A comprehensive geriatric assessment covers a lot more than a routine medical exam done on younger patients. The assessment will also cover all aspects affecting the life of a patient, such as emotional, sexual, social, mental, and cognitive abilities.
The living environment of the elderly patient is also evaluated for any possibility of elder abuse, or the patient having substance abuse problems. A clinical social worker must be involved in this evaluation. This is particularly helpful for elderly patients that have recently taken a turn for the worse, and may soon need nursing home care.
There are many factors affecting the quality of life of an elderly patient that may not be readily apparent, such as the recent death of family or close friends. A recent change in living arrangements may be an ongoing problem. Any side effects of prescription medications need to be evaluated.