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Getting Started

Assessment Checklist

Article Highlights

  • Your loved one's doctor can help you assess
  • Consider your loved one's dietary needs
  • Take note of appearance and hygiene

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?

Support system

  • 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?   


  • Hobbies.
  • 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.
  • Accomplishments.
  • Social activities.

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