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    It's natural to want the best possible care for your loved one. But whether you're the chief caregiver or you supervise someone else, it's sometimes hard to judge if the job is getting too tough to handle alone.

    Take this short test to measure the physical challenges of caring for your loved one and find out if you need to get some extra help.

    Check numbers 1, 2, or 3 for each category on this list. Then get your score by adding up the numbers you selected.

    The results will give you the big picture of your caregiving situation. A high score means you've got things under control. A lower number means you might want to get more help.

    Questions About the Person Who's Getting the Care

    Ability to Get Around: Your loved one is usually:

    _____ (1) Confined to the bed

    _____ (2) Homebound, but not bed bound

    _____ (3) Able to get about on his own

    Eating: Your loved one is:

    _____ (1) Not able to feed himself

    _____ (2) Able to feed himself but needs supervision, coaching, and company

    _____ (3) Able to come to the table for meals

    Bathing and Dressing: Your loved one is:

    _____ (1) Not able to bathe himself or do other routine tasks like shaving or dressing

    _____ (2) Able to take a tub bath or a shower but needs help and support

    _____ (3) Able to bathe, groom, and dress on his own

    Going to the Bathroom: Your loved one is:

    _____ (1) Not able to control his bowels or bladder

    _____ (2) Able to control bowels and bladder but needs help to use a bedpan or get to the bathroom

    _____ (3) Can get to the bathroom on his own

    Time Needed for Care: Your loved one:

    _____ (1) Needs 20 hours of personal care a week

    _____ (2) Needs between 10 and 20 hours of personal care a week

    _____ (3) Needs less than 10 hours of personal care a week

    Thinking Skills: Your loved one is:

    _____ (1) Usually mentally confused

    _____ (2) Sometimes mentally confused

    _____ (3) Able to think clearly and make competent decisions