As the client population begins to age, it is important to be prepared for the probability that some of them will begin to show sign and have diminished capacity. Signs of trouble include issues with paperwork, difficulty following directions or a conversation, missed appointments, frequent calls, and emails that contradict earlier discussions.
When this begins to happen, what will you do? What are you able to do?
First of all, what will you do? This means you will need a policy defining what your process is. Not a requirement, but a good best practice.
What are you able to do? Good question because you may not be able to do what you want to do. Because of Privacy laws you can’t just pick up the phone to discuss this issue with a friend or child of the client without their prior written permission. Doing so could get you into trouble.
A recommendation is to start having clients sign off now on who they would allow you to contact in the event you begin to have concerns.