Self-Assessments & Other Resources
Consider completing one of the following self-assessments and/or visit some of the following web pages to access further information and tools. Remember to follow up with a family physician, nurse practitioner, or other health care professional.
The following is a short list among the many resources available on the web on these topics:
Delirium is sudden severe confusion due to rapid changes in the brain function that occur with physical and/or mental illness. Delirium is not a mental illness; nor is it dementia. It is a medical emergency that is usually reversible if treated. Visit Vancouver Island Health Authority - Delirium Resources AND/OR This Is Not My Mom to learn more about delirium.
www.onmemory.ca was developed in consultation with the Alzheimer Society of Canada and contains many resources about Alzheimer’s disease, Signs & Symptoms, Tips for Visiting the Doctor, Caring for Someone and Caring for Caregivers. Among its resources is this memory test.
Depression is a true and treatable medical condition that is not a normal part of aging. However, older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. Visit the following links to learn more about depression, its signs and symptoms, and possible treatment options:
Mood Disorders Society of Canada - Depression in Elderly
CDC - Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older (American Resource)
The Doctor’s Checklist
The Alzheimer Society has created a checklist to help you prepare for a doctor’s visit. Click here to view it.
Alcohol Use Survey
Click here for a free, confidential, personalized Alcohol Use self-assessment provided by the Centre for Mental Health and Addictions in Toronto.
Compassion Fatigue/ Caregiver Stress
Taking on the role for a family member/friend presenting with responsive behaviours can be challenging and sometimes result in compassion fatigue or “caregiver stress”. Remember that your health and well-being are essential. Visit the following links to learn more:
The Shifting Focus Guide
The Shifting Focus Guide contains numerous strategies for responsive behaviours. In order to better understand the behaviour’s true meaning, consider the following questions regarding what happened before, during and after the event:
- Physical – Are her basic needs met? Is she in discomfort or pain? What changes in her physical condition do I see (e.g. grimacing, eating patterns, energy level)?
- Intellectual – Has he experienced recent changes in his memory? Has he been showing new impulsive behaviours (e.g. swearing, sexual behaviour)? Is he struggling with speech or sequenced tasks (e.g. getting dressed)?
- Emotional – Have you noticed increased tearfulness or anxiety? Does he seem lonely? Has he exhibited any new or unusual behaviour (e.g. suspicious of others)?
- Capabilities – Can your Mom do more than you realize? Does your husband understand that he may need help?
- Environment – Is there too much noise or too large of a crowd around your friend? Is the lighting poor, making it hard for him to navigate? Is there enough stimulation?
- Social – Do her childhood, early adulthood or employment experiences offer insight? What do I know about his religion or culture? (Adapted from the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, 2014).