The highly anticipated and collaborative annual NYC Elder Abuse Conference was held in June 2013 and offered several educational, engaging and informative presentations, all focused on elder justice issues. The NYC Elder Abuse Center’s (NYCEAC) Medical Director, Dr. Mark Lachs, introduced the keynote presentation, given by geriatrician, author and pioneer in neuroethics, Dr. Jason Karlawish. In his presentation entitled, How is Assessing Capacity Relevant to Working with Older Adults?, Dr. Karlawish addressed the implications of capacity evaluation for professionals working with vulnerable individuals.
In his blog posted on “The Huffington Post“, Dr. Lachs reflects on this informative and compelling keynote presentation, highlighting the importance of clinicians using tools to assess capacity, such as the ones developed by Dr. Karlawish. Towards the end of the blog, Dr. Lachs poses the following question: “Why is this important?” His cogent response: “Because there is an emerging epidemic of incapacity. The fastest growing segment of the American population is adults over the age of 85, and when you carefully test that population you can detect some degree of cognitive impairment in 40-50% of them. That’s not synonymous with loss of decision-making ability, but it places our older loved ones at greater risk!”
Click here to read the full blog by Dr. Mark Lachs.
by Cara Kenien, LMSW, MPA, Social Media Manager, NYCEAC