Ridiculous Study of the Week: Seniors and Memory Checks

Memory loss and dementia is devastating issue for this country. Someone decided to study if doctors are checking to see if their elderly patients are getting screened for it and this is what they found:

About half of seniors say they’ve ever discussed thinking or memory with a health care provider, and less than a third say they’ve ever been assessed for possible cognitive problems, according to an Alzheimer’s Association survey being released Tuesday.

Even fewer, 16 percent, said they get regular cognitive assessments — a stark contrast to the blood pressure and cholesterol checks that just about everyone gets routinely. Just 1 in 3 knew cognition is supposed to be part of the annual wellness visit.

Ummm, how valid could this test be? I mean seriously. This will come off crude but they are asking seniors if they received a cognitive screen. Wouldn’t those with memory problems have trouble remembering? Doesn’t that make this type of survey ridiculous? I think so and therefore award these authors this week’s “Ridiculous Study of the Week” Award.


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  9 comments for “Ridiculous Study of the Week: Seniors and Memory Checks

  1. Kurt
    March 9, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Cognition becomes a problem when the family or patient says it’s a problem. Screening doesn’t make a [email protected] bit of difference because nobody is going to do a thing about it until it’s noticeable.

    • Bridget Reidy
      March 19, 2019 at 11:31 pm

      Exactly. If I suspect it I always ask closest contact if they notice anything, and they usually don’t for about a year even as I tell them what I noticed and tell them what to be alert for. But I’ve been out of the States for awhile and am wondering if seniors with low health literacy, MCI or dementia even appear for annual wellness visits and what screen they require.

  2. Evelyn granieri
    March 9, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Slightly off topic, though I agree with your commentary, can we please stop using the condescending and infantalizing term “ seniors”? What’s wrong with “ older adults”?

    • Sir Lance-a-lot
      March 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

      What’s wrong with “old people”?

      We say “young people” and “middle-aged people.”

  3. Bob
    March 6, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    I can’t remember whether I screen for memory loss or not!

  4. Scribe/Former PT
    March 6, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    OMG. True story here. My first career was as a PT. Pissed-off orthopod comes storming into PT complaining his patient hadn’t been seen yet for gait training prior to discharge. We’d been seeing the lady for several days and there were notes in the chart to prove it. Doc had asked her (quite elderly) if she was seeing PT and she said no… when we went up there with the doc to question her a little further she saw us, “Oh hi! Are you going to take me for a walk again?” Doc asked again, I thought you hadn’t seen PT? She said she hadn’t – but this “nice lady nurse” had come to work with her on exercises and walking.

  5. PW
    March 6, 2019 at 9:13 am

    I was going to write a witty comment but now I can’t remember what I was going to say…

  6. Jennifer Hollywood
    March 6, 2019 at 8:11 am

    When I screen for memory issues at their wellness visit and the screen is abnormal, I ask them to return for a more complete evaluation. They all cancel their appointment or do not show. Plus their family then gets involved and is usually angry that I scared grandma about being demented.

  7. Sir Lance-a-lot
    March 6, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Did they also ask control questions like “Did you leave the stove on?” “No, really. Are you sure?”

    “Hey, why are you rushing off so fast?”

Comments are closed.