Is it Time to Think About a Change?
Everyone wants to remain independent as long as possible. But there comes a time when the risks of injury or ill health for a person experiencing deficits associated with aging have become too great. Take this quiz to determine whether it's time to consider seeking a more supportive facility for your loved one.
Answer the following questions using this scale:
2 = always
1 = sometimes
0 = never
Is the person you're concerned about...
- Confused about correct garbage/recycling days?
- Unable to take the garbage/recycling out to the curb?
- Unsure of the season, day of the week, etc.?
- Seen out walking in inappropriate dress (coat in summer, no coat in winter)?
Does the person...
- Call several times each day asking the same question or voicing the same complaint?
- Miss medical appointments?
- Tell the doctor a story you know to be untrue?
- Administer medications inappropriately? (E.g., pills are found in various parts of the house, multiple bottles of the same pills are found in various parts of the house, and/or over-the-counter medications are being used inappropriately)
- Claim to have eaten meals regularly, but the fridge contents remain the same?
- Show signs (e.g., odour) of inadequate personal care and hygiene?
- Deny having falls when there is evidence present, such as blood on the floor, cuts and bruises on the personís head and extremities, broken furniture, marks on the walls and doors?
- Refuse to use a walker despite having been assessed as needing one and having one available in the house?
- Never have any cash in her/his wallet despite repeatedly getting money from the bank? Has the bank called to express concern about his/her banking behaviour?
Look around the person's home. Do you notice the following indicators?
- Lists of tasks to be done, shopping lists, and/or miscellaneous written phone numbers placed all over the house
- Items in the fridge are stale dated or rotten
- Blood on the carpet in the hallway between bedroom and bathroom
- The door is unlocked/open when you visit
- The kettle/pot/frying pan is burnt
0 - 9 .... Your loved one is still functioning independently and can continue to live on his or her own. However, be sure to monitor him/her for any decline in his/her functioning.
10 - 19 .... Sporadic lapses in memory or ability may be cause for concern, but it's not necessarily time for a move. Discuss the situation with a physician. Regular visits from eldercare consultant can significantly reduce risk, and also acclimatize the person to receiving help from "outsiders". This can also help you prepare for the future by gently introducing the idea of a more supportive living arrangement to your loved one.
20 - 29 .... Self-care is becoming seriously degraded, and may pose significant health and/or accident risk. It is time to begin making arrangements for long term care.
30 or higher .... Grave risk of accident or declining health; a move to a more supportive facility is urgently needed.