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Assessing Dementia

-What are some of the challenges therapists face in diagnosing this population?
-What assessment processes or instruments would you use in addition to the intake interview to help you diagnose mental disorders in older adults?
-Describe how biological, psychological, and social factors contribute to the symptoms and progression of this disorder in an older adult?
-What are some ways to prevent dementia?is it preventable

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(1) What are some of the challenges therapists face in diagnosing this population?

Dementia is described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR [APA], 2000) as "the development of multiple cognitive deficits (including memory impairment) that are due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition, to the persisting effects of a substance, or to multiple etiologies" (p. 147).

The difficulty in diagnosing persons with dementia is because dementia indicates a loss of some form of functioning that can not always be easily diagnosed( i.e., based on DSM criteria). For example, some individuals (e.g. older individuals) and those with mental retardation have always functioned at low functioning levels, but are not considered as having dementia. The diagnosis for dementia consists of extensive medical and neurological tests to identify causes. In addition, the dementia must be severe enough to interfere with the individual's occupational and/or social life. ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses some of the challenges therapists encounter in diagnosing persons with dementia.