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Asking the right questions: Looking out for your older parents well-being.

Making sure mom and dad are taking care of themselves in their own home and staying healthy requires a lot of communication. While you may have your own questions, it’s important to ask the right questions to determine if they need extra assistance.

Some questions you may find yourself asking include:

  • How can I determine when it’s right for my mom to move into a senior living community?
  • What’s the best way to talk to mom about her driving abilities?
  • Is there help in managing mom’s medications?
  • How do I stay on top of all of my mom’s doctor appointments and reports?
  • Mom’s not eating properly, what should I do?
  • Is the home being maintained?
  • My mom’s having trouble living in her home, what are my options for senior living?
  • I’m concerned about my mom’s hygiene, is there a checklist I can reference?
  • Mom’s starting to forget, is this a sign of Alzheimer’s?
  • When is the right time to take the car keys away?
  • Mom’s not taking care of her personal grooming, should I be concerned?

Addressing concerns about driving, and making the tough decisions.

For many, the ability to drive relates directly to their independence. Understandably, this is a hot topic. With that said, there are some questions you should ask to determine if it’s time for mom and/or dad to seek alternative means of transportation:

  • Are they driving excessively above or below the speed limit?
  • Is there a delayed reaction time to traffic signals and other drivers?
  • Do your parents have trouble seeing things clearly or bothered by glare?
  • Is dad unable to notice horns, sirens or street noises?
  • Are they misjudging distance between cars in traffic?
  • Is mom inadvertently drifting or swerving across marked lanes?
  • Do your parents get confused or lost while driving in familiar areas?

Making sure mom and dad are safe in their own home.

While your aging parents may prefer to stay in their home, it’s also the place where most injuries occur, especially falls. Here are a few questions to ask yourself the next time you visit them. 

  • Do you notice any tripping hazards in the form of extension cords or power strips?
  • Do the area rugs and runners have slip-resistant backing?
  • Are the batteries dead in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors?
  • Is the stove left on or the fridge door left open frequently?
  • Are space heaters and small appliances improperly plugged?
  • Do the bathtubs or showers have non-skid mats?
  • How difficult is it to negotiate stairs to the bedroom or laundry room?

Discovering different senior living options.

At Lutheran Life Villages—one of Northeast Indiana’s leadingsenior retirement living and care providers—we encourage you and your loved ones to visit different senior living communities. After all, it’s the best way to determine if a community is the right fit. During your tour, be sure to ask the following questions to get a better sense of resident life and fees. For a more extensive checklist, click here.

Visit and Tour the Community

  • Are the grounds, landscape and building exterior well maintained?
  • Is the floor plan easy to navigate?
  • What percentages of residential apartments are occupied?

Study the Contract and Fees

  • Is there a buy-in fee?
  • What are the lengths of the leases?
  • What are the billing and payment options?

Tour a Selection of Senior Residential Apartments

  • What type of occupancy (single or double) is permitted?
  • Is there an emergency pull cord or an emergency response system?
  • What appliances are provided, permitted?

Talk to the Senior Community Staff

  • Was the staff friendly and respectable?
  • Did the staff greet residents by name?
  • What is the staff to resident ratio?

Talk to Senior Community Residents

  • Were you introduced to the residents?
  • Did the residents have good things to say about their experience?
  • Were the residents socializing with each other?

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