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Practical Assessment of Fall Risk in the Elderly

Among the elderly, falls are the top cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. This program aims to bring awareness to the importance of falls as a geriatric syndrome as well as identify assessment tools that can be used to detect which patients are at risk for falls and patients who do fall. This program will also review evidence based interventions for the prevention and management of falls. 


Research and advancement increase the capability of medicine to provide complex care. Technology can keep patients alive in states that they might not desire. Today, clinicians are responsible for (1) anticipating future care needs and (2) guiding treatments as patients become more ill and less functional. An essential tool in the clinician armamentarium, advance care planning is a skill set that must be honed to ensure that patients receive care both consistent with their informed preferences and appropriate to their prognosis. Advance care planning includes serial discussion with patients about clinical circumstances and prognosis, incorporates specific tools, requires coordination among the team of clinicians caring for a patient across venues of care, and may be facilitated by advance care planning structures. Sometimes the process also requires setting limits and addressing maladaptive coping. Building strong relationships with patients and families, and a consistent focus on goals of care is key to high quality treatment for the complex patient and achieving optimal end of life care.


Our patients are aging before our very eyes. A 72-year-old patient who used to come bounding down the hallway, is now, fifteen years later, using a walker and taking ten minutes to enter the exam room. We are facing questions from concerned adult children about whether their parents -- your patients -- are safe living, driving, or managing finances alone. Participants will review the factors that impact aging-in-place, learn about office-based tests evaluating a senior’s independence, receive information regarding available support resources, and gain insights on navigating transitions to long-term communities. The lecture will also discuss the options in long-term care living and innovative alternatives in the long-term care field.


There is a well-recognized need to improve communication about end of life care between medical providers and patients. Advance care planning involves clarifying patients’ illness understanding and understanding their values, beliefs, and goals of care to ensure care at the end of life honors these goals. Unfortunately, simply increasing completion rate of advance directives does not impact care at the end of life. Strategies for successful advance care planning in primary care clinic will be discussed in this talk. Specifically, the talk will outline a framework for discussing care planning for healthy, chronically ill, and terminally ill patients.

four elderly people looking jovial

In this activity, Dr. Lindquist discusses the best approach for dealing with common concerns of geriatric patients, such as sudden weight loss, memory loss, insomnia, and other issues. Through case discussions, learn how to address these topics with the elderly patient’s best interests in mind.


This engaging session will review risk factors for falls and the approach to treating a patient who has fallen or is at high risk of falling. Participants will learn about guidelines and validated tools for gait and fall risk assessment and review evidence-based interventions that have been shown to prevent falls in community-dwelling older adults.

Fall Risk Case Study

Dr. Valencia will use a case study to help clinicians recognize falls as a geriatric syndrome with major implications on society and help implement evidence based interventions to prevent and manage falls in the elderly.

Dr. Galluzzi will discuss the best approaches for screening seniors and the elderly for cancers and other diseases. She will explain the cost-benefit analyses a physician should employ before ordering screening tests in their geriatric patient population and discuss generating a practical strategy for determining the stopping age for cancer screening.

Pain Management Elderly

This activity will include discussion of the sources and severity of pain in older patients. The pharmacology of the drugs available to treat pain in the elderly will be examined. Additionally, Dr. Conolly will review aspects of the aging body which make treating pain in the elderly different from treating pain in younger patients.


Dr. Lindquist will address a new movement in Geriatrics called "Lifespan Planning" or "4th Quarter Planning.” Different than end-of-life, lifespan planning helps seniors and their families plan for the 5-20 years before death (e.g. 70 y/o, 80 y/o, 90 y/o), as seniors experience progressing disability and increasing home needs. A freely available online tool ( will be discussed to help seniors and their families complete lifespan planning, linking them to local and national services (e.g. caregivers, area agencies on aging, social services, etc.).

three generations of aging

Dr. Nemeroff will review the signs of aging, along with diseases and conditions that cause behavioral changes in this population. He will discuss some common myths about aging and how to combat these via judicious use of resources available to a primary care practitioner.


It is estimated that one out of 10 older adults experiences some form of abuse or neglect by a caregiver each year. Learn about screening tests and evaluations that a physician can use to detect elder abuse and neglect and acquire skills to outline plans for an intervention in cases of elder abuse.