How to assess the type of assistance a loved one needs.

The following table may come in handy for a caregiver to determine just how much assistance an ailing/aging loved one requires.

Daily living activities

 

Can do alone

Needs a little help

Needs a lot of help

Bathing

 

 

 

Dressing

 

 

 

Grooming

 

 

 

Toileting

 

 

 

Eating a healthy diet

 

 

 

Getting out of bed

 

 

 

Getting out of a chair

 

 

 

Walking

 

 

 

Instrumental Activities of  Daily Living

Using the phone

 

 

 

Shopping for personal items

 

 

 

Transportation

 

 

 

Handling money

 

 

 

Doing the laundry

 

 

 

Doing light housework

 

 

 

Cooking

 

 

 

         

 

What is the effect of the following potential limitations on the person’s ability to function?

Limitation

No effect

Some effect

Major effect

Hearing

 

 

 

Vision

 

 

 

Perception

 

 

 

Orientation

 

 

 

Thinking

 

 

 

Memory

 

 

 

Decision-making

 

 

 

Physical dexterity

 

 

 

Balance

 

 

 

Strength

 

 

 

Energy

 

 

 

Bladder/bowel control

 

 

 

Arthritis

 

 

 

Hypertension

 

 

 

Heart disease

 

 

 

Diabetes

 

 

 

Physical deformities

 

 

 

Depression

 

 

 

 

Which environmental barriers may be changed or removed?

Limitation

OK

Needs changing

Neighborhood

Safety

 

 

Convenience

 

 

Friends/relatives nearby

 

 

Living quarters

Condition

 

 

Age of dwelling

 

 

Roof in good repair

 

 

Windows in good repair

 

 

Siding in good condition

 

 

Looks cared for

 

 

Security and safety

 

 

Dead bolt locks on outside doors

 

 

Peephole in front door

 

 

Window bars/locks

 

 

Visible from the road

 

 

Smoke alarms installed and tested

 

 

Passageways free of wires/clutter

 

 

Stairs

Obstacle- and clutter-free

 

 

Well lit

 

 

Handrails on either side

 

 

In good repair

 

 

Skid-proof

 

 

Clearly marked

 

 

Floors

Non-skid level surfaces

 

 

Non-glare surfaces

 

 

No loose rugs

 

 

Furnishings

Couch and chairs are easy to use

 

 

Tables are the right height

 

 

Bed is easy to get in and out of

 

 

Lighting

Switches are easy to reach

 

 

Entries and walkways are well lit

 

 

Reading areas are well lit

 

 

Light is diffused from windows and surfaces

 

 

Passageways have nightlights

 

 

Kitchen

Lever handles on sink

 

 

 

Clean rubber mat by the sink

 

 

 

Items oft used are accessible

 

 

 

Storage is easy to reach

 

 

 

No objects are over the stove

 

 

 

Is well lit

 

 

Bathroom

Grab bars are attached to studs by the toilet and tub or shower

 

 

Non-skid strips in the tub or shower

 

 

Handheld shower head

 

 

Slip-proof mat or rug

 

 

 

Further information

Make a list of:

·         The elderly person’s informal support networks (e.g., a neighbor who runs errands or a youth who does chores).

·         Social services that the person uses, for example home-delivered meals.

·         Services or supports that the person says that he/she needs/wants.

·         Your needs as a caregiver

-        What obligations compete for your time and resources?

-        How can you preserve your physical, emotional, social, and financial wellbeing?

·         Services or support that you use as a caregiver to help provide care.

Related: Questionnaire: How safe is your loved one’s house?