Key Issues in Geriatric Mental Health Assessment

Presented and developed by Terri Haaga, MSW, LICSW, GMHS

The older adult population is increasing at record rates, and all mental health practitioners should be aware of key issues in the aging process as they likely will be working with more older clients. 

In this workshop we will discuss the difference between working with geriatric clients versus adult clients, and the importance of thorough bio-psycho-social assessment. We will overview elders and mental health.  This will include discussion of current statistics and prevalence of mental health disorders specific to older adults.  Key mental health issues like dementia, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis, late onset schizophrenia.  Also, we'll include a short discussion on specific mood testing tools for elders.

We will look at Neurocognitive disorders and talk about how its presence changes everything, and specific screening tools you can use to help with diagnosis.   We will talk about cognitive impairment, its impact on the decision making capacity and the concept of safety versus autonomy for practitioners to consider.

We will examine how delirium is common in older adults and how it is often overlooked.  What are the signs to look for.

Workshop objectives:

  • Describe 4 differences between younger adult clients and elder clients
  • Examine prevalence of mental health disorders in elder population
  • Overview of Neurocognitive disorders
  • Discuss difference between delirium and dementia.


Terri Haaga, MSW, LICSW, GMHS

Terri Haaga, MSW, LICSW, GHMS is currently the owner of Aging for Life where she provides clinical supervision, geriatric mental health training and in-home geriatric mental health assessments and counseling. 

Terri is a Geriatric Mental Health Specialist who has worked exclusively with clients over 60 for the past 17 years.  She has served as a mental health clinician on a geriatric crisis team for over 13 years providing assessments, crisis intervention, stabilization and referral services. 

Ms. Haaga is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has taught numerous workshops and taught colleges courses for Eastern Washington University and Washington State University.

Terri received her BA in Social work and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Eastern Washington University.

Upcoming Dates and Registration

No dates have been scheduled for this course. Please check back soon.

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