Evaluating Your Loved Ones Needs

A century ago, only four out of every one hundred people in the U.S. were age 65 or older.** Today, older adults represent the fastest growing segment of the population, and as more people are entering the later stages of life, it becomes increasingly important to recognize ways to monitor and assess the changing needs of our loved ones. And while growing older is inevitable, there will come a time when you need to ask yourself whether a loved one is still able to care for him or herself independently.

For most of us, it is hard to face the fact that our loved ones may need assistance in decision making and in caring for themselves. Defining when and if assistance is necessary and determining where to start can be difficult. At Moravia Health, we care about the health of you and your loved ones.

Use the Behavior and Personal Evaluation Checklist below to assist you in identifying and monitoring changes in your loved one’s behavior. Asking yourself these questions now can help you to be better prepared for any planning and coordination of care that may be necessary in the future.

Behavior and Personal Evaluation*

Have You Noticed…

Signs to Look for:

…a noticeable change in the way a loved one is maintaining his/her yard or home?
  • Cleanliness, tidiness, and overall organization of the home have declined
  • Laundry, grocery shopping, or bill payments have not been tended to
…that a loved one is beginning to show signs of memory loss?
  • Missed appointments or commitments that were made recently
  • Getting lost or turned around in familiar places
  • Frequently misplacing or losing important items
  • Forgetting conversations
  • Easily distracted or confused
…a loved one showing signs or symptoms of depression?
  • Acts withdrawn in social situations or during routine activities a Appears sad, lonely, restless, or irritable
  • Displays a more negative attitude than usual
  • Isolates him/her self from contact with loved ones
…a noticeable change in appetite?
  • Non-dieting weight loss
  • Non-diet related weight gain
  • Overall fluctuations in weight
  • Decreased interest in cooking and/or eating
…a decline in driving capabilities?
  • Driving frequency has decreased
  • Driving at inappropriate speeds (too fast or too slow)
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
…medications are not being taken as prescribed?
  • Wrong medication is being used
  • Medication is not taken at all
  • Improper medication dosage
  • Foods, supplements, other medications, or activities that can cause side effect
…a decline in grooming or personal hygiene habits?
  • Clothes are not being laundered or do not appear to be clean
  • Bathing frequency has declined
  • Lapsed attention to oral hygiene
  • Decline in daily activities/exercise
…an increased need for assistance?
  • Walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, dressing, bathing, etc. have become difficult to perform independently
…a change in sleep patterns?
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive amounts of sleep
  • Frequently waking throughout the night
  • Nightmares
  • Abnormal signs of fatigue such as exhaustion or weakness
…signs of incontinence?
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Begin to experience occasional leaks or dribbles of urine
  • Needing to rush to the bathroom

* The information that follows is presented for the purpose of educating the consumer on a variety of wellness and health care topics (the “Information”). Nothing contained is intended to be instructional for medical diagnosis or treatment. The Information contained is compiled from a variety of sources. The Information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit with, call to, consultation or advice from your Physician or other health care provider.

**www.healthinaging.org