To determine if an older adult can continue living at home, take a good look at all aspects of their present housing situation and how each one affects their safety and quality of life.

Medication Management

  • Do they remember to take their medications at prescribed doses and times?
  • Have they had any hospitalizations or health issues due to skipped doses or multiple doses?
  • Can you locate expired medications or pill bottles spread across different rooms with no apparent structure or routine?

Meal Preparation

  • Can they cook for themselves?
  • Are they eating balanced meals?
  • Are they able to safely operate kitchen appliances?
  • Have there been incidents where they’ve forgotten a meal in the oven, accidentally left the stove on, or started a fire?

Safety and Mobility

  • Do they have difficulty getting around the home or taking stairs?
  • Have they fallen in the home?
  • Do they have a plan in place to summon help in case of an emergency?
  • Is the home equipped with safety devices like grab bars, an emergency response system, and other tools to ensure safety?

Personal Hygiene

  • Can they bathe themselves, groom themselves adequately and manage their laundry?
  • Are they bathing frequently enough?
  • Do you notice an unkempt appearance, body odor, and soiled clothing indicating they’re unable or unwilling to care for themselves properly?


  • Are they still driving?
  • Are they driving safe, been in recent car accidents, or gotten lost in familiar areas?
  • Do they have alternate means of transportation for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, and other errands?

Financial Management

  • Are they paying their bills on time?
  • Are there stacks of unopened mail, unpaid bills, or late payment notices lying around?
  • Are there signs that they’ve been overspending?
  • Do they get calls from telemarketers or creditors?

Download the Activities of Daily Living checklist to help you further with your assessment.


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This document is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. One should consult a legal or tax professional regarding their own personal situation. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products offered by an insurance company. They do not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products Insurance policy applications are vetted through an underwriting process set forth by the issuing insurance company. Some applications may not be accepted based upon adverse underwriting results. Death benefit payouts are based upon the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. The firm providing this document is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration or any other government entity.

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