Getting my parents to lunch

supportMy parents are now in Assisted Living which has removed pounds of worry in regard to my parent’s safety. This was a difficult transition since my parents did not recognize it was needed for a variety of reasons. 

With this new stage, we have a new set of needs and issues to manage. Thankfully, we know they are in a community designed to support them, but it’s not perfect left to run by itself. Being involved and working with the staff is an important skill I’m working on developing. I’m working through how to identify and manage those needs while also respecting my parents need for independence and privacy.

The first two months were freeing, but I’ve recognized some gaps that need to be addressed … like making sure my parents are eating their meals. Their apartment doesn’t have an oven or even a microwave, so the community provides all three meals. I take my parents shopping weekly and I know they are going through two loaves of bread a week.

When I brought this to the attention of the staff, they confirmed that they stop by to let my parents know when meals are being served.  There are two meal halls, so making sure my parent’s eat each meal isn’t as easy as it sounds. When I ask, my mom tells me they have only paid for one meal, so they choose to eat a sandwich in their apartment. I’m losing the communication battle on this one. We have discussed how nice it is that the community provides all three meals since my mom has no interest in cooking, but the concept doesn’t stick.

I stopped by to discuss it with the director since the simple reminders aren’t working. She shared that the staff reports that my dad wants to eat, but my mom keeps pulling him out of the meal hall. We chat through some strategies on how to get them to eat in the meal hall. We discuss letting them know of an empty table by the window that is reserved just for them as well as having the floor staff rephrase the announcement of lunch being served into an invitation to have a free lunch.

I’m glad I have trained staff in place that can help us figure this out. Supported. 

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