients cognitive function in relation to the specific stage of Dementia that a resident falls into.

SLP & Clinical Manager of the Therapy Department

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