Needs Assessment Overview

How to assess your loved one’s situation for physical, mental and environmental well-being.

In order to do an effective Needs Assessment, you will need to know four basic things:

What is an Assessment?
An assessment is a comprehensive review of a person’s mental, physical, environmental and financial condition. This helps to establish his or her ability to remain safely independent and identifies risks and ways to reduce them.

The Goal of Assessment
A thorough assessment should yield a plan for meeting the needs and addressing the problems of your loved one. Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care will help you decide on a change that is necessary for their safety and well-being. An assessment also may lead to resolutions that allow a loved one to remain independent longer. A good plan can mean fewer accidents and illnesses, a longer life, improved quality of life and greater independence. It is important to include your loved ones in the discussion and decision-making about their options once the assessment is complete. Involving them in the process should help them feel more comfortable with the outcome.

How to Assess
Families can conduct assessments on their own but may want to hire an experienced professional such as, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, to lead them through this process. Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care offers assessments for geriatric as well as younger patients recovering from injury in which a medical/social work team looks at all aspects of the person’s health and life.

What to Assess
Professional assessments can take a few hours to several days and vary depending on the level of care needed. All assessments should include a thorough review of your loved one’s physical and mental health; medication use; daily routine; home and community safety; support system; appearance and hygiene; finances and personal interests. Read the caregiving Assessment Checklist for more details.