Have Things Changed? A Self-Assessment for Care Needs
By Charlene Neu, Mature Caregivers
It will only take a moment to appreciate the chance to spend time with the older members of your family. It’s a chance to reconnect and to get a sense of any changes in their lives. It's also helpful to understand if their care needs may have changed since the last time you saw them. As a simple, non-comprehensive tool, use this checklist to help assess change and taking a more in-depth caregiving needs assessment or contacting a Family Advisor using the form on the right-hand side of the page.
- Stop, look, and take note. But don’t jump to conclusions immediately.
- What’s different How does the house look? Is it messy? Lots of laundry? Has the trash gone out in a timely manner?since the last time you were there?
- Eating too little, or too much? Check out the fridge. Is there spoiled or outdated food items? Or, is there nothing at all except for mustard and ketchup?
- Medications—more, less, or none at all. Medication adherence is important. Are the medications being taken? Are they being taken correctly?
- Is the house safe for walking around? Check for mobility issues or fall risks.
- Are there too many loose area rugs that can cause sliding and falls?
- Are there grab bars in the shower and bathroom in case?
- Is there wall or furniture walking?
- Frequent sitting down and resting?
- How does the car look? Is the inside of the car littered with bags, debris, or cups? Is there visible damage on the outside of the car?
- Is regular mail or voicemail piling up? Ask if there’s a difficulty with retrieving messages or opening and reading the mail.
- Talk to the neighbors. Have they noticed anything different?
- Talk to your loved one. Is the way that you talk to each other different?
- What about Fido or Tigger? If there’s a pet in the house, is it being cared for daily?