10 Things to Ask When Visiting Parents in a Home

"How often does your nurse check on you? Does it take a long time to get help?"

There's one good way to answer this one, and that's to press the call button and see.

For residents with certain conditions, this question is especially important. How often does a nursing assistant check on an incontinent person? How often is he or she changed? For a person who is bedfast, how often is he or she turned to prevent bedsores?

Does dad ever have to wait so long to get help to the bathroom that he soils himself? Does mom have to ask for help bathing repeatedly?

A patient might be too ashamed to tell you about losing continence or not being able to maintain hygiene, so you will have to ask. Another big clue? The smell of urine is pretty unmistakable, and despite stereotypes, a long-term care facility shouldn't smell like it.