mac assisted living 2Dear Crystal:

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

mac assisted living coupleDear Sarah,

My mom and dad have been together for more than 40 years. Last year, Mom had a stroke, and now, she has difficulty walking, bathing, dressing and even eating.

Dad’s done a terrific job of taking care of her, but we can tell it’s becoming more and more difficult for him. He’s already told me he’s concerned he’ll fall while he’s trying to help her.

We’ve tried everything to help them stay in their homes. Right now, we have home health care aides coming in four hours a day (their minimum), and Mom doesn’t need that much. We’ve also contracted for someone to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, and do odd jobs. The costs are mounting, and I’m not sure Mom and Dad are any safer or happier.

They’ve never been separated, and we’re concerned about the effect on Dad if Mom went to a nursing home.

Can you help us?

Sincerely,

Joseph

happy family visitingDear Kara,

My mom and dad recently moved to assisted living. With family celebrations and holidays coming up, I want my grandchildren—their great-grandchildren—to spend time with them. However, like all kids, they can sometimes be noisy and rambunctious.

I don’t want the children upsetting other people there. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Mary
Hilliard, Ohio

man relaxing on a benchDear Sarah,

My father has always been an outdoorsman—hunting, fishing, gardening. However, since our mother passed on, he’s become more and more frail. Recently, when my sister stopped to drop off some food, she found him trying to hoe the garden. When she asked why he was limping, he told her he’d fallen earlier that day.

This isn’t the first time he’s fallen and hurt himself. We’ve decided Dad needs a safer place to stay, but we don’t want him stuck inside a nursing home away from nature. Are there other options?

Sincerely,

Theresa
Hilliard, Ohio

macintosh medicare skilled nursing and rehab

Dear Polly:

My husband will be facing a fairly complex surgery later this month. His surgeon wants us to tour skilled nursing and rehab centers in central Ohio before the surgery.

We are a bit confused about his Medicare benefit. A relative told us Medicare only pays for 20 days in a rehab center, but my husband’s doctor told us he will likely need to stay for several months.

Will we have to pay the entire expense for all of the days he is there beyond day 20? I’m just not sure we can afford that!

Grace

senior man outsideDear Janice,

After trying for years to help my dad stay at home, my wife and I have determined he’s not safe in his home. We’re moving him to memory care at West Park in Columbus.

However, he doesn’t want to move from his home. How can we make the move easier on him?

How can we make him more agreeable to the move? Should we move all his things and just take him there?

Signed,

Gary

two senior women eatingYour senior parents need help.

You know it. They probably know it although they may not want to admit it.

mac life in an assisted living communityDear Jennifer,

We are getting ready to move my mother into an assisted living community, and she’s very apprehensive. She doesn’t like change anyway, and even though we toured the community, she’s not sure what life will be like once she moves in. Can you give us an idea?

Sincerely,

Freda

hepatitis cThe aging of Baby Boomers is bringing great changes to this nation. Along with rising worries about safety nets and health care comes a concern about Hepatitis C. Boomers are 5 times more likely to have Hepatitis C than the rest of the U.S. population. 1 out of every 30 Boomers has Hepatitis C.