A checklist of important questions to ask your aging parent

Later in life, there may come a time when your aging parent can no longer live independently. Even if they are in fairly good shape, they may still struggle to maintain a household, find they aren't as active and social as they once were, feel less motivated to cook nutritional meals, or even experience feelings of loneliness. Though most adult children begin exploring retirement support options for their parents following a medical scare, it's always best to plan ahead and help your loved one to be proactive about their health and well-being.

If you think your parent is ready for more support, or may be soon, here's a checklist of questions that will help you plan for the future together, before a medical emergency starts the conversation for you.

Discussing living arrangements 
AARP suggests asking this list of questions related to your loved one's current living arrangement.

  • Is your current living environment still conducive to your health and wellness?
  • How well can you manage the stairs? Would you prefer living in a one-level home?
  • Are there any safety hazards in your home?
  • Are you comfortable living on your own, or do you find you feel unsafe or lonely?
  • Are there any improvements we can make to ensure a safer living environment?
  • Have you ever thought of moving elsewhere?

The source also recommends asking these questions in regard to your aging parent's activities and mobility:

  • Do you need help with chores around the house, such as cleaning, cooking and keeping the yard tidy?
  • Has your eyesight ever inhibited you from carrying out your daily activities?
  • How is your hearing?
  • Do you ever have trouble driving?
  • If you aren't driving yourself, do you have reliable transportation for getting to appointments, social activities and the grocery store?
Asking questions can help prepare your aging parent for the future.
Asking questions can help prepare your aging parent for the future.

Care & Wellness Considerations
In regard to your aging parent's health, Real Simple magazine suggests asking this list of questions:

  • Should the need arise, may I have permission to speak with your doctor in case we have questions or concerns about your medical treatment?
  • Based on your health, has your doctor made any suggestions about receiving more care or support?
  • Do you have any advanced care planning documents? If so, where do you keep them? Who do you mind sharing them with?
  • Have you created a will or trust, and assigned someone as your Power of Attorney?

If your aging parent is ready to seek more support, and you both believe retirement living may be the best option to address their unique needs, consider taking a tour of a Chartwell retirement residence. They offer a variety of care and accommodation options that cater to each and every senior no matter what stage of retirement they are in. Click here for more information.