Diagnostic and functional assessments provide a comprehensive understanding of older adults' needs and typically include critical information about psychiatric diagnosis and social and environmental factors that influence older adults' emotions and behavior. Quality assessments are needed to ensure that an appropriate intervention is chosen for treatment. Geropsychologists use standardized interview and self-report instruments that have been specifically designed for use with older adults to diagnose psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance Abuse. in the case of dementing illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, which affect approximately 50% of older adults over the age of 85, psychological assessment evaluations determine the extent of problems with functions such as attention and memory skills and the extent to which the disease has adversely impacted important day-to-day activities such as self-care, household care, financial management, driving skills, and social activities. Evaluations of the possibility of elder abuse by caregivers and assessment of the medically ill older adult's competence to make legal, financial, and medical decisions are also elements of practice that may fall under the scope of the geropsychologist.
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