Health Assessments (75 Years+)

What is a Health Assessment?

A Health Assessment is a way for your doctor to learn and assess risks and hazards in your home which may require further management.  In  addition to assessing your health status, a Health Assessment is also used to identify a range of factors that influence physical, psychological and social functioning.

Who is eligible?

Patients aged 75 years and over, or 55 years and over if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are living in the community are eligible for a Health Assessment.  This age represents the time at which people are most likely to experience the greatest levels of disability and ill health.

Where is it performed?

The assessment is usually performed in your home.  A family member or friend can be present if you wish.  A Practice Nurse will come to your home to conduct the assessment.  A follow-up appointment with your doctor at East Adelaide Healthcare will take place to complete the assessment.

How much will it cost?

The Commonwealth Government has developed this annual Health Assessment for people aged 75 years and over.  This  initiative is covered by Medicare Australia with no cost to you.

What if I am fit and healthy?

The 75 years and over Health Assessment is an annual assessment to evaluate your health and needs as they change from year to year.  Even if you don’t think you need to have an assessment done each year, it is still a good idea to follow your doctor’s advice to have an annual Health Assessment.  This will aid your doctor in finding and managing any changes that may occur in the future.  The idea of this assessment is to keep you as healthy as possible by assessing areas of your health that may not be discussed in your usual consults with your doctor.

What is involved in the Medical?

A list of your medications will be documented, which includes all tablets, puffers, drops, creams and “over the counter” medication such as vitamins you take.  You will need to tell the Nurse how frequently you are prescribed to take the medication and how frequently you actually take them.  The nurse will check for any medication that has expired.

Your blood pressure and pulse will tell your doctor if there are any irregularities which need to be followed up.

Urinary problems such as incontinence are often under-reported and a major cause of reduced quality of life in this age group so a urine test will be undertaken.  A follow up appointment may be required to arrange a pathology test and management of any problem.

What is involved in the assessment of physical function?

The assessment of daily living is concerned with your ability to care for yourself, and includes your ability to move between bed, chair, and toilet. Your ability to dress, bathe, prepare and eat meals will be assessed, as well as the ease of telephone use, reading, and looking after the house.

It is important to note if you have fallen, particularly in the last 3 months.  A recent fall is a strong predictor of a future fall related injury.

What is involved in the assessment of psychological function?

A memory assessment will be undertaken.

Enquiries about depression, anxiety and emotional difficulties will be made.

What is involved in the assessment of social function?

Information will be gathered as to what are the availability and the adequacy of paid and unpaid help when needed and wanted.  Social networks tend to become smaller as people age, and therefore the role of formal services may need to increase accordingly.  The nurse can assist with information as required.

If you are caring for another person your Health Assessment will include an evaluation of the effect this role has on your health and functioning. Information can be made available to you carer support services, including regular and respite services.

If you have a carer, then with your permission, it may be useful to have your carer present to assist with your Health Assessment.

Other matters relevant to your health will also be covered in the assessment. These include hearing, vision, oral health, diet and nutritional status, smoking, foot care, sleep difficulties, home safety, cardiovascular risk factors, alcohol use, and the need for community services.

Other information

The Health Assessment performed in your home usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.  The follow-up appointment with your doctor will usually take around 15 to 30 minutes.

Your doctor will provide you a written report of the Health Assessment and any outcomes will be discussed with you through a follow-up visit.  This encourages you to be involved in any preventative measure recommended by your doctor.

A record of your Health Assessment will be kept at the clinic in your file.

If you have any further queries regarding the 75 years and over Annual Health Assessment please discuss it with your doctor at East Adelaide Healthcare.