Staying Connected Virtually During COVID-19

Staying connected has never been as important as it is during this stressful time. That is why we are pleased to provide our residents and their families and friends innovative communication options with Virtual Visitation and MacIntosh Messaging.

Virtual Visitation

If you would like to enjoy a virtual visit with one of our Care Center patients or residents or an Assisted Living resident, please call the center and we will arrange a time convenient for you.  Multiple individuals can join into a scheduled visit from any location if you’d like. The more the merrier!

Canal Winchester (614) 834-6800                  Pickaway Manor (740) 474-6036

Mill Run (614) 527-3000                                        West Park (614) 274-4222

Monterey (614) 875-7700                                    Whetstone (614) 457-1100

New Albany (614) 855-8866

Joining a Virtual Visit with a Desktop/Laptop Instructions

Joining a Virtual Visit with a Mobile Device Instructions

MacIntosh Messaging

We are now welcoming emails into our centers! General email addresses have been established, allowing emails to flow into a dedicated address. Emails can be guided to a specific Care Center patient or resident, Assisted Living resident, employee or general messages to our entire community as a whole.

Email messages of well wishes, uplifting words of encouragement, poems, quotes or mood-lightening thoughts and comments are a nice way to connect with our residents and employees and help continue to lift their spirits.

Each center has a unique MacIntosh Messaging address:                     

We encourage you to utilize any virtual means of connecting including phone calls, video chats, text or checking in on social media. Driveway chalk messages and poster signs have been other fun ways to know you care. Don’t forget about the traditional way of mailing a letter or a card.

We love hearing from you!

Staying Connected During COVID 19

Warning Signs that a Senior Needs More Help

Dear Regina:

I went home to visit my mother in the Columbus area over the holidays. It was my first in-person visit with her since last spring. Besides losing weight, she seemed a little disorganized and nervous during my stay. I’m not sure if this is just normal aging or signs that she needs help of some kind.

How do I know the warning signs of something more serious are and what can I do to get Mom the help it seems like she needs?


Evaluating a Senior’s Safety at Home

Dear Dan:

Senior care providers often receive frantic phone calls from adult children during the holiday season who find themselves in a situation like the one you just described. Older parents usually don’t want to bother busy adult children with their problems, especially when the kids live far away.

Here are a few warning signs that suggest your mom needs help:

  • Untidy home including piles of laundry, overflowing trash, and dirty dishes
  • Expired foods and evidence of a diet that consists primarily of convenience foods (i.e. frozen dinners) and fast foods
  • Decline in personal hygiene habits
  • Change in personality such as overly weepy or sad, short-tempered, paranoid or anxious
  • Unintended weight gain or weight loss
  • Bills piled up unopened on the counter or desk
  • Calls from creditors regarding unpaid bills
  • Withdrawing from favorite social organizations, church groups and hobbies

If more than one or two of these could be used to describe your mother’s current situation, your concerns about her safety might be warranted.

The best next step to take is probably to encourage your mom to schedule an appointment with her family physician or to allow you to do that for her. Together you can share your concerns with her doctor and ask for their advice.

It might be that a poor diet has led to her decline. If you enlist the services of an in-home aide to help with grocery shopping and meal preparation, you might be able to get back on track.

Or the physician may suggest that being isolated and alone has led to depression. A move to a senior living community where she can be active and engaged with life again could be the best solution for your mom.

We welcome you and your mom to contact us if you need help understanding the senior care options that are available to her in the Columbus area. Our team will be happy to help answer your questions and connect you with the resources you need.

Ragena McGuire, RN, Director of Nursing

How to Involve Your Parent in Care Decisions

Dear 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,


Keeping a Senior Involved in Decisions about Their Care

Dear Denise:

Don’t feel alone in your struggle. For many adult children, finding the balance between making decisions for a senior and empowering them to make their own choices can be a difficult one.

Our first suggestion is to be as transparent with your mom as you possibly can. For example, we’ve seen situations where families make a decision for a senior loved one without involving them at all. This scenario rarely goes well.

It is better to talk things through with your mom and ask her how she feels about necessary changes and decisions about her care. While you might not need to share every tiny detail with her, involving her will help her feel as though she is maintaining her independence.

When it comes to healthcare-related matters, you can ask her physician and other care providers to explain things to you and your mom using a 3-step process:

  • This is why we’re doing it

  • This is how we’re going to do it

  • This is what we believe the outcome is going to be

Finally, it might also help if you write down the next step in your mom’s care after each of her appointments in a notebook or on a calendar. Put it in a place she can easily find. That way she will feel as if she is aware of and involved in the care decisions being made on her behalf.

I hope this helps, Denise! If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call me directly. I will be happy to answer them and offer suggestions.

Kind Regards,

Kara Thomas, Social Worker

Natural Remedies to Help Arthritis

I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis two years ago. I’ve been trying to find ways to manage it since then. It seems like I will be fine one day and then in pain the next.

I would like to find a few natural treatment methods that help so I don’t have to resort to prescription medication.


Dear Carl:

CDC, arthritis is the leading cause of disability. Medications can offer relief but, as you experienced, anti-inflammatories can create uncomfortable side effects.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Exercise: Our natural instinct when a joint is swollen and causing us pain is to rest. Research shows, however, that muscle-building exercises help to support damaged joints. The Arthritis Foundation recommends combining aerobic exercise with range-of-motion and flexibility exercises. Yoga, Pilates and Tai-Chi can all help reduce swelling, decrease pain and improve mobility.

  • Lose Weight: Studies have shown that being overweight has serious impact on arthritic joints. The impact on your knees is equivalent to 1-1/2 times your bodyweight. So carrying twenty extra pounds around with you puts thirty extra pounds of pressure on your knees.

  • Inflammation-Fighting Foods: Processed foods and a diet high in sugar can increase inflammation throughout the body making arthritis symptoms worse. Opt for fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead. The Arthritis Foundation also has a list of foods you can add to your diet to help fight arthritis inflammation.

  • Alternate Heat and Cold Therapy: You can also use a combination of hot and cold therapies to help manage symptoms. Cold packs can help to reduce swelling, while heat can help relieve pain.

I hope these suggestions bring you relief, Carl!


Is it Okay to Cheat on a Cardiac Diet

Dear Jane:

My father is on a very restrictive cardiac diet. His doctor wants him to follow it to help better manage his coronary artery disease. After a lifetime of eating a very unhealthy diet, this abrupt change in lifestyle is very difficult for him to follow. I understand the diet is to be his guide for making healthier food choices, but it is okay for him to “cheat” on his diet sometimes?

Denise in Upper Arlington

Dear Denise:

I can sympathize with your situation. We regularly work with older adults who, like your father, are trying to make lifestyle changes. It isn’t easy.

Here are a few pieces of advice that might help him better adjust to this healthy approach to eating:

Modify Favorite Foods: Try modifying some of his favorite foods to make them healthy. It might take some trial and error but it is one way to help him feel satisfied. Substituting healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones can make all the difference in his daily diet. It might be as simple as substituting applesauce for oil in baked goods or using herbs instead of salt.

Portion Control: In many cases, it isn’t so much what we eat but how much of it that gets us into trouble. Read the label on packaged foods to determine what constitutes a portion. Cutting Calories from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is a good resource to help you learn more about portion control.

American Heart Association Nutrition Center: Another good source of information for you and your Dad to explore is the Nutrition Center. This online resource includes helpful hints on eating healthy while dining out, lowering sodium, simple but heart healthy meals, and more.

Rite for You Nutrition Center: If you need personalized advice and guidance to develop a food plan for your father, Rite for You may be able to help. Their team of dietitians can work with you to develop a meal plan that he will be happy with.

Finally, we move on to tackle the issue of “cheating” on his diet. I would encourage you to help him think of this healthy new approach to eating as a change in lifestyle and not a diet. Depending upon the severity of his condition, he may be able to indulge in a favorite food on occasion. But I would say it should be infrequently and in small portions.

I hope this information helps, Denise! I wish you the best of luck in assisting your dad with this transition.

Jane Solt