Jennifer Meagher RN is a Geriatric Care Manager and Registered Nurse. She had a 21 year nursing career at Genesee Hospital, which included 11 years as Nurse Manager. She was the primary evening instructor for a local Home Health Aide training program. She has been a geriatric specialist since 1998. She is a member of Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly, is the founder and president of Better Businesses Partners Serving Seniors, and is called on by local attorneys and physicians for her expertise. She is the owner of Senior Life LLC, Independent Consultants and Advocates.
My husband and I do everything for my father. We mow his lawn, rake his leaves, wash his windows, clean his gutters, and run all over town for his errands. Well, you get the idea. We have our own kids to worry about and our own house. My father won’t let us hire anybody to help and he won’t move. Is there anything we can say that would change his mind?
It is time for you to assert yourself. First, sit down with your husband and talk this through. How much help can you reasonably provide your father? One day or evening a week? Or every two weeks? To the best of your understanding, can your father afford to hire helpers? Can you afford to hire helpers for him?
Once you have defined the boundaries, set up a time to visit your father and talk with him. Let him know how much you love him, but there are limits to your energy. Let him know what you can do to help, with suggestions to cover his other needs. Sometimes, there is nothing better to say to his requests for help than, “No. We just can’t help out this weekend. Let’s get together and figure out what we can do about everything you need.”
If your conversation is met with stubbornness or anger, you may wish to make an appointment with Lifespan or hire a geriatric care manager. You and he need guidance at this point. If your father will take advice from someone, he will likely take advice from a professional in this field. If he won’t take advice, then get some for yourself.
Take comfort in the truths that you love him and want to help, but not at your own family’s expense. Hang in there.
Jennifer Meagher RN is a Geriatric Care Manager | Read more
Our Two Cents: To Move or Not to Move
Author: Jennifer Meagher
1. Is the older adult/s able to take care of the house without calling on the adult children?
2. Does the older adult safely use the stove (or microwave) and the stairs?
3. Does the older adult call you more than once every day with questions and worries?
4. Does the older adult remember to take his/her medication every day?
5. Is the older adult eating well, following smart food safety (expiration dates, length of time food is kept in the refrigerator, etc.) and is maintaining his/her weight?
6. Do you find yourself worried about the older adult and how s/he is managing at home alone?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, your older adult needs more help. If you’ve answered yes to most of these, hire a companion or aide, or consider moving to either supportive living apartments or a nursing home. Good luck. Change is never easy.