Planning a Summer Respite Stay

Are you planning a family vacation this summer and need a safe place for a senior loved one to stay? Respite is the ideal solution for you!

Respite services offer a care solution for older adults and people with a disability who need extra support on a short-term basis. Your loved one can enjoy a short-term stay with us while you relax and enjoy your vacation knowing they are in good hands.

What to Know about Respite Care

A respite stay in a senior living community offers all of the services and amenities our long-term residents enjoy. Most senior living communities allow respite residents to stay from a few days or up to one month.

What’s Included?

  • Fully furnished room to enjoy
  • Three well-balanced meals each day and healthy snacks between meals, special diet accommodations
  • Assistance with personal care needs such as bathing, grooming, toileting, and dressing
  • Support managing medications to ensure the correct dose of is taken at the right time
  • Around-the-clock clinical team
  • Laundry and housekeeping services provided
  • Daily life enrichment activities

Prepare for a Respite Stay

Senior living communities will require some information prior to a respite stay and while it may vary by community, generally patients will need to provide:

  • Completion of financial application
  • Recent Physician visit, current medication list and completed H & P form (provided)
  • Dates needed for Respite Care Stay
  • Private payers – payment covering room and board expenses for identified dates
  • Medicaid payers – plans will be confirmed beforehand

What should you pack?

Most senior living communities will encourage you to bring a few of your loved one’s favorite belongings to help their apartment feel more like home. It could be something as simple as their favorite throw and a few framed family photos. You should also bring:

  • Clothing items
  • Home medications in original bottles with instructions and dosages
  • Durable medical equipment utilized in the home


It is always best to schedule a respite stay as soon as you know the dates for your vacation. Summer is a busy time for respite and you will want to make sure the community you like has space available.

Choosing the Right Rehab Center

If a Columbus area senior loved one is hospitalized following an injury or illness, or if they are recovering from a planned surgery, their physician has likely recommended they continue their rehab. In many cases, the recommendation is a short-term stay in a skilled nursing and rehab center. While older adults are anxious to return home, taking advantage of the Medicare Skilled Nursing and Rehab benefit can help shorten their overall recovery time and prevent a return trip to the hospital.

Of course, the world of post hospital rehab is not something everyone is familiar with, which makes it difficult to know what you should be looking for in a physical therapy center. The two best things you can do are to take a tour and ask the right questions when you do.

Tips for Finding the Right Rehab Center

Here are a few things to consider when you are talking with short-term rehab providers:

  • Schedule a Tour. Pick your top few rehab centers and schedule a tour of each center.
  • Ask Questions. To help you make your decision, here are a few questions you might want to ask when you are touring post hospital senior rehab centers. Some are medical-related, some therapy-related, and others are simply lifestyle-related to help you get a full picture of what the stay will be like.
  • Compare Centers. When touring more than one center, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Use this simple checklist to easily compare up to three centers.
  • Consider the location. Think about who the most frequent visitors will be and how easy it is to get to the rehab center. If an elderly spouse will be the primary visitor, it helps to find a quality provider near them.
  • Research how Medicare rates the rehab center. You can use Nursing Home Compare to review detailed information on every Medicare and Medicaid-certified skilled nursing and rehab center in the country. The site also allows you to compare one center you are considering with another.
  • What is the community’s reputation? Word of mouth can play a big role in helping you decide what rehab center to choose. Ask friends and colleagues who have been through this with a loved one for advice.
  • What is the success rate after a patient leaves? It is important to know what percentage of patients return home to live independently and also how many patients end up back in the hospital.

Does a Tour Really Matter When Choosing a Center for Physical Therapy After a Hospital Stay?

The simple answer? Yes! The ultimate key to finding the best physical therapy for your senior’s needs is to make an in-person visit to each potential center.

By scheduling a tour of prospective care communities, you can get a better idea of the environment, the quality of care, and the attentiveness of the staff. These are all extremely important considerations when choosing a post hospital rehab center. You want to find a place that will provide Mom or Dad with the same level of care you would, and a tour helps you make a better-informed decision. Touring also allows you to:

  • Meet their therapy team and ask any questions prior to admission.
  • Therapy teams can provide a pre-surgery exercise plan, making for a quicker recovery.
  • Familiarize yourself with rehabilitation equipment and any assistive devices you may require during your recovery journey.

It’s Your Decision

In the end, trust your own feelings in making a decision. In addition to considering aspects of care that can be rated, you may also want to ask the following questions:

  • Can you imagine your loved one being comfortable in this center during a short stay?
  • Did you feel at ease while touring?
  • Did staff answer all your questions during the tour?
  • Was the staff friendly and inviting?

Once you have selected the right rehab center, we recommend making pre-surgery reservations.

Benefits of Pre-Registering for Post-Surgery Rehab

Pre-registering for your post-surgery rehab stay allows you to head off to the hospital with peace of mind knowing what to expect afterwards. You can take your time and visit prospective rehab centers beforehand which provides you with the opportunity to choose a community that best meets your needs. Your family won’t have to scramble to find time to visit rehab centers for tours while you are in the hospital and choose for you.

Most communities will also be able to verify your insurance coverage allowing for quicker pre-approval from your insurance provider once you are ready to discharge from the hospital. Knowing your room will be ready and what to expect after your surgery will allow you to feel more confident and at ease before your surgery.

Schedule your tour for Pre-Surgery Reservations today!



8 Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and when brainstorming gift ideas it can be hard to know what to get, especially for the mom that “don’t want anything”.

A Digital Photo Album

A digital photo frame is a great way to share new pictures with your mom that she can easily display in her home. This also helps cut down on clutter by removing the number of picture frames around the house. Simply upload pictures you want featured and they’ll display in the frame.

New Journal 

Research shows journaling is very beneficial. Grab mom a new journal and pen set to encourage her to start or continue daily journaling.

New Book

Books are always a great gift, provide a new adventure with ease. Check for new books from her favorite author or based on her interests, there are books available for everything!

Also, don’t forget about digital formats. If the person has a smartphone or tablet, get them a subscription to an online audiobook service like Audible, or help them download an eBook app if their library offers one.

Shiatus Pillow

These massage pillows provide a deep kneading massage to loosen and comfort tight muscles with soothing heat while comforting tired muscles.

Easy-to-Keep House Plant

Plants bring natural beauty and good feeling in your space. They can absorb harmful chemicals from the air and filter dust from lighting fixtures. They also release oxygen into the air naturally.

Self-Care Items

Pick up her favorite face masks, creams, oils, or even new ones to try out. Engaging in self-care has been proven to reduce or even eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger while increasing happiness and improving energy. Moms are always consumed with taking care of everyone else but typically forget to take care of themselves.

Gardener’s Tool Set

Gardening is vastly beneficial, grab your mom a new gardening tool set. Some even include a bench to make the task easier on her.

Personalized Hand-Written Letter Blanket

Write your mother a timeless love letter and hop online to have it made into a blanket she can keep forever. These blankets mirror your personal handwriting as well bringing in the extra touch and sentimental value.


Most importantly, celebrate and make her feel appreciated. 

Power of Attorney and Living Will

In the event of an emergency, Power of Attorney and Living Will documentation are helpful to have in place. These documents protect your wishes and finances for your family.

Health Care Power of Attorney

First let’s look at what the Power of Attorney for Health Care covers:

  • This document allows you to designate a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. The person essentially becomes your defacto attorney.
  • In Ohio, a person can designate one person to be their power of attorney for health care decisions and another person to be responsible for their financial decisions.
  • The person you designate then has the authority to make all health care-related decisions for you. They can both authorize and refuse treatments.
  • Unlike a Living Will, the Health Care Power of Attorney applies to all situations where you are unable to speak for yourself and not just in the case of a terminal illness.

Living Wills

By contrast, a Living Will is used only in the case of a terminal illness or if you become permanently unconscious. A few important points to understand include:

  • A Living Will allows you to establish how you would like certain medical situations to be handled. It is a way you can communicate your wishes to a physician even when you are unable to speak for yourself.
  • You can also use a Living Will to specify what your wishes are with regard to organ and tissue donations.
  • It’s important to let your physician know once you create this document so they can be certain to honor your wishes.

This can be a confusing area of law for seniors and their families. We recommend working with a qualified attorney who understands elder law issues.

One final suggestion is to download Choices: Living Well at the End of Life. This helpful guide can help you think about and better define your wishes for future care.

Visiting a Loved One at Optalis

We are thrilled to help our residents safely visit with their families! Understanding risk, but also recognizing the benefits of visiting with loved ones, Optalis residents are able to enjoy visitation, with some guidance provided by the CDC and CMS in regards to the core principles of infection control to mitigate the risks to our population.

Visitation Guidance Printable Resource

Planning for your Visit

Scheduling of visits: We are currently offering open in-person visitation for families and friends.

Self-assessment: If you are not feeling well, or have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 14 days please help us keep our residents safe and refrain from visiting until you are feeling better.

Visiting area: Guests may visit in resident rooms, designated visitation areas or outside, if weather permitting.

Number of visitors: Proper social distancing is strongly recommended during your visit. If you anticipate a large number of visitors or if your loved one has a roommate, please call the community in advance to make arrangements.

During your visit: If your loved one has been fully vaccinated (14 days past their second vaccine dose) social distancing is not required. Be sure to use proper hand hygiene before and after your visit. Residents that are not fully vaccinated will be quarantined per CDC guidelines for 14 days upon arrival but, are eligible for open visitation.

Visitor arrival


  • Upon entry to the community, visitors are asked to wear a mask and complete a temperature reading along with a brief questionnaire.
  • Before and after your visit, please practice infection prevention including proper hand hygiene, maintaining social distancing with others in our community, and following mask protocols when in any common spaces.
  • Kids and pets are welcome to visit but, must stay with their family at all times. Kids must also wear masks at all times.

If you should have any questions, please contact your loved one’s center. Please keep in mind that Optalis Healthcare is continuing to follow state and federal guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and staff.

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as well as your actions to help in our efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and staff.