An independent living assessment is a test you take that helps determine whether it is safe for you to live independently, and if not, what support and/or modifications might help you work toward maintaining your independence. Even if you are currently in good health, an assessment can help you devise a plan to have in place should you experience changes in your health.
Researchers at Boston University have developed a free online Independent Living Assessment Tool, and Philips Lifeline is proud to be its sponsor. The assessment focuses on three specific areas:
- moving about freely
- managing life skills
- performing daily tasks
The assessment only takes a few minutes, and involves multiple-choice questions. Once the assessment is completed, an email is sent to you with your results, which are easy-to-understand and comprehensive. Your independent living assessment will identify areas of concern and offer you potential resources.
For example, if your independent living assessment shows you are at a high risk for falling, you will be provided with resources such as LearnNotToFall.com and Stopfalls.org. If you have issues with performing daily tasks, the American Occupational Therapy Association will likely be recommended as a resource. These resources alone are a wonderful benefit to completing an independent living assessment.
But there are additional advantages, as well. Armed with your results, you can begin to have conversations with your loved ones and health care providers about any specific areas of concern. You can also discuss potential issues that are likely to affect you in the future. Talking about and planning for the years to come are necessary aspects of planning for continued independent living. And having these discussions when things are calm is certainly preferable to having to make decisions when you are in the middle of a crisis. Indeed, not having a plan in place is likely to make your life more difficult, stressful, and even costly, in the event you need help.
An independent living assessment can be taken multiple times, and, in fact, this is recommended. In the event you have an accident or are dealing with a new illness, a monthly assessment might be a good idea. Your needs will likely change rapidly and an independent living assessment will identify those changes. It will allow you to pursue appropriate support to maintain your independent living.
An independent living assessment offers a variety of benefits. It helps you identify areas of concern in independent living, and provides you with information that can be helpful in planning your future. What could be better than that?