Applied Fields: Gerontology


Older adults and particularly those frequently described as the ‘oldest old’ (85+) represent the fastest growing population subgroup in most (industrialized) countries around the world. Although high competence characterizes the majority of today's elders (Lehr & Thomae, 2000), a whole gamut of critical situations related to ageing, and particularly to very old age, underscores the need for psychological assessment in older adults. Psychological assessment provides a rational, scientific means for making decisions in these situations, prototypical examples of which are residential decisions (e.g. relocation to an institution or within institutions), treatment decisions (e.g. early diagnosis of dementia coupled with a promising cognitive training intervention), or rehabilitation decisions (e.g. the estimation of an individual's rehabilitation potential and remaining plasticity).

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