November 18, 2022


There are specific health questions to ask seniors that can help you evaluate their overall health and whether they need help at home.

It’s been quite some time since you have had the opportunity for a nice, long visit with Mom. Now that the holiday season is here, you will have some quality time to catch up. Naturally, you’ll want to fully enjoy this time with each other, but it is also an ideal time to evaluate how she is really doing, and if there are any changes in her health that perhaps have gone unnoticed through phone conversations and FaceTime.

To help you think through areas of potential concern to evaluate, we’ve put together the following list of health questions to ask seniors. You may wish to ask some of these questions to the senior outright, while others may be answered by noticing the home environment and the senior herself.

Mental/Physical Health

  • Does the senior seem to be moving more slowly and cautiously?
  • Is she stumbling or holding onto furniture or the wall to get around?
  • Is she having trouble falling or staying asleep?
  • Has she gained or lost weight?
  • Do you notice any bruises or other injuries that could indicate a fall?
  • Is she actively engaged in enjoyable activities?
  • Is she spending time with friends?
  • Does she seem happy and content?
  • Does she seem short of breath?
  • Is she eating more or less than usual?

Cognitive Functioning

  • Is she struggling to remember the names of familiar people or objects?
  • Are there pieces of mail and bills that have not been opened?
  • Are you noticing any unusual behaviors?
  • Is she misplacing items, only to find them in unexpected places, such as the car keys in the refrigerator?
  • Does the senior seem more forgetful or confused than usual?
  • Is she repeating questions or statements in conversations?

Elder/Financial Abuse

  • Does the senior seem more timid or anxious than usual?
  • Does she suddenly have a new “friendship” with someone whose motives may be questionable?
  • Are there any changes in her banking activity?
  • Has she cosigned for a loan for anyone?
  • Is she communicating with strangers online?
  • Has she provided anyone with personal information over the phone or internet?

Home Maintenance

  • Is the home cleaned to the senior’s typical standards?
  • Is the yard maintained?
  • Is the laundry clean and put away?
  • Is there clutter in the home that could pose a fall risk?
  • Are there any hazards you’re noticing, such as scorch marks on pans or the countertop that could indicate inattention to cooking?
  • Are the bed linens being changed regularly?

If you have any concerns about a senior’s safety or well-being, regardless of how small, home care can help. Contact Continuum, a trusted provider of home help in Chesterfield and the surrounding areas, at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 for more information.