If you have elderly relatives living with you or living on their own, you may have to arrange for their adequate care. It is often not possible to handle the care related tasks on your own if you have other personal and professional responsibilities. Before you appoint a home care provider for your elderly family member, make sure you have a needs assessment.
What is a needs assessment? The physical and psychological states of elderly individuals differ from one another. Therefore, their care related needs vary as well. Only a thorough evaluation of the specific circumstances of an elderly individual and his/her family will help determine the care needs he/she has.
Why is an assessment necessary? Appointing a home care provider requires an adequate understanding of the needs of the elderly individual. Otherwise, the care service may not correspond to the specific requirement. The objective of the assessment is to find out the care services an elderly individual needs for a comfortable, secure and healthy life.
If an elderly individual lives alone, the loneliness may lead to depression. Arranging for the best of health care, in such a circumstance, may not be successful. Without a needs assessment, the family members may never know the real reason behind the depression. An assessment will indicate that the right solution for this is to appoint a companion.
Who conducts this assessment? The needs assessment may be conducted by the family members. However, it is better to let a professional from a care agency handle the task of assessment. This will ensure that the needs of the elderly family member are assessed properly. This will also be helpful in creating a care plan for him/her.
When should you consider getting this assessment? If it is your responsibility to take care of an elderly family member but do not have the time, skills or resources to handle this responsibility, you may consider opting for home care services. You need to get this assessment done before you appoint a home care provider.
What is considered in this assessment? The elements that need to be included in the assessment are as follows:
- Tasks that the elderly individual finds difficult to handle
- Involvement of family, friends and neighbours in the care arrangement
- Preference related to communication
- Problems with communication
- Capabilities of sight and hearing
- Problems in mobility (whether the individual needs disability equipment)
- Problems with continence
- Mental health problems
- Dietary needs and preferences
- Problems in accessing your home
- Problems with taking medicines
- Social, cultural and religious needs
After the completion of the assessment, the Cork care agency will be able to determine the services the elderly individual needs for a comfortable, healthy and secure life.
How do you find a care agency to complete this assessment? You may ask for referrals from your family, friends or neighbours. If you cannot find a competent home care agency in this manner, you may use online resources for this. Check out the home care services in your locality and choose one that offers a needs assessment.
Celia Barrymore has long been associated with an agency offering home help services for the elderly. If you are looking for more details about the needs assessment before creating the plan of care for the elderly, she suggests you visit http://www.comfortkeepers.ie/ for more details.