Pioneers in Geriatric Assessment

Yale New Haven Hospital is a pioneer in the assessment of those with declining self-care skills. In 1981, a group of doctors, nurses and social workers concerned about the care of older patients established a geriatric clinic in a corner of the hospital's primary care center. One of the patients they treated was a woman named Dorothy Adler. After her death, her sons, two local businessmen, decided to support an expanded center that would evaluate older men and women who were having difficulty caring for themselves. In 1987, a center was opened in Dorothy Adler's name. In 2009, the Adler Center moved into a free-standing building at 874 Howard Avenue, directly across the street from YNHH.

Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center

Yale New Haven Hospital offers one of the oldest and most comprehensive geriatric assessment programs in the United States in the Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center. The Adler Center, founded in 1981, draws patients and families from throughout Connecticut, as well as from New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

At the Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center a team of experts meets with the patient, family members and/or caregivers to evaluate how age-related problems affect daily functioning. Our staff members coordinate their expertise in medicine, geropsychiatry and nursing in helping families identify and treat correctable problems. Further, we help locate and connect patients with community resources that assist in optimizing the patient's living situation.

When you bring a loved one to YNHH for assessment, he or she will receive a comprehensive medical exam, assessment for problems of falls, mobility and musculoskeletal complaints like back or joint pain; geropsychiatry consultation; caregiver counseling; and assessment for nursing home and assisted living placement. Diagnostic testing is done as an outpatient at Yale New Haven or at the patient's preferred site. Family meetings are held at each visit and include physician, case manager, family/caregivers and, if appropriate, the patient. The team works closely with the patient's own physician.

Contact The Adler Center

To schedule an appointment or to speak to one of our specialists, please call 203-688-6361.

Senior Assessment Program at Saint Raphael

The Senior Assessment Program at Yale New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus is a comprehensive consultative service designed to help seniors with age-related concerns, such as medical problems or difficulty with self-care. This outpatient care service focuses on the complex health care needs of the geriatric population. The program’s unique interdisciplinary approach provides older adults with comprehensive physical, medical, psychosocial and functional assessments. These are coordinated to establish an individualized care plan for each patient, his/her family, providers or other caregivers.

The key geriatric team consists of a board-certified geriatrician, advanced practice nurse specialist in geriatrics and other specialists in nutrition, physical therapy, etc. The geriatric team strives to maximize function and minimize morbidity in each patient and balance each patient’s quality of life with his/her care needs.

At the visit, our staff:

  • Diagnoses physical problems, including incontinence, pain, falls and decreased mobility
  • Evaluates mental difficulties, such as depression, dementia, memory loss, confusion and related behavior problems, as well as decision-making capability
  • Assesses living arrangements and social and financial resources

The geriatric team then develops a care plan that addresses the needs of the patient and their family caregivers, and involves the patient’s physicians and appropriate community service agencies. The plan includes:

  • Education in the diagnosis and prognosis of identified health problems and treatment options
  • Help in developing realistic short- and long-term (health and social) goals and strategies for meeting those goals
  • Support for family members and caregivers
  • Information and referral to community agencies and financial assistance programs when needed
  • Education on safety in the home and community

Special Geriatric Programs at Yale New Haven


YNHH uses a Yale-developed test called the Tinetti Gait and Balance Scale to determine older people' risk factors for falling. This tool has successfully decreased the rate of falling in elderly people in the community.


YNHH uses a Yale-developed Confusion Assessment Method to make a diagnosis of delirium. This method has become the gold standard for diagnosing delirium throughout the world. Yale researchers have also developed an intervention which has decreased delirium in hospitalized elderly patients.

Functional Decline

Yale New Haven Geriatrics has special expertise on functional decline in disability in older adults - determining risk factors and developing a successful intervention to prevent functional decline in older people.

Decision Making

Another area of expertise at Yale New Haven is an understanding of what influences older people' medical decisions and how treatment preferences change as diseases (such as terminal heart failure, chronic lung disease and cancer) progress.


Down Syndrome Adult Assessment

Adults with Down syndrome are living longer lives. Research shows that people with this condition often develop Alzheimer's disease at an earlier age, which may go undetected. With the help of the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress, Yale New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus offers assessments for adults with Down syndrome to identify, diagnose and treat geriatric conditions.

Assessments are offered the fourth Tuesday of each month from 9 am-noon, by appointment. To schedule an appointment, please call 203-688-6361.

US News Badge Geriatrics

Among the best in the U.S.

Yale New Haven Hospital has been named as one of the top hospitals in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" rankings. Yale New Haven ranked among the very best in the nation in 9 medical specialties, including geriatrics, which ranked #23.

Read more about the Best Hospitals rankings