Multi-task during visits
When you visit your parents’ home, it’s the perfect opportunity to take some time to discreetly check for signs that they’re still doing well or if they’re starting to need help.
Don’t make it obvious
Remember to keep your detective work under the radar so you don’t risk putting your parents on the defensive or cause them to change their normal behavior.
Your main goal is to quietly observe and take notes. Once you understand the full picture, you can start an informed conversation about changes that need to be made.
Take notes for future reference
File your notes away so you can refer to them in the future. Even if everything is going well right now, having a record of how things were in the past will help you track changes in the future.
Home visit checklist
In general, look for signs of trouble with thinking skills, vision, and physical activity.
Physical and mental health
- Have they lost weight or do they seem more frail?
- Do they have trouble having normal conversations?
- Do you notice any strange new behaviors like repeating stories or being unusually confused about simple things?
- Are they squinting or tripping over things much more than usual?
- Are their driving skills the same as before? Do you feel safe when they drive you around?
- Are there any unexplained dents or scratches on the car?
- Have you heard about any traffic tickets?
- Do they still do the activities they used to enjoy?
- Are they reluctant to leave the house?
- Are they keeping up with their usual friends and community organizations?
- Is the house messier or dirtier than normal?
- Is there a lot of unopened mail? Are unpaid bills lying around?
- Are there broken household items like clogged drains, burned out light bulbs, or broken appliances?
- Is the refrigerator stocked with fresh foods they normally eat?
- Is there moldy or expired food around?
- Are there burned pots and pans or burn marks on the floors or counters?
- Are there any new medications, vitamins, or supplements you haven’t seen before?
- Is their medication organized so it’s easy to take the correct dose at the correct time?
- Are expired medications mixed up with current ones?
Print this list
We’ve created a PDF version of this list, with actual checkboxes, so you can print it out and take it with you on your visit. Go through the list, check things off and make notes, then file it away so you can look at it in the future if needed.
Next Step Print or save this checklist (PDF)
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: New America Media