A new training tool dubbed the Interview For Decisional Abilities, or IDA, helps to assess whether some seniors can make informed choices about their own care and well being.  Although not specifically a test for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it was developed by two geriatricians to help Adult Protective Services (APS) workers decide if seniors have the cognitive ability to make financial and other decisions, even if those fly in the face of what family members want.  It’s also used by hospital discharge planners to assess whether a patient has the capacity to assist on going home instead of going into rehab.  Assisted living facilities may also start using IDA to see if new residents understood the contracts that they were signing.  Regular readers of my blog know that both my grandmother and my father had this terrible disease when they passed away.  There is a great group of people at the Alzheimer’s Association in Ryan Ranch who are there to help you.  They also have a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-272-3900.

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