My husband and I took our three children to visit my father in Columbus for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While we usually talk on the phone with him several times a week, we live in Arizona and haven’t been able to see him in person since we visited last June.
We really thought he was managing fine on his own, so we were very surprised to get to his house and discover otherwise! He has lost a considerable amount of weight. Both he and his house were looking a little rough. It’s just not typical of him.
I stayed behind after my family left for home and was able to get an appointment with his doctor. I really believed something terrible was wrong with Dad, but his doctor thinks the changes are caused by how difficult it is for him to keep up with everything around his house. His doctor recommended a move to a Columbus-area assisted living community.
With a heavy heart, I’m going to start the search this week. But I think it is important that I know the benefits of such a move. I will have a better time convincing my father that this change is a positive one if I understand how it will help him.
This is the time of year when assisted living communities receive a lot frantic phone calls from adult children who find themselves in your position.
When a Columbus-area senior loved one needs more care, figuring out what the next step might be is confusing. Some leap to the conclusion that their loved one needs to relocate to a nursing home. Fortunately, it sounds like your father’s physician gave good advice.
An assisted living community can offer your father the independence he probably wants to hold on to, but with the added support and care it sounds like he needs.
Advantages of an Assisted Living Community
There are many reasons why choosing an assisted living community to call home can be a positive step for an older adult. A few of them include:
- Well Balanced Meals: Cooking can become a real challenging for older adults. Everything from menu planning to grocery shopping to actually preparing the meals may feel overwhelming. Healthier nutrition is one reason why seniors move to an assisted living community. In your father’s case, you might find he is able to put some of the weight he lost back on because healthy, well-balanced meals will be prepared for him three times each day. Assisted living residents also find meal time more enjoyable because they have the opportunity to dine with friends.
- Housekeeping and Maintenance: Support with routine household chores and apartment upkeep are another benefit of an assisted living community. Housekeeping, laundry, appliance repairs and maintenance are all included. No more worrying about keeping sidewalks clear of ice and snow during frosty Ohio winters!
- Life Enrichment Opportunities: Once your father makes this move, he will have an opportunity to join in on as many life enrichment activities as he desires. It might be Chair Yoga to help with strength and flexibility or a weekly poker night with the guys. Assisted living communities are rich with programs and events that meet a wide variety of interests and hobbies.
- Safety and Support: In addition to around the clock support of caregivers, the physical plant of an assisted living community is designed for the safety of an older adult. From grab bars in bathrooms to emergency call systems, built-in features give both residents and their adult children peace of mind that the older adult is safe.
The best way to learn more about an assisted living community is to schedule a personal visit. The staff can show you around and answer any questions you might have before you tackle the subject of moving with a senior you love.
Stefanie Hayes, LNHA, Administrator