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  • Writer's pictureKaren McPhail, RN, MSN

Assessing Cognition

I wanted to end the week by discussing the core of everything which is cognition and to perhaps give my readers something to ponder over the weekend!

Over the course of our lifetime we access our healthcare system many times. We go for a variety of testing, preventative services such as mammograms and colonoscopies and of course check ups where they always check and track our vital signs. At a recent visit I was pondering this, the word vital and thinking isn’t cognition vital? Shouldn’t this be assessed routinely and perhaps examined over time and across the continuum of care?

We all know that Dementia is a world wide epidemic. Still I find with many of my new clients that no one is routinely checking and tracking their cognition until a serious issue or incident occurs. I am consulted often by families post falls for individuals in the hospital and rehab. Of course everyone is focusing on strength, balance, and mobility, but most times not addressing or attempting to rehabilitate what is the core problem - cognition. So I then begin to think about how many people are discharged and the dysfunctional cycle continues. Of course I have many other similar stories.

Based on my practice, I feel that a lot of negative outcomes, mismanagement, misdiagnosis, heart ship could in fact be reduced if we were more proactive about evaluating and tracking cognition.

So as I begin in some of my future blogs to delve more into aspects of normal and abnormal cognition let’s keep in mind the importance of cognitive evaluation s apart of preventative health, advocacy, and wholistic care across the continuum. As cognition is truly the center of all of our experiences, the core and essence of who we are. When it is negatively impacted everything changes and is inevitably effected.

Look for my post during April on age related cognitive changes.

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