bowl of oatmealDear Dr. Kander:

My dad is just getting ready to complete his cardiac rehab at a skilled nursing and rehab center in Columbus. He had terrible eating habits and was leading a fairly sedentary life before his heart attack.

Now that he is almost ready to be discharged and return to his home, I’d like to do whatever I can to make sure he stays on a healthy track.

Do you have any suggestions that might help?

Sincerely,

Steve

woman and doctor talkingDear John:

My parents have both had fairly serious health problems the last few months. Until then both of them were active and independent. To be honest, we never really discussed how we would handle legal decisions and what their wishes for the future might be.

My brother and I thought, since our parents were in such good health, there wasn’t really a need to worry about having these tough discussions with them. It is quickly becoming apparent, however, that the two of us need to learn more about what we can legally do to help our parents.

Can you explain to us what a Power of Attorney is? How is it different from a durable Power of Attorney? And what are the decisions we can and can’t make with either?

Sincerely,

Vickie

senior woman reading a cardDear Sheila:

My mother moved to an assisted living community right after Christmas. Now that she is unpacked and settled in I am trying to figure out how we can make her feel as if she is still connected to family and friends. I know she is worried that everyone will forget about her!

Do you have any ideas for me? I am trying to create a list to share with everyone who is important to my mom.

Kind Regards,

Donna

nurse helping seniorDear Jane:

My uncle, who I am a guardian for, is in the hospital. In addition to having surgery to repair his broken leg, he has Alzheimer’s disease. He has been living with my wife and me for about a year now.

We were having a tough time managing his care before the fall that caused his leg fracture. So we are more than a little concerned about how we will help him safely transition back home.

Do you have any recommendations for us? We would really appreciate any advice.

Sincerely,

Rob

adult daughter talking to seniorDear Kara:

My mother’s health has been steadily declining over the last few years. While she doesn’t have any life-limiting illnesses, she has a number of small health concerns. They have caused her to struggle with mobility and stamina. She is also a little bit confused at times.

We have gradually begun making many of the decisions related to her care. Our struggle is how to help her stay involved in these decisions without making her feel overwhelmed.

Do you have any suggestions that have worked with other families?

Kind Regards,

Denise

therapist helping senior in rehabDear Jeremy:

My dad will be having hip surgery in a few weeks. It is something he has put off for several years, and now, his hip is in pretty rough shape. The orthopedic surgeon has let us know that he will need to transfer to a skilled nursing and rehab center afterward.

The catch is my dad thinks his rehab will only take a week or so. But I’m sure it will take longer than that. He has diabetes, and wounds don’t heal as quickly as they used to.

We are trying to set some realistic expectations for my dad before his surgery. We aren’t quite sure what to tell him though. Can you offer us any advice?

Kind Regards,

Nancy

mac admitting from homeDear Andi:

I work at a Columbus-area hospital and am interested in learning more about your admission process. Our department often receives questions about how to admit a senior directly from home to a skilled nursing and rehab center, and we are a little confused about how it works.

Would you be able to outline those requirements for us? Any advice would be helpful.

Sincerely,

Alice

senior woman looking out windowDear Cassie,

I'll be heading back to Columbus, Ohio, to visit my mom for the first time since last spring. When I was home then, I was a little concerned that she was struggling to keep up living alone in her home. I've asked her about it many times in the months since, but she always tells me she is doing just fine.? I wish I believed it.

My question for you is this: what should I be looking for when I am back at home with my mom? I'm just not sure how to tell if it's time to talk with her about moving.

Any advice would be really appreciated!

Best Regards,

Darren

sad senior looking at giftDear Georgette:

My father passed away this fall, and my mom is still grieving his loss. They were married for over 50 years. While my husband and I have small children and feel like the holidays should still be a time to celebrate, my mom wants no part of Christmas.

We are struggling to try to figure out what to do. Should we try to force my mom into participating in hopes of helping to lift her spirits? Or is it better to just let her skip the celebrations and festivities this year?

We could really use some advice!

Sincerely,

Lisa