When making the next step towards searching for a proper care-giver, or in-home nursing assistant, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. It is never easy, that is why Quality Family Care has provided this easy checklist to help you make the proper choices moving forward.
If you’re doing an assessment on your own, use this list as a guide. Gently explore as many of these areas as you can to get a full picture of your loved one’s life.
- Make note of these factors; you may need the help of your loved one’s doctor.
- Diagnosis of any chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, emphysema, or stroke.
- Unusual weight loss or gain in a short amount of time.
- Balance problems: How steady is the person while walking?
- Persistent fatigue or sleeplessness.
- Swollen feet or legs, or limping.
- Vision problems such as cataracts or use of vision aids.
- Hearing problems: Is there a need for a hearing aid? If there is one, is it being worn?
- Dental problems including gum disease, halitosis and ill-fitting dentures.
- Complaints of pain.
- List of health professionals being seen.
- Make note of these factors; a primary care doctor can help, but a geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist might be more helpful.
- Diagnosis of any psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety disorder or psychosis.
- Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia.
- Recent hospitalizations for any of these problems.
- Mood swings, including rage or hostility.
- Forgetfulness or wandering off.
- Sadness or loneliness.
- Decreased interest in reading, writing and communicating.
- Difficulty in maintaining friends.
- Decreased interest in life.
- List all medicines taken, prescription or over-the-counter, with frequency and dosage.
- List all herbal remedies, supplements, traditional home remedies or vitamins being used.
- Is the person able to take medications as directed and avoid interactions?
- Are there any barriers to proper medicine use, such as forgetfulness, expense, poor understanding of purpose and results of use?
- List special dietary needs and favorite foods.
- Describe ability to dress, bathe, get up from a chair, use the toilet, use the phone, climb stairs, get help in an emergency, shop, prepare meals, do housework and yard work, and drive safely.
Home and community safety
- Consider neighborhood safety.
- Consider home safety: Are there throw rugs? A need for handrails in the bathroom? Does the residence have working smoke alarms?
- Is the person able to avoid telephone and door-to-door fraud?
- What level of maintenance do the yard and house require?
- Know contact information for key family members, friends, neighbors and clergy.
- Does the person have visitors or is he or she able to visit friends and family?
- Is he able to visit a senior center?
- List membership in organizations and groups.
Appearance and hygiene
Factors to assess:
- Personal hygiene.
- Overall appearance.
- Oral care.Trimmed nails.
- Well showered and shaven.
- Combed hair.
- Clean clothes.
- Appropriately dressed for weather and occasion.
Factors to assess:
- Insurance coverage.
- Long-term care coverage.
- Total assets.
- Legal documents including trusts, living wills and durable powers of attorney.
- Is there an attorney who knows this person?
- Reading preferences: Are glasses or larger-print books needed? Would books on tape be enjoyable?
- Favorite TV and radio programs.
- Exercise — gardening and walking count!
- Musical instruments played.
- Languages spoken, and is there a preferred language?
- Favorite conversation topics.
- Travel experience.
- Important life events.
- Religious/spiritual background.
- Social activities.
If you have any question or concerns call Quality Family Care toll-free anytime at 877-513-7156. We are looking forward to hearing from you.