As the older adult population is growing, assessing cognitive impairment in the older adult patient is of great importance to primary care physicians. This lecture will review the most efficient means of assessing cognitive impairment for busy practitioners — including screening modalities and further in-depth testing. Next steps in a meaningful patient-centered work up of older adults with cognitive impairment will also be discussed, as well as unnecessary testing to be avoided. The strength of the evidence for newer testing will be discussed, including the pros and cons for advanced testing.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the most efficient and effective means of screening for cognitive impairment among seniors
  • List the tests that are merited in the further workup of cognitive impairment
  • Discuss which tests for cognitive impairment may be unnecessary or avoided among older adults
  • Describe the strengths and limitations of newer testing for cognitive impairment