Module 1: Introduction to Dementia
Module 2: Dementia Stages and Assessment
Module 3: Behavioral Symptoms and Non-Pharmacological Therapies
Module 4: Palliative Care and Medication Use in Dementia Care
Module 5: Dementia and Caregiving
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2.3 Mental Ability Tests to Diagnose Dementia

Tests are administered to individuals exhibiting signs of dementia to evaluate their mental faculties, including memory and thought. These examinations, sometimes known as cognitive assessments, are performed by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Some mental ability tests include the following:

  • General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG)
  • Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE)

These tests cannot identify dementia, but they may reveal memory issues.
Questions that can be asked in such tests include:

  • What time is it?
  • Where are you?
  • What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  • When were you born?
  • What is 10 + 5?

Assessment accounts for behavioral, psychosocial, and functional changes in a person. Some principles to follow when communicating with a dementia patient during the assessment are:

  • Be sensitive in your communication to promote meaningful contact
  • Encourage freedom and action
  • Recognize the symptoms of distress brought on by confusion, and diffuse the situation
  • Manage the patient’s anxiety and assist them in making sense of the experiences they¬†have
  • Assume responsibility for ensuring that team members are taught and supported to care for those with dementia.
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