Frequently Asked Questions:
For Patients


Q: What is a comprehensive geriatric assessment?
A: A comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is a holistic assessment, which covers many domains. You will be asked about your medical conditions as well as about nutritional cognitive, psychological, functional and social factors. It will take approximately one hour. This will enable assessment of your medical conditions and a management plan that considers your individual circumstances.

Q: What should I bring? How can I prepare?
A: Please bring a valid referral from your GP. Please also have your medications available and bring any recent diagnostic imaging (eg. x-rays, CT) that you have had. Please think about whether you would like a family member or carer to come with you for support.

Q: I feel fine. Why should I see a geriatrician?
A: A geriatrician is a doctor who specialises in older adults. We have had training through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians so we have expertise in assessment and management of older people. As people age, there is an increased chance of becoming frail. This increases the risk of bad outcomes, like loss of independence. It is when you still feel fine that having a thorough holistic assessment to develop a personalised positive ageing plan can make a big difference to future wellbeing.

Q: I'd like to arrange a CGA for a family member or relative. How can I do that?
A: As specialist physicians, to enable us to bulk bill, you will require a referral from your GP. Then you just need to make a phone call and book an appointment.

Q: Do I have to live in an aged care facility to get a CGA? Do you do Home Visits?
A: We currently visit patients in residential aged care in greater Melbourne. Home visits are possible for patients who have recently had an assessment by an Aged Care Assessor (ACAS). For those who have not, referrals will be considered, please contact us to discuss.

Q: Where are you located? How do I find the nearest ElderHealth Australia Doctor?
A: We are based in inner-Melbourne but do not have a clinic to visit as our doctors visit you. Please call our reception staff if there are further questions.

Q: What will a CGA cost me?
A: The initial assessment and first review will be covered by the Medicare rebate. All patients in residential care will be bulk-billed.

Frequently Asked Questions:
For Doctors


Q: What happens during a comprehensive geriatric assessment?
A: A comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is a holistic assessment where the geriatrician will assess medical conditions as well as ask about nutritional, cognitive, psychological, functional and social factors. It will take approximately one hour.

Q: Who is eligible for a CGA under Medicare?
A: Any patient who is aged 65 and older.

Q: Any recommendations for when to refer a patient for a CGA?
A: Any patient who has had an ACAS assessment or a health assessment for older people is suitable for a CGA. If a person is starting to have difficulty coping in the community, as well as an ACAS assessment, a review by a geriatrician may be helpful. Likewise, the transition to residential care is a major life adjustment and the patient may benefit from CGA, to reassess medical management.

Any patient aged 65 and older is eligible for a CGA. Over time as people age, they are likely to develop worsening health status. Despite this, large population studies have shown that some people will remain stable or may even improve. This is associated with protective factors. There are many interventions that can be undertaken to protect against the effects of frailty.

Traditionally most referrals to geriatricians have been due to concerns regarding memory, falls or continence. These conditions are often intertwined. Frequently these symptoms are representative of underlying frailty.

Any older person can benefit from a comprehensive geriatric assessment for a detailed assessment of their frailty status and to develop a program to promote successful ageing. Although we primarily see patients who are in residential aged care, other referrals will be considered with discussion.


Q: Where are you located? How do I find the nearest ElderHealth Australia Doctor to refer my patients to?
A: We are based in inner-Melbourne but do not have a clinic to visit as our doctors visit the patients. Please call our reception staff if there are further questions.

Q: What will a CGA cost my patients?
A: The first consultation and one review will be bulk billed if the patient is aged 65 and older. Otherwise the fee will be equivalent to the Medicare rebate.

Download Referral Form (PDF)