Ask the Expert: Can Assisted Living Help?

Dear Edward:

We visited my mother in Columbus, Ohio, recently. For numerous reasons, we haven’t seen her since last Christmas.

While she’s been telling us she is doing well, I’m not so sure that is true. At a minimum, she is lonely. She might even be depressed. Some of the other concerns I have are small, but I think they add up to a more serious decline in her health.

I really think we need to get her moved to an assisted living center in the Columbus area. She just can’t go another winter being so isolated and alone.

My goal is to sit down and talk with her when it is just the two of us. But I’d like to have a chance to look around her house and spend time with her first so I have some examples to share with her of why I’m concerned.

What do you consider the warning signs that indicate it is time for a senior to make a move like this one?

Sincerely,

Frances

7 Signs a Senior Will Benefit from an Assisted Living Community

Dear Frances:

Great question! It’s one we receive often from adult children who haven’t been able to visit with a parent in person for a while.

Like you discovered, an aging loved one may withhold problems they are having from family members because they don’t want to be a burden. Families sometimes don’t even realize there is a problem until a crisis occurs.

Here are a few of the signs we encourage families to watch for in a senior loved one:

  • Change in physical appearance, such as unkempt clothing or messy hair
  • Dressing in clothes inappropriate for the season or time of day
  • Unintentional weight gain or weight loss
  • Stacks of unpaid bills on the counter/desk or calls from bill collectors
  • Messy or dirty house (unemptied trash, foul odors, piles of laundry)
  • Expired foods in the refrigerator
  • Items “stored” in unusual places (i.e., car keys in the fridge or ketchup in the linen closet)
  • Misplacing common items and not being able to locate them later
  • Problems with balance or an unsteady walk
  • Making mistakes with medication

If more than one or two of these sound like your mother, it looks like it might be time to have a talk with her.

How Can Assisted Living Help?

An assisted living center, such as Whetstone Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living, offers many services that may help your mother. They include:

  • 24-Hour Professional Nursing Staff
  • Private Apartments in a Building that Meets Americans with Disabilities Act Standards
  • Emergency Call System
  • Medication Management
  • Restaurant-Style Bistro Menus prepared by Chefs
  • Health & Wellness Monitoring
  • Housekeeping & Linen Service
  • Podiatry, Dental & Optometry Services
  • Assistance with Bathing, Dressing & Grooming
  • Psychological Services
  • Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy Available
  • Furnished Respite Suite for Short-Term Accommodations

Getting Started

Families have sometimes found that encouraging a senior loved one to schedule a visit with their primary care physician is the easiest way to get the conversation started. You might even want to call the physician’s office ahead of time to alert them to your concerns. They may be able to help you advocate for this move.

I hope this helps, Frances! Please contact Whetstone at (614) 457-1100 if you have questions or would like to schedule a personal tour.

Kind Regards,

Edward Beatrice, LNHA