10 Things to Ask When Visiting Parents in a Home


"Where is the phone you can use to make a call?"

Another thing that's missing from most facilities: enough privacy. Along with independence, that's a tough thing to lose.

It would also make it difficult for a parent in trouble to call you. Do residents have access to a phone and privacy? In other words, if something was wrong and your father needed to tell you, could anyone keep him from doing so?

From a less frightening perspective, is it easy for a resident to communicate with their loved ones? Is it convenient to get stamps and envelopes? Is there a computer with Internet? And is there an opportunity simply to close the door and have an hour of uninterrupted peace?

It's tough to find the right balance between giving someone time and space to herself and checking up on her for sound medical reasons. If that balance doesn't seem to have been achieved, talk to the staff and see what can be changed and what can't.