SPICES Assessment Tool for Elderly

The SPICES assessment tool is designed to identify common problems experienced by older adults.

The acronym SPICES stands for six common “geriatric syndromes” that can indicate health issues if they are present.

This tool helps healthcare providers quickly screen for and address these concerns.

SPICES Assessment Tool

Patient Information

  • Name:
  • Date:
  • Age:
  • Gender:
  • Examiner:

SPICES Components

  1. S – Sleep Disorders
    • Assessment: Ask about difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early, or excessive sleepiness during the day.
    • Examples of Questions:
      • “Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?”
      • “Do you feel excessively sleepy during the day?”
  2. P – Problems with Eating or Feeding
    • Assessment: Check for issues with chewing, swallowing, lack of appetite, or difficulties in feeding oneself.
    • Examples of Questions:
      • “Have you experienced any difficulty with chewing or swallowing?”
      • “Have you noticed any changes in your appetite?”
  3. I – Incontinence
    • Assessment: Determine if there are any issues with urinary or fecal incontinence.
    • Examples of Questions:
      • “Do you have any trouble controlling your bladder or bowels?”
      • “How often do you experience incontinence?”
  4. C – Confusion
    • Assessment: Assess for signs of delirium or changes in cognitive function.
    • Examples of Questions:
      • “Have you been feeling more confused lately?”
      • “Have you experienced any sudden changes in your thinking or memory?”
  5. E – Evidence of Falls
    • Assessment: Look for any history or evidence of falls, including unexplained bruises or injuries.
    • Examples of Questions:
      • “Have you fallen recently or felt unsteady on your feet?”
      • “Do you have any new bruises or injuries that you can’t explain?”
  6. S – Skin Breakdown
    • Assessment: Check for any signs of pressure ulcers, wounds, or other skin problems.
    • Examples of Questions:
      • “Do you have any sores or wounds on your skin?”
      • “Have you noticed any areas of skin breakdown or ulcers?”


Component No Problem Potential Problem Actual Problem Notes/Comments
Sleep Disorders
Problems with Eating/Feeding
Evidence of Falls
Skin Breakdown

Total Score and Interpretation

  • No Problems: Indicates no immediate concerns in any of the SPICES categories.
  • Potential Problems: Indicates areas that may require further monitoring or preventive measures.
  • Actual Problems: Indicates areas needing immediate intervention or treatment.

Overall Assessment:

  • Follow-up Plan: Note any required follow-ups or referrals based on the findings of the SPICES assessment.


Note: This form is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with qualified healthcare providers for accurate assessments and appropriate care plans.

The SPICES tool is a practical and effective way to screen for common issues in older adults, ensuring timely intervention and better management of their health.