My father, age 87, has lived alone for many years. He’s recently had some health issues and though he remains pretty independent, he now has a live-in aide who helps him with his dinner, errands, transportation, and assists him a bit in the mornings. I live a few hours away by plane and am able to visit him often. I’ve tried to convince him to move near me, but he has many friends in his apartment building, and is comfortable and well situated with his healthcare.
I’m very concerned about my 81-year old mother because she spends so much time at home alone, watching TV. Lately when I come by after work, she’s still in her nightgown. I can’t seem to interest her in anything. I’ve tried taking her to church for card games, to lectures at the local community center and I’ve even persuaded her to call a few friends for lunch. I know she enjoys herself when she finally does something but she won’t take any initiative herself. I have suggested she hire a companion to accompany her on errands or just take a walk together, but she flatly refuses.
My father suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He and my mother live in their home and have required little outside help and support. Recently, however, my father has stopped sleeping and he becomes very agitated at night. I’m very concerned, not only for him but for my mother. I’ve done a lot of research on “Sundowning” as it’s called, and have spoken with professionals but none of their recommendations or the suggested remedies that I’ve read about have worked.
My father, age 90 is the sole caregiver of my 83-year old mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. He does an amazing job, but he is clearly exhausted by the end of the day. I do what I can, but my full-time job limits my ability to help more.
My parents can afford to hire helpers, but my father insists that he can handle everything on his own. How can I convince him otherwise? My mother’s condition will only get worse with time. Gina F., Fort Lauderdale, FL
My parents moved to be close to me eight years ago when they were in their mid eighties and moved into an independent living facility. I have two sisters whom I talk to often, but who live several hours away.
Everything went very smoothly, for the first five years. However, their health has declined a lot and they now reside in the assisted living section of the facility where they require considerable additional help and services. There isn’t a day when there isn’t a “crisis du jour.”
My mother, age 78, had a stroke 3 weeks ago. Yesterday she was transferred to a rehabilitation center where she will stay 2-3 weeks. Her doctors are confident that she will be able to resume a fairly active and independent lifestyle.
I’m prepared to get everything all set for my mother’s return to her home and fortunately, I have friends who have been in similar caregiving situations and they are giving me lots of advice. But I don’t know where or how to start getting things in order. Can you give me a list of what to do? Julie R., Westwood, NJ.
My mother has some hearing and memory loss, so I think it’s important that I or one of my siblings accompany her on her doctor appointments. Yet, because of my mother’s desire for privacy and independence, we always are relegated to the waiting room and her physician is not permitted to talk with us about her care. What can we do to convince her that we’re on her side and only want to help with her healthcare needs? Cindy D., New York, New York
My mother, age 84, recently decided that she wants to move to an Assisted Living Facility. Together we have done a lot of “homework” to find a community that offered the type of activities and accommodations that she was searching for. It’s also within 30 minutes of my home, so our visits and family activities won’t miss a beat. A real bonus! She is scheduled to move in at the end of the next month, but now she is having second thoughts and jitters. She didn’t make the decision easily and spent a lot of time finding the best place for her. I think it’s just nerves…. Any thoughts?
I help an elderly neighbor who is legally blind but incredibly sharp. The problem is his house. It’s not very tidy and he’s managed to accumulate an abundance of stuff over the years. He needs someone to help him clean it out, but as you can imagine he’s not very trusting of strangers. I can help but I know the job is too big for me to do by myself… Thanks in advance. Elizabeth T., Miami, FL.
My mother, age 88 has lived alone for 10 years and wants to keep it that way, despite her unsteady gait and uneasiness about driving. She enjoys spending time with my brother, and me and with friends as long as someone provides the transportation.