Step 3 – Assess Needs

Once the care giving team is known, your efforts must shift to accumulating data. Data accumulation leads to needs assessment. The data items on the next sheet represent the minimum number of documents necessary in assessing needs. 

Having appropriate data leads us to the following needs categories: 

Home maintenance and living situation (are there mortgages/rent payments due, are home modifications/accessibility improvements needed, what home repairs should be made and what deferred maintenance issues exist, what help with general housekeeping/cleaning is needed, is safety adequate). 

Financial (timely bill payment, timely receipt of retirement benefits and deferred compensation, timely receipt of public benefits including social security, determine if additional public benefits available including assistance with Medicare Part B and Part D monthly premiums). 

Transportation (should keys be taken away, determine how medical appointments and grocery shopping travel will be structured). 

Personal care (schedules of family versus professional caregivers must exist, determine if transportation for personal grooming like hair salons is required, how will basic bathing needs be handled if mobility is restricted). 

Health care (Make and keep medical appointments, resolve conflicting medical appointment times and reduce transportation cost and effort. Most importantly understand medical prescriptions and conditions resulting in medication). Can the medication level be reduced over time with specified dietary or behaviorial improvement? 

Communications (Keep family members apprised of conditions, and schedule family visits to avoid overwhelming the care beneficiary). 

Equipment useage – (Determine if adaptive durable medical equipment is necessary, whether to rent or purchase. Look for public resources for wheelchairs, walkers).