Hierarchic Dementia Scale-Revised (HDS-R)

The Hierarchic Dementia Scale-Revised (HDS-R) is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive abilities for people with dementia. It measures 20 different cognitive functions rating each one on a hierarchy. It can be used across the entire course of dementia from diagnosis through to end-of-life care.

A particular strength of the HDS-R is its use in creating person-centred care plans based on an individual’s particular strengths and limitations through the use of the Possibly Oriented Approach (see User Guide).

There are no limitations on who can use the HDS-R and full instructions for its administration are included in the instruction manual. The kit is not free and must be purchased, and contains all the items required for completing an assessment – including construction boards and tiles, flashcards, pictures, and memory items (see picture left).

Other resources:
  • Possibility Oriented Approach – A guide to using the Hierarchic Dementia Scale – Revised (HDS-R)
    Download as a pdf
  • HDS-R Video Companion
    an additional video resource that provides examples of health professionals conducting the HDS-R with people with varying levels of dementia. Each assessment can be viewed in full, or any of the subscales can be viewed separately. The link to this video companion is provided as an archive resource:
    Link to Video Companion (will open a new window)

Authors: The original Hierarchic Dementia Scale was created by Drs Dolly Dastoor and Martin Cole in the late 1970’s. The WA Dementia Training Study Centre (DTSC) revised the assessment in 2015 to make it more relevant to current day care for people with dementia.

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