100 Hospital Drive, Pender, NE 68047 | Main: (402) 385-3083 | Nurses Station: (402) 385-4066

The Vision of the PCH District is to be the
Best Place to Get Care and the Best Place to Give Care.

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Geriatric Assessment Clinic


Promoting a safe environment, independence, good health and an optimal level of functioning for the seniors in our community.

Our Goal

Serving the needs of the elderly in our community by helping them to function independently at the highest optimal level of good health. This is done by examining their health care issues and helping them to remove potential barriers.

Our Mission

Our mission at the Pender Geriatric Assessment Clinic is to help the elderly in our communities maintain and optimize wellness and independence through a multidisciplinary approach.

What is a Geriatric Assessment?

Geriatric assessment is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary diagnostic instrument designed to collect data on the medical, psychosocial and functional capabilities and limitations of the elderly patient. Prior to the day of assessment, the family and/or patient are asked to complete a previsit form and return it to the hospital. This provides the team with necessary information before the date of the assessment. In addition, the last five years of their medical record are reviewed for relevant information.

Areas that are evaluated include:

Current symptoms and illnesses and their functional impact.
Current medications for appropriateness, efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Relevant past illnesses.
Recent and impending life changes.
Objective measure of overall personal and social functionality.
Current and future living environment and its appropriateness to function and prognosis.
Family situation and availability.
Current caregiver network, including its deficiencies and potential.
Objective measurement of cognitive status.
Objective assessment of mobility and balance.
Rehabilitative status and prognosis if ill or disabled.
Current emotional health and substance abuse.
Nutritional status and needs.
Disease risk factors and health preventative activities.
Assistance in obtaining local and regional services if needed.
Driving restriction if needed.
Future life planning, including but not limited to Advance Directives.

Why do a Geriatric Assessment?

Health issues facing the elderly can be very complex and puzzling. The elderly often suffer from more than one medical problem and have conditions that can be obscured by unusual symptoms. These conditions need to be evaluated and a plan developed to improve the status of the elderly in our community . A team approach is utilized to accomplish this. The Geriatric team, headed by Dr. Matt Timm, completes a comprehensive evaluation of the elder. This evaluation is designed to implement interventions that will optimize the elder's health status by using the team approach to look at the whole person and everything that impacts their quality of life.
Dr. Timm compiles the information collected by the team and completes the individualized Geriatric assessment that includes recommendations to improve the health status of the elder. A meeting is held in two weeks to explain the results and recommendations of the assessment.

Who needs a Geriatric Assessment?

Elderly who suffer from one or more of the following:

Multiple chronic illness
Episodes of dizziness or falling
Depression or loneliness
Memory loss
Weight loss
Mental health issues
End-of-life care
Pain Management
Wandering
Lack of independent functioning

A geriatric assessment helps to determine the proper living situation- whether they can live independently in assisted living or require nursing home care . A complete report will be given to their physician to assist and compliment the care that they are already receiving. It helps the family to understand the whole picture and have pace of mind knowing that they have done everything possible to maintain the independence of their loved one.

Parkinson's Disease Certification

John Miller, DPT, is one of 9 clinicians within the state of Nebraska to be certified with the LSVT BIG program. This program is specified therapy for people with Parkinson's Disease. Studies have shown that oral medicine helps improve the disease symptoms; however exercises taught through the LSVT BIG program have been proven to reverse the physical limitations of Parkinson's Disease.

How is an assessment done?

1. Schedule
Once it has been determined that a geriatric assessment is needed, your family physician will contact our hospital to schedule and appointment for you. At that time you will want a family member who can accompany you to the assessment.

2. Pre-Assessment Form:
A pre-assessment form must be completed and returned to the hospital at least one week before you come for your assessment, so that it can be reviewed by the geriatric team. You may need assistance from a family member to help you fill out this form. The pre-assessment form can be obtained at Pender Mercy Medical Clinic or Pender Community Hospital. If you wish to receive this form by mail, please contact Carrol Baier at 402-385-4092. You may also contact Carol to receive over-the-phone assistance as she is available Manday-Friday to help answer any questions you may have.

2. Day of Appointment (will meet with the following people):
Dr. Timm for a physical assessment and at that time determine whether a CAT scan, x-rays and what lab is needed.
Haley Haymart OT who will do cognitive screening, reaction time testing and evaluation of their upper extremity strength. If needed a home assessment will be conducted.
John Miller PT, DPT or Brock Simonsen PT, DPT will evaluate their gait and balance and see if they are at risk for falls.
Jill Belt LMHP, CSW will do a behavior assessment including a social history, evaluation for mood disorders, addiction and cognitive screening.
Beth Boals, Pharmacist, will evaluate the medication list, making recommendations and answering any questions that they may have.
Carrol Baier RN BSPS DE coordinates the assessment and fills our the ADL and IADI assessment.

4. Follow-up:
The family and patient will return in two weeks to meet with the Geriatric Team to discuss and review the results and recommendations of the Geriatric Assessment. A copy of the Geriatric Assessment and follow-up will be provided to their primary providers.


Geriatric Assessment Team: Front row (left to right) Jill Belt, LMHP, CST; Dr. Matthew Timm and Carrol Baier, Geriatric Coordinator, RN; Back row (left to right) Brock Simonsen, PT, DPT; John Miller, PT, DPT; Haley Haymart, OTR/L and Beth Boals, ParmD.