Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sonia Zimmerman


Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Dementia -- diagnosis; Mental Disorders -- diagnosis


The purpose of this product is to provide those persons admitted to a hospital setting with an unclear diagnosis the opportunity to be efficiently and accurately diagnosed, thus allowing proper treatment, medications, and placement, if needed. Often, . there is confusion amongst professionals in the treatment team as to whether an older adult may have a developing dementia versus symptoms of a mental illness. Through the evaluation process, individuals will engage in a balance of evaluative activities that may improve physical, social, emotional, spiritual, occupational, and cognitive focus areas. These evaluations are primarily based on Allen's Cognitive Model and The Model of Human Occupation. The assessment process encompasses a holistic and client-centered approach to treatment. An extensive literature review was conducted on topics of aging, disability, and mental illnesses with a particular focus on: memory and cognition, visual perception, functional mobility, perfol1nance of basic activities of daily living, and mood and behavior. The occupational therapy evaluation process will guide the therapist toward specialized tests, tools, and cognitive models designed for assessment of these areas. In addition, suggestions for referral, assessment, and measurement of outcomes will be provided.