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35 Questions to Ask Your Aging Parents

En español | Their answers will give you a clearer picture of how your parents are faring and will help you assess their needs.

Their Home

  1.  Is your home still appropriate for you now that you’re getting older?
  2. Can you manage the stairs, or would you do better on one level?
  3.  Does your home have any safety hazards?
  4. Could simple modifications to your home make it more convenient?
  5. Should you think about living somewhere else?


Their Activities

  1. Do you need help with household chores, such as cleaning, fixing meals or taking care of the yard?
  2. Does poor eyesight interfere with your daily activities? 
  3. Can you always hear the telephone or a knock at the door?

Their Mobility

  1. Is driving difficult for you? 
  2. Do you have reliable transportation for shopping, medical visits, religious services and visits with family and friends?

Their Health

  1. What health problems do you have?
  2. Are your prescriptions current?
  3. Have you been to your doctor lately?
  4. What has your doctor told you about your health?
  5. Has your doctor or pharmacist reviewed all of your medications for side effects and potentially dangerous interactions?
  6. Are you having any problems taking your medications?
  7. Could you use help remembering what pills to take and when?
  8. Can you pay for your medicines?

Their Health Care

  1. What kind of health insurance do you have, and do you have Medicare, Medicaid or a Medigap supplement policy?
  2. Has your insurance plan paid your health care bills?
  3. Do you have long-term care insurance or life insurance?
  4. Have you paid your insurance premiums?
  5. Would you like help with filling out forms, such as insurance claims?
  6. Have you been told that insurance won’t cover medical tests or procedures that your doctor has ordered?
  7. Do you have any questions about Medicare or Medicaid?

Their Finances

  1. What are your current and likely future bills?
  2. Can you pay for what you need?
  3. Do you need help getting government or pension benefits?
  4. Do you need help with financial planning to make your money last?
  5. Are your Social Security and pension checks deposited directly in the bank?
  6. Is all of your financial information in one place?
  7. Have you considered a reverse mortgage, which would provide extra income from the equity in your home?
  8. Have you considered that you might need money down the road to help pay for assistance with everyday activities?
  9. Do you have any bills you can't pay? 
  10. Do you have an estate plan and a will, as well as a living will and health care proxy?

Note: Finances can be a sensitive topic; you may want to be less direct with your questions.

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