Such a great question, just posting to follow, as a person can be partially
oriented, or intermittently oriented. And even when a person IS ox3, they can still not be 'right' or safe to be alone.
And, like someone said above, one can not be able to tell the date, etc, yet, could be super oriented!! could be your coworker!
The better you know a person, the easier it is to assess their neuro and cognitive status, imo. I never much ask the date or day for some patients.
My own dad, in his later years, would always ace any orientation test you gave him, yet, made exxxxtremely poor decisions, was a danger to his own self, based on a type of confusion caused by his deteriorating mental status, and was NOT safe alone, yet, was def Ox3....most of the time.
Examples, he would embellish doctors orders to the point they were no longer anything much like what the doctor advised, he'd forget things, like to take off his old nitro patch when he applied a new one, (ended up in ER with 8 nitro patches on)
or, double up on meds cuz he thought "If one pill is good, two must be better" (no matter how many times we tried to teach this to him)
light candles and leave the room, leave the oven on, (for days), overdo things (all the time) become victim of scams, super vulnerable to infomercials,
ordering things he had no need of, did odd and goofy things financially and medically, as well as severely forgetful beyond words. He was very difficult to teach things, required repeated advice and instruction, yet, still would do stuff that made me gasp sometimes, even after being taught how/what to do. He wasn't exactly "noncompliant" as he wanted to do right thing, but, he no longer had the mental capacity to do the right thing.
He was still sweet, adorable man, everyone adored him, he just was no longer completely safe alone anymore.
As a younger man, he was quite sharp, but, as an oldster, he was no longer safe alone....yet, he WAS technically oriented...he just had an ever growing cognitive deficit and forgetfulness..
He was also fragilely orientated, like many oldsters, he was more oriented in his home, but lost it in hospitals with all the stimulation. He was a notorious sundowner if not at home. And yes, he ended up with one of us always with him, 24.7, in final years.
To detect the kind of mental deterioration that my own dad suffered with, one had to have a fairly indepth conversation, cuz he sure could pass an orientation test. Of course, having an indepth conversation with every patient, is not feasible.