Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Happy Human

Recognise and respond to changes in physical and mental health

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

The more you work with individuals, the more you will get to know them and become familiar with their personality, behaviours, attitudes and physical capabilities.

This puts you in a prime position to recognise any changes that may indicate an improvement or deterioration of their physical or mental health.

Some things that may allude to a change in an individuals physical or mental health are:

  • being unable or unwilling to get out of bed
  • drastic changes in behaviour
  • being overly forgetful or regularly confused
  • under-eating or over-eating
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • signs of being in pain e.g. crying, screaming, gritted teeth etc.
  • being unable to complete a physical task they usually perform with ease
  • decreased mobility
  • changes in mood or personality

When you have identified a change in an individual’s physical or mental health, you should attempt to gather more information, for example by observing or speaking to the individual. You may also ask your colleagues to observe or speak to the individual and ask them what they think.

Next, you should report your concerns to your manager or supervisor who will be able to work with you to develop a plan of action.

This may mean making more observations, making a referral to a medical professional such as the individual’s GP, nurse or psychologist.

You may also need to contact the individual’s family to pass on your concerns.

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