I am a Service Coordinator at an INDEPENDENT senior living community - we offer NO assistance whatsoever. Out of 130 residents, most are sincerely independent and get along quite well. It always makes me sad when I see people's quality of life decline due to the natural aging process. There have been SO MANY instances here where the person is declining but they are in denial! When something is quite obvious to me, I'll have discussions with family members but, they are in denial as well! A resident falls, they go to the hospital, then rehab, and they come back to the same environment and change nothing. Or a resident "suddenly" gets confused and forgetful and the family says it's just typical "old age". I discuss getting the resident checked for a UTI, but that goes unheeded. So many of these situations end up with me calling DHS and filing a report. This happens so often that they know me by name at the DHS office! The thing is, 95% of these reports are "denied" because the resident somehow has a "lucid" moment while they are speaking with the caseworker or a family member. If they can tell you what day it is, what year it is, where they live, etc., they are deemed still "independent"...while it's SO CLEAR to me they are NOT, and SHOULD BE in an ALF - or at least get proper home care to enable them to stay where they are. Family members think I'm interfering or exaggerating certain things. I would say 9 times out of 10 it takes a tragedy to get these people and their family members to wake up.
Is there a more in-depth list of criteria I can use to try to determine dependency? As we all know, seniors have a remarkable ability to be on their "best behavior" when it's a crucial moment, then, when they "know" the perceived "danger" is over, they relax and continue on in their confused and questionable way. I see it ALL THE TIME and it's VERY frustrating!