Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My watch test

Most elderly folks still wear watches (unlike the younger generation).

Although there are no studies, I often use the "watch test" as a quick office check for cognitive impairment (even in folks who I had not previously suspected of being impaired).

When I check a pulse, as I do on all patients, I always look to see if the watch is right side up and if the time is correct.

The day and date are not as important. My eyes are younger than many of my patients and I even have a hard time reading those on most watches.

If either the orientation or the time is wrong, cognitive impairment is probable.

Putting a watch on everyday is part of a long term routine for most elderly folks.

Having it on correctly and with the correct time involves a higher level of function.

Check it out.

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