Caring For Your Parent



Sadly, there comes a time when the parent becomes more like your child and my husband and I are going through that with his father.  Even though I married the boy next door I don’t ever remember his dad not being a hermit, so to speak.  He’s now 78 and until now has a few medical hiccups but has been self sufficient.


A week ago Saturday my husband and I were enjoying a night with out the kids together and his dad called to say he was dizzy and throwing up.  This wasn’t a huge worry for us because he has had vertigo in the past and has been treated for this for a few years now.  An hour later he called back and wanted to go to the ER.


This whole situation has spiraled downward and now we’re finding how well a parent can mask what is going on in their life.  I don’t want to violate my father in laws privacy but I want to post about warning signals and flags.   We have had to put my father in law in a care home for physical therapy and are doing our best to run back and forth.


First I want to say that these warning signs or indications that your parent may need help may or may not be what we’re addressing right now but in general it’s a good place to start.


  • Mobility – Is your parent having a hard time getting around? Can they get in and out of a chair with out help?
    Slurring of words – Has their speech pattern changed?
    Wearing the same clothes every day – are they changing their clothes daily?
    Bathing – Do the smell bad or maybe like urine? Are they able to bathe on their own.
    Hoarding – Does it look like their home might belong on Hoarders?
    Mail – Is mail piling up unopened? Are they paying their bills?
    Cons – Are they sending people money for lottery scams, insurance or donation scams?
    Weight Gain or Loss – This is something you would want to point out to their doctor because it can be an indication of many different health issues.
    Forgetfulness – We’re not talking where did I put my keys. We’re talking have they forgotten a grandchild, is there an age gap in their memory all of a sudden.
    Crying – Have they started crying for an unexplained reason?
    Refusal to leave their home

While this is a good place to start there can be many more symptoms.  How do you know when to step in or what do you say to your parent?  This is something we’re struggling with right now.  We are limited on funds and so is my father in law but we’ve started with talking to his doctor.  We’re waiting to hear back from him right now but we’re mapping out our next steps which are to contact a social worker and to stay in close contact with him.


At no time do we want him to think we’re going behind his back.  Anything I say to a nurse or a doctor I make sure I can say to him.  We sat down yesterday and explained to him the differences we were seeing and asked him all the questions we could think of.    This is going to be on going and I very open to conversation, hints and advice!


6 comments for “Caring For Your Parent

  1. Maryann D.
    March 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    It is so difficult when parents are aging and living alone. I just went through that with both my parents the past few years. We ended up back and forth to the hospitals and eventually we had to have them stay in nursing homes. We visited each day until they passed away. It was so sad for us, but we knew they were safe and not alone and being proper cared for in the nursing home.

  2. Regina elliott
    March 9, 2016 at 7:25 am

    It’s very hard to have to have a parent go to a nursing home ,the quikt I felt was horrible

  3. Renee Rousseau
    March 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    These are very helpful elder care tips. I just lived through this challenge after losing both of my parents in the last year. We found the Veteran’s home was the best for our father. (The Veteran’s home was so wonderful I wished I had served in the military so I too could avail of their services.)

  4. April 28, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    This is what I fear will happen in the future with us. My dad is 74 and we are his only surviving relatives. He has his own home in another state, is very active in his community, and has a lot of friends in the area. I have no idea what we’d do if he became too ill or frail to stay in his home. I lost my mom two years ago (his life-long wife) and he’s been doing fine and seems healthy but you never can know.

  5. belinda bell
    June 19, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I care for both my mother-in-law and father-in-law. We were able to keep them at home with the help of home health care. It was hard but better than putting them in a nursing home.

  6. August 9, 2016 at 7:22 am

    We are now going through this with my parents who are both 92 years old. It’s so hard to bring up the subject of putting them in a nursing home.

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