How many times have you asked your elderly loved one if they need anything, and they responded “everything is fine”?

It can be frustrating, especially when you have to fly or drive a distance to see what’s really going on with their health and mobility.

It may be a characteristic of their generation where they don’t want to be perceived as a burden or an inconvenience to others.

Or they may be fiercely independent and don’t want to risk losing it.

With upcoming holidays, start planning your visit to check on your elderly loved one’s health and mobility.

Visit websites such as Aging Life Care Association to become familiar with things to look for when health or mobility declines.

Here are some ideas to incorporate with your visit:

1- Pay attention to anything different regarding how tidy they keep their home and personal hygiene.

2- Allow your elderly loved one to drive to evaluate whether it’s time for them to give up their driver’s license.

3- Enlist other family members to assess their health and mobility. Be aware if someone sees them every day, it may be harder for them to recognize any subtle decline.

4- Visit neighbors to build a relationship with those nearby to check in on your loved one when necessary.

5- Discuss with your elderly loved one the reality of common fraud schemes targeted at seniors. Take note of any new “friends” who may have ulterior motives.

6- Review finances and health care insurance coverage.

7- Schedule doctors’ appointments for when you visit to meet their health providers and ask questions.

8- List all medications and frequency of use, as well as possible side effects.

While it may seem intrusive to ask for this information, it’s better to have it before a crisis.

Many elderly highly value their independence and will hide the truth if it will cause them to lose control. Aim to foster interdependence and stress safety.

Manage your expectations and understand that not everything will be addressed with one visit.

But be persistent and patient.

(Update to original post from October 9, 2017)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”