Assessing an older adult’s condition before considering assisted living

October 18, 2011
Dr. Steven Tam

IN THE NEWS: The Los Angeles Times asked doctors to address what people should consider when making the decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility.

“We try to look at the whole picture to figure out what exactly is going on,” explained Dr. Steven Tam, a geriatric specialist at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. “Is it something like dementia or Alzheimer’s? What are the medical issues? Is the blood sugar too low or too high? Is depression involved? Is it a fixable cause?

“We use all of the tools that we have to make an assessment, and then it’s really a matter of finding the right level of care for that person,” he said.