Does My Loved One Need Help? LIFE Senior Services Guide to Eldercare

Does My Loved One Need Help?

Are you concerned for a loved one and their ability to remain safely in their home? Completing this simple assessment will help you identify potential risks and threats to their independence, and will give you a starting point for finding options to address those needs.

Physical Health

  • Has your loved one been diagnosed with any chronic illnesses or diseases?
  • Has she been hospitalized recently?
  • Has she fallen or had accidents because of weakness, dizziness, or inability to get around?
  • Has there been a recent change in weight - especially unexplained weight loss?

Mental Health

  • Has your loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia
    or memory loss?
  • Has he been diagnosed with a mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or psychosis?
  • Is he showing signs of confusion, disorientation, or isolation?
    What about mood swings or forgetfulness? Sadness or loneliness?
  • Does he have mental or emotional problems that might make him a threat to himself or to others?

Medication Use

  • Is your loved one taking multiple medications - either prescription, over-the-counter,
    or supplements?
  • Does she have trouble taking her medications as directed, i.e. the right amount at the right time
    and with the proper foods or liquids?
  • Does she ever forget to take her medicines or skip dosages to save money?  

Daily Living Skills

  • Does your loved one have difficulty bathing or dressing?
  • Does he have trouble getting up from a chair, walking, or navigating stairs?
  • Does he have trouble making it to the bathroom in time?
  • Does he have trouble using the phone or getting help in case of an emergency?
    Has he ever forgotten to hang up the phone?
  • Does he need help shopping, preparing meals, doing housework or yard work?
  • Does he have poor eating habits? Has he lost interest in his favorite foods?
    Does the refrigerator have old or outdated food?
  • Has he ever forgotten to turn off the stove, oven, or water?
  • Is his home in disarray? Does it need cleaning? Is this a change?
  • Do you worry about his driving abilities or believe he shouldn't be driving?
    Has he had any accidents, near misses, or tickets recently?

Home and Community Safety

  • Are you concerned about the safety of your loved one's neighborhood?
  • Does her home have safety issues, e.g., throw rugs, smoke alarms that don't work or
    can't be heard, steps that can't be easily navigated, wiring problems, or inadequate
    heating or air conditioning?
  • Does she refuse to use a wheelchair, walker, hearing aids, or other assistive devices
    necessary for safety?
  • Is she vulnerable to telephone, mail, or door-to-door solicitations or fraud?
  • Is she unable to maintain the house or keep up with needed repairs?
  • Has she ever gotten lost or been unable to find her way home?

Socialization/Support Systems/Interests/Lifestyles

  • Has your loved one quit having frequent contact with family and friends?
  • Does he lack family or friends nearby to call on for help?
  • Is he reluctant to leave the house?
    Has he lost touch with church, work, or social groups that he previously enjoyed?
  • Does he watch too much TV or sleep too much during the day?
  • Has he lost interest in his favorite hobbies or pastimes, church or senior center activities?

Appearance and Hygiene

  • Have you seen a decline in your loved one's personal hygiene,
    e.g., unkempt hair or clothes, poor oral hygiene, unshaven, body or urine odor?
  • Does she wear the same clothes over and over?


  • Is your loved one unable to live comfortably on her current income?
  • Does she have trouble managing her money or checkbook?
  • Are bills piling up or going unpaid? Have her utilities ever been shut off?
  • Is she receiving mail from lots of charities and feeling the need to respond to all requests?
  • Can she afford her medications?

These questions are phrased in such a way that "Yes" answers suggest a possible area of concern.
If you answered "Yes" to more than three or four questions, call SeniorLine at LIFE Senior Services - (918) 664-9000 - and we'll visit with you about services, programs, and resources that can help.