The Gerontological Society of America, America’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging, published a free online toolkit that can help professionals detect potential signs of cognitive impairment.
The 182-page toolkit is focused on the KAER model, first introduced in a 2015 report from the Society’s Workgroup on Cognitive Impairment Detection and Earlier Diagnosis. The acronym is derived from a four-step process:
- Kickstart the cognition conversation
- Assess for cognitive impairment
- Evaluate for dementia
- Refer for community resources
Contents of the toolkit include tips for communicating with older adults about brain health; actual clinically-relevant and scientifically supported measurement instruments for detecting cognitive impairment; links to clinical practice guidelines for conducting diagnostic evaluations for dementia and comprehensive listings of community resources that are available to help older adults and families living with the daily challenges of cognitive impairment and diagnosed dementia. The KAER toolkit is accessible at www.geron.org/kaer.