10 Things to Ask When Visiting Parents in a Home


"Who are your friends here?"

Some adult children don't ask questions because they're afraid of the answers -- they feel guilty for choosing an assisted living facility instead of their own home to care for their parents. This kind of avoidance can lead to missing opportunities to improve quality of life.

It's not impossible to make friends in a nursing home. If your parent has none, that could be a sign of depression, or it may just be that he or she hasn't joined any activities. Most facilities have an activities director who arranges things like sing-alongs, birthday parties, bridge games and chair exercises. They also put out feelers in the community for volunteer events, like charity performances from a local dance troupe or choir, and opportunities for worships, such as visiting ministers.

If your parent is lonely, look for a solution. If your mom misses her creative outlet, see if there's a newsletter she can contribute to. If not, help start one. If dad misses teaching, help him organize a seminar at the facility on his topic of expertise for fellow residents.