How I Helped My Dad Choose Assisted Living

DadMePortraitMy dad, Rev. William “Tex” Rickard was a United Methodist pastor, an athlete, a jokester, father to six amazing children and an all-around great guy. He could watch a ball game with you or listen to your deepest fears. He helped me — a single mom — raise my two beautiful girls and our crazy dog, Chloe.

My dad took very good care of himself for his whole life, so we were unprepared when he had emergency back surgery at the age of 88 years.

This was tough for me, but even more so for him. After all, as a proud, strong minister, he took care of other people. He didn’t need people to care for him. After so many years of independence, we decided the best plan was to move him into an assisted living facility.

We approached the move directly by taking time to do a few things: 

  1. Tour the local facilities.
  2. Make a list of costs and services.
  3. Talk to staff to find out how they interact with residents.
  4. Eat at the facility to see how the food was and to get a sense of community at meal times.

We learned a lot during a journey. We made some good choices along the way and also some mistakes. Our most important lesson was that communication is the key.

When preparing to move a loved one to an assisted living facility, you and your loved one have to be prepared to communicate with your family and the facility about your priorities. There is no one right answer. You have to decide what will work best for your loved one.

To help guide your decision about assisted living, I have written Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility, available in book and ebook format. It tells you what conversations to have, what to consider as you research facilities and how to make the experience as smooth as possible for you and your loved one.

Helpful Healthcare Links for May 5, 2016

Home caramel granola in a white ceramic dish shape of heartThere’s a lot going on in healthcare news this week! I have put together a handful of trending health topics to share with you in hopes that this information will assist you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few health articles for this week:

Some people age very well. You would never know they are in their 50s let alone their 60s. A few celebrities come to mind when thinking about aging, I’m talking about you, Cindy Crawford. However, most of us probably won’t be as fortunate to age that gracefully, until now. Dr. Eric Topol and his team at the Scripps Translational Science Institute are delving deep into the study of healthy aging. Their study focuses on the people and populations who seem to be immune to age related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, and dementia. And they are making great strides in identifying genetic factors associated with aging.

Low carb, no carb, high fat, low fat. All of this diet advice can get so confusing! And it seems to change on a weekly basis. This can make it difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan. However, new research has shown one dietary change that seems to hold true. And that is, FIBER! How much fiber do you eat in a day? The recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of fiber is around 35 grams per day for adults. Find out how increasing your fiber intake can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death among women. Yet many of us are uneducated as to the signs and symptoms, as well as the preventative measures they could we could be taking. Don’t be another statistic, start combating heart disease today. P.S. Remember how we just talked about fiber? Consuming adequate amounts of dietary fiber significantly reduce your risk for heart disease.

Endless hours on the treadmill? No, thank you. We all know the heart healthy benefits of regular cardiovascular activity, but often times workouts can be grueling. And we only have a short window of time to squeeze in a workout each day. So why not do something quick and effective? High intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT, packs a big punch in a small amount of time. HIIT increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), known by some as the after burn. This will not only leave you glowing but allow your body to torch calories up to 36 hours post exercise! Stop making excuses, add a HITT routine to your workout regimen once or twice a week and you’ll starting seeing results before you know it.

For more healthcare tips for you and your family, check out my latest offering in dealing with unexpected healthcare: When Life Happens: What to do about unexpected health concerns. This is a bit different than my other books. When Life Happens is a workbook filled with information, tips, and tricks for getting through accidents, difficult diagnoses, rehabilitation, and what to do with the kids through it all. But it also has activities to guide you through your situation. You can find it here.

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Celebrate Mother’s Day The HealthSpin Way

Lori-Ann and GirlsBeing a mom often times means taking care of others before yourself. I encourage moms of every age to make themselves a priority and take easy steps toward a healthier and safer life. Among these include:

  1. Maintaining a healthy diet
  2. Engaging in physical activity
  3. Getting enough sleep
  4. Finding ways to reduce stress
  5. And sharing your medical history with your friends and family

Making sure your personal and family health history is often times forgotten, but can be very important in the event of an emergency. What you need is a Medical Life List! In a nutshell, your Medical Life List is your own personal medical record created by you and updated by you.

You can find the template of the Medical Life List in MyHealthSpin’s free eBook, Easy Healthcare Guide: What You Need First.

So the question is…how will you celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day?


Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!