Memory concerns are a common experience of aging, whether typical or atypical, and can be addressed through an integrated primary care approach. All patients, age 65 and older, were offered an opportunity to meet with a behavioral health clinician (BHC) as a part of their Medicare Wellness Visit (MWV) to learn individualized tools and strategies for memory issues. Of eligible patients, 80% met with a BHC (50% positive MoCA score; 50% negative MoCA score) and 100% expressed concerns with their memory and cognition, including forgetfulness, distractibility, and associated frustration. At two-week post-visit follow-up, all patients reported it was helpful to discuss typical versus atypical aging, focus/concentration, mentally stimulating activities, and reducing distractions. These results indicate that an integrated care approach to address memory concerns in older adults during their annual MWVs, regardless of MoCA score, has a positive impact on patient’s quality of whole person care.
- Identify parameters of typical and atypical aging in regards to memory and cognition and how this relates to cognitive screening tools typically used in primary care settings
- Describe the worry and concern regarding their memory and cognition that patients often experience in the context of typical vs. atypical aging
- Provide tools and strategies that can be offered through an integrated care approach that are helpful to support memory/cognition for aging patients
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