Cognitive Assessments - What are they and what to expect at Living Strength OT

At Living Strength OT we work with a number of different clients and assist them through an initial assessment called the  ‘Initial Functional Needs Assessment’.  Most of the time we do this in the client’s own home so we can get a full understanding of their lifestyle.

This might sound quite intense but it does cover an overview of how a client goes about their daily living and as we delve deeper, we can then understand what the client’s overall goals are and how we can help them achieve them as quickly as possible.

One of the activities we undertake during this initial catch up is what we call a cognitive assessment – below we will run through what this activity is and what to expect.

What is a Cognitive Assessment?

A Cognitive assessment is used to determine a person’s general thinking and reasoning abilities, also known as intellectual functioning or IQ. Intelligence testing can assess various parts of a client’s cognitive capacity.

Cognitive and neuropsychological tests can measure memory, language skills, math skills, visual and spatial skills, and other abilities related to mental functioning. This all helps us to diagnose a client's condition accurately. For example, people with Alzheimer's disease often show changes in so-called executive functions such as problem-solving, memory, and the ability to perform once-automatic tasks.

What we may look at?

  1. Verbal comprehension: understanding verbal information, thinking in words and expressing thoughts in words.
  2. Perceptual reasoning: ability to organise and reason with visual information, and to solve visual problems.
  3. Working memory: ability to retain and manipulate verbal information.
  4. Processing speed: ability to scan, process and identify information accurately.

Usually, the average score for IQ and various domains is between 90 and 109. Higher scores represent higher cognitive functioning and lower scores represent poorer cognitive functioning.

Some of the typical tests we undertake at Living Strength:

Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination III (ACE-III)
Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

Should I be worried about a cognitive assessment?

Absolutely not, these tests are painless and are purely designed to give our staff the best idea of how we can support you. If you have any concerns, our team can run through each of the steps with you to help ease any concerns.

If you have any further questions about how we work through cognitive assessments, contact us today and see how we can support you or your loved one.


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