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Geriatric Assessment Pilot Project 

The Joint RMH/JMU Geriatric Assessment Model Pilot is nearing completion of its first stage.  Over the last nine months, seven JMU health care faculty and six RMH staff members have partnered on this pilot demonstration project for a local Geriatric Assessment Center.  This team researched and developed a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Model featuring a multidimensional, multidisciplinary process used to determine medical, functional and psychosocial strengths and concerns in an elderly patient. 

The goal of model development was to develop an individualized comprehensive plan of therapy for immediate and long-term care and follow-up.  Through this plan the team intends to demonstrate that comprehensive assessment and application of appropriate resources offered as an adjunct to care of the primary care provider will improve functional status for many older adults, thereby enhancing the quality of life for clients and their family members. 

In late April the Geriatric Assessment Team performed evaluations on seven older adults over the course of two half-days.  Each developed a discipline-specific report and then met with other team members to identify each client’s strengths and weakness, as well as recommend care related to his or her discipline. This full report will be sent to the volunteer’s primary care provider, as well as the volunteer.  The recommendations will also be forwarded to the team’s Aftercare group, as well as Valley Program for Aging Services, both working in collaboration to coordinate identified aftercare services for these volunteer clients.  

The meeting of the providers was judged by those present to be a powerful opportunity to review the volunteer client’s needs wholistically and to apply the “it takes a village” approach to craft a plan of care.  Several of the volunteer clients had already noted positive benefit between the first and second days of the assessment, and reported development of a Geriatric Assessment center would be a positive addition to the community and would strengthen community care for older adults.