When Is It Time for Assisted Living? Part Two

When Is It Time for Assisted Living? Part Two

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Posted: February 14, 2021

This is a question we get asked frequently at St. Anthony’s Senior Living. Executive Director Connie Haworth has answered this question many times during her nearly three decades in the senior housing industry and has found three main reasons.

Last week, we covered the first reason, medications, and this week we will cover the second reason, meals.

There are many reasons seniors may not eat nutritional meals. Haworth’s grandmother got tired of trying to cook a nutritional meal for one person. “She always cooked balanced meals when family members came to visit, but her go-to meal for herself was canned cheese and crackers. Not only is there a lack of nutritional value, but it is also high in sodium, exacerbating her blood pressure problems.”

Other things that may contribute to not eating well include a change in the way foods taste and smell, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty chewing. “A visit to the dentist is one of the first steps when we see eating problems,” said Haworth.

When mom or dad moves to Assisted Living at St. Anthony’s Senior Living, they have a choice from an expansive menu. If they order something and decide they don’t like it, the chefs will make them something else. A favorite meal? We do that, too. Snack in the middle of the night? We’ve got that, too.

The staff are always on the lookout for weight loss or gain, edema (swelling), trouble swallowing, and trouble chewing. “We have a dentist that will visit the resident on-site and help with any dental problems,” said Haworth, “and our on-site speech therapist is called in right away if we identify swallowing problems.”

In Assisted Living, we are able to find foods that will please the most particular palette, as well as follow physician’s recommended dietary restrictions, such as no added salt. We help address any physical conditions that might prevent being able to eat well. And with new neighbors and friends with whom mom or dad can eat, dining becomes a social time again!

It’s no wonder that almost every resident who joined our Assisted Living in the last 90 days has gained 10 pounds or more! They aren’t just eating…they’re thriving!

 

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