by francy dickinson www.seniorcarewithspirit.com
Dear Francy; Dad just does not want to go out of the house any more. He lives alone and is really just giving up. He is 82 has heart problems that make it hard for him to walk and he is just over with doing chores and getting out the front door. What do I do now?
Well, once again there are a variety of things you can do to decide what he needs to help him get to a happier place. The first thing could be he just is unable to care for the house like he used to and he is overwhelmed with worry. But let’s don’t jump to conclusions, lets go over the list for you to review;
- Tell his doctor of his emotional problems, it could very well be that his medications for his heart are starting to effect his emotions. That happens and you need to step in and get to the doctor with him and go over what pills he has and how they work for him, so you can help make a decision on this situation. If the doctor knows he could prescribe other meds and add a med to help your dad feel less stress and worry.
- If he really can not walk, then think about a power chair for his mobility
- Next, talk to your dad, see if you can find out what route he would like to take. Give him 3 options each time you speak to him. RE: 1/Dad we could have someone come in twice a week and clean up the house & fix your meals 2/we can come over on the weekends and make sure the grass is cut and the landscaping is in order or hire it done, 3/we can look into one of those nice assisted living places that would give you a great place to live with everything done for you and you could just relax and enjoy the company. Let it all sink in…talk about it a few times and let his mind run over the ideas.
- If you feel he is ready for a retirement, assisted living, or adult care home then it’s time for you to do some looking around. I have a company that does the research for people and then we help you find a place that is the right match for your dad.Loving Memories is a free service for senior facility placement that you can check out on my website.
- In home care, can be done by a company or a private person. You might already know someone who is trained in senior care, or you might have a tight budget. But remember this is how he can stay where he is in a comfortable way. In-home care is what is needed now that he is feeling down and unable to keep up with the home and its many daily chores as well as his problems getting around the house.
- Another avenue is to have a live-in. Many times you can find a young man/woman that would like a room and a place to stay while going to school or saving for a down payment on a home. You can ask around, ask at a faith center or the local college or seminary. This way the person gets a nice place to live and in exchange for doing light house keeping, the lawn mowing and making sure food is fixed at least a couple of nights a week. Plus, they will be there at night in case your dad needs someone. You will have to do a back ground check on the person to have them in the home with your dad, you can do that by going to google and typing in your area and a back ground check and it will guide you on that. Then you have to sit down and really go over the care chores that are required so you will have a list for them to review when you interview them. I would interview them at a local coffee house and then have them come over to your dad’s for safety and privacy issues.
- If you asked for my vote, it sounds like it is time for your dad to sell the house and make a move into a nice place that he can age and be cared for at the same time. A place that will provide companionship, good food and someone to keep an eye on him. His years of worry over the house and the chores are now behind him. If he is displaying this behavior now, it will only intensify in the coming months. I know the change is hard for everyone, but think on it and take some sort of action- this is never a fun time for any family member, but action to make your dad safe and less stressed is needed.
There is never a good answer to a problem that has a difficult situation attached to it. But the steps above will give you ideas to think on and maybe one will set a spark. Be sure to take him to the doctor, that might be a big reason he is having problems. He may even have more health issues than you are aware. When older folks that do not hear well, feel unwell or are tired go to the doctor’s office alone, they miss most of what the doctor says to them.With you going with him he will have fresh ears and eyes on his health and that might really make a difference in the type of care that he will now need.
Thanks for all you do for your dad, and please go to my website and read more about Loving Memories our Senior Care Facility Placement Service and my Senior Care 101 Workbook – www.seniorcarewithspirit.com