Preview of the Tool


Practice Recommendations


Adapted with permission from Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Nursing Best Practice Guideline: Screening for Delirium, Dementia and Depression in Older Adults, November, 2003


Deterioration Cognitive Observee (DECO)

The DECO questionnaire is to be completed by a person, such as a family member, who has had at least monthly contact with the client for the last 3 years.

A. Instruct the person who is completing the form to:

  • Consider how their relative was a year ago. Explain that the questions they are answering relate to everyday situations – the decisions are based on what they know about the person who is suspected of having an illness that has affected how the person is thinking and behaving.
  • Direct the person filling out the form to indicate their answers as either: Better or about the same (2), Not as well (1), Much worse (0).

B. Scoring the form:

  • The total score may range from 0 (indicates considerable change) to 38 (indicates no change). A score of less than 30 indicates high likelihood of dementia and warrants further investigation and referral.

When Dementia is in the House


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