A Person-Centred Tool to Assess Dementia Risk in Older Adults

Senior woman talking with a female point-of-care worker about care

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Linda Lee, Family Physician

Project Title: Positive risk management: A person-centered tool to assess and manage risk in older adults living with dementia to promote quality of life and reduce health system utilization

What is the issue?

Community healthcare practitioners need better ways to assess and manage older adults at risk of dementia. We designed a new tool called the Person-Centred Risk Assessment Framework for use in community memory clinics. It allows healthcare professionals to create care plans that incorporate patient preferences.

What did we do?

For this project, we refined and evaluated the tool. Seven healthcare practitioners working at 13 community memory clinics tested the tool for six months. Care workers at an Alzheimer Society Day Program also used the tool with their clients. We surveyed occupational therapists, social workers, nurses, Alzheimer Society representatives, patients, and care partners about their experiences with the tool. In total, 297 patients were assessed with the tool.

What did we find?

Five healthcare practitioners said it was very helpful for evaluating patients and designing care plans. Because it incorporated patients’ perspectives, the tool made it easier to have discussions with patients, care partners, and other healthcare practitioners.