Aging Parents Checklist: Things You Need to Keep an Eye Out For

12Oaks-happy smiling senior mother with adult son taking selfie at home-as-Aging Parents Checklist- Things You Need to Keep an Eye Out For-Feature

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Effortless Aging: An Ultimate Checklist to Help Seniors Navigate and Achieve Healthy Aging

Planning for the future is never easy, and it’s even more challenging when setting up the proper care and assistance for your aging parents. It can be an overwhelming process with many steps and difficulties along the way, leaving many adult children stressed and frazzled when helping to navigate life after retirement for their parents.

Are you struggling with seeking the best kind of care for your parents so that they can embrace their solitary life with more confidence and comfort? Our caring for aging parents checklist below equips you to be their best companion as they transition into retirement.\


Aging Parents Checklist to Prepare for the Future

Make a Home, Not a House

12Oaks-Handicapped Disabled Access Bathroom-as-1 Make a Home, Not a House

Our goal is to make sure their home is a place where they can thrive physically, emotionally, and mentally in the coming years. Small changes within the household can surprisingly better accommodate seniors and make their aging in place less dangerous, especially if they are living alone.

Before conducting major renovation, take a tour and envision what changes may make their living space more harmonious with their aging journey. For example, an open walk-in shower with anti-slip tiles is much safer than a slippery bathtub. A narrow hallway filled with unnecessary objects can make seniors, particularly those in wheelchairs, struggle to get around in their homes.

Here are some tips, from low-cost to expensive, to make a house a safe haven for seniors:


  • Install grab bars near the toilet and along the wall.
  • Add non-slip strips in the bathtub/shower and toilet.
  • Renovate the bathtub into a walk-in shower with anti-slip tiles.
  • Use non-shattering material for the walk-in shower.
  • Place a waterproof chair in the shower.
  • Swap regular toilet seats for a raised or high-level one.
  • Install water faucets with lever handles.
  • Set up the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.



  • Purchase a stove that alerts when the burner is on.
  • Reorganize and store kitchen appliances in accessible locations.



  • Purchase a high-level bed.
  • Eliminate all tripping hazards and obstacles around the sleeping area.
  • Install grab bars next to the bed.


Common Areas

  • Add a motion sensor lighting system.
  • Add extra lights in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Install smoke detectors and have them checked every six months.
  • Remove tripping hazards (rugs, electric cords).
  • Change door knobs to lever handles.
  • Lower light switches and move them closer to the entrance.
  • Get rid of bulky, space-consuming furniture.
  • Clear all objects in doorways, hallways, or stairs.
  • Remove rugs on the top and bottom of the stair.
  • Expand the doorways if needed.
  • Purchase chairs or seats with armrests.
  • Use rubber mats or secure them with tape.


Your parents may sometimes require outside help when something unfortunate happens. Make a handy list of emergency contacts and put them around the house, or even print them in large print and hang it on the wall in the common areas, so they can read these emergency numbers easily when they are too panicked to scroll through their phones.

Emergency contact lists should include numbers from doctors, relatives, children, friends, and other public emergency numbers like 911, Poison Control Center, and Healthcare Provider’s office.


Monitoring Health and Medical

12Oaks-Older woman and examination-as-2 Monitoring Health and Medical

When giving care to seniors, understanding their health conditions and medical needs is imperative. Prompt medical attention prevents complications and allows caregivers to coordinate with doctors to deliver appropriate medical care for seniors every now and then, even if no serious symptoms are present. The following tips will help you keep a close eye on your parent’s health status:

  • Stay connected with the doctors for all questions related to their health.
  • Keep track of their medical appointments and arrange transportation.
  • Research and get a clear understanding of the results after regular checkups.
  • Monitor their medications and prepare refills.
  • Keep their medical information up to date.
  • Prepare a detailed list of their allergies and medications.
  • Keep a record of past and current medical history.


Getting Familiar with Insurance

12Oaks-Elderly father and his daughter visit doctor to check health insurance-as-3 Getting Familiar with Insurance

Buying insurance for your parents is a worthwhile investment even though they are confident they have enough savings to support their future lifestyle, pay off medical expenses, prepare for their funerals, or even possibly leave an inheritance for children.

Since life can be full of surprises, with age-related illnesses stressing numerous seniors and their caregivers, understanding and having the proper insurance is critical to help seniors be medically and financially protected in emergencies.

Most retiring seniors are eligible for the public health insurance program Medicare as soon as they turn 65. Another public health option, Medicaid is a program that makes medical care more affordable for individuals with low income and limited financial resources. Medicare is comprised of four parts, and each of them features different medical care and services:


It should be noted that Medicare is only financially handy when sustaining medical help within the selected network. It means that the coverage doesn’t extend to elective medical services or special care, and these ongoing treatments can chip away at your parents’ savings.

Therefore, long-term care insurance is another medical coverage worth researching if your parents have chronic conditions. Long-term care insurance covers a broad range of services, such as nursing care, therapies, and professional assistance in daily activities while they reside in senior communities.


Sorting Out Legal and Financial Matters

12Oaks-man helping mature mother with managing home finances and paying bills-as-4 Sorting Out Legal and Financial Matters

Getting your parents’ legal and financial affairs in order following retirement is critical. Assigning power of attorney as soon as possible ensures seniors receive in-time care, interventions, and support when incapacitated or diagnosed with memory-loss diseases like Alzheimer’s. Talk to them carefully before proposing yourself for the role of power of attorney or an authorized user on their accounts.

Don’t hesitate to contact a law specialist if you struggle with legal matters. An experienced lawyer can walk you through the whole process, answering the most pressing questions, recommending sufficient measures, and outlining the best strategies for asset management.

In terms of finances, look into tax-reduction programs or public benefits to see if your parents are eligible. These nationwide programs can relieve a lot of stress and burden not only for seniors but also for their caregivers and family members. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows burn-out caregivers to take a break for up to 12 weeks once enrolled in the program. Learn more about the Family and Medical Leave Act here.

Remember to collect essential documents, organize, and store them in a location where all family members can access them. It should include the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship papers
  • Deeds to cemetery plots
  • Deeds to property
  • Death certificate of a spouse of a parent
  • Insurance policies
  • Divorce decree
  • Marriage certificate
  • Pension benefits
  • Military discharge papers


Incorporating Nutrition Needs and Routine Exercises

12Oaks-Cheerful elderly mother and daughter jogging outdoors in a morning exercise-as-5 Incorporating Nutrition Needs and Routine Exercises

Although nutrition plays a tremendous role in healthy aging, getting three meals a day, seven days a week, throughout a month, can be a hassle for most seniors. This is because weakened muscles, fragile joints, and poor vision simply no longer let them enjoy driving miles to the supermarket, pushing the cart, getting in the line, carrying heavy shopping bags, and returning home only to spend more hours in the kitchen preparing nutrient-dense meals themselves.

Preparing food delivery is a good idea to keep your parents well-fed if you are not physically close to them. You can check for eligibility and sign up for senior nutrition programs like The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFG) to help your parents maintain their health with nutritionally balanced meals and boxes of staple foods delivered right to their doorstep.

Here are some additional tips to help your parents eat their way to healthier aging:

  • Drink plenty of water — remind them to drink at least 8 cups of water every day.
  • Practice reading nutritional facts labels — it helps reduce sodium intake and limit the consumption of harmful preservatives.
  • Learn the recommended servings and portions — food indulgence in seniors may cause indigestion and other health issues when overconsumed.
  • Include high-fiber, antioxidant foods, lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, low-fat dairy, and deep-green vegetables — check for a senior food checklist here.
  • Consider adding vitamins and dietary supplements (calcium, fish oil, B12, B6, D) — always check with their doctor first for the appropriate dosage.
  • Eliminate processed and sugary foods and beverages — despite the convenience, it is better to stay away from store-bought cakes, pastries, fried foods, pies, canned foods, savory snacks, soda, artificial juices, energy drinks, etc.


On top of that, incorporating routine exercises with nutritional meals is the ultimate way to avoid or delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Seniors regularly engaging in physical activities, though low-impact, are at lower risks of osteoporosis, heart diseases, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and other age-related diseases.

Getting up and moving, also known as a form of moving meditation, effectively fosters relaxation and contentment through boosted production of the feel-good hormone endorphins, making seniors feel happier and calmer after each workout session. Check here for more senior-friendly exercises and activities.


If you have questions about the aging-parents checklist or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us. 


Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

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