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How do you care for an aging parent who seems to be totally withdrawn?

My father will soon be 70, he does nothing but sit on the couch & watch t.v. he has ran off all of his children (4) of us except for me untill yesterday, his wife is 75 & still works just to stay away from him.He actually choked me yesterday, he has a nurse who comes in twice a week to look after him, should I inform her of this for her saftey? I am so confussed.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:14 AM on Dec. 27, 2008 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • Does he show confusion? Like does he have dementia or Alzheimers? If he has either one your best bet is to put him in a nursing home. I know that is the last person anyone wants to hear. My dad has left my grandma, who has dementia; and aunt, who is mentally handicapped, home and refused to put them in a nursing home when in reality it would have been the best bet for them.

    You should talk to the nurse. Tell her that he is acting violent. She needs to record that. Also, if this is unusual for him to do, you don't want him to harm his wife. These are serious, and scary and sad matters to have to face and deal with but you need to do what is best for the entire family (including him)

    Answer by krazyash023 at 9:29 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • Inform the nurse and his wife. And stay away except to help his wife figure out what to do with him. I am sorry you are going through this but unfortunately, things can turn ugly with age. He probably should be evaluated by a gerontologist who specializes in aging. He sounds depressed, violent, maybe he is psychotic. The safety of those around him has to take priority over everything else. It's time to do something for him before he does something TO someone else. It doesn't sound like you want to walk away like your siblings did.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 9:48 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • I hope you aren't feeling awful and guilty. My mother is anything but withdrawn but I am noticing she is harder to get along with as she ages. I have braced myself for this knowing I will waste alot of time feeling guilty for something I have nothing to do with creating and I can't control. We need to do the best we can to be caring for our aging parents but not to take responsibility for how they age. They must do that for themselves.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 10:03 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • Inform the wife and nurse. If he has Alzheimer's it may be getting worse and his wife may be in danger. My uncle reluctantly put my aunt in a nursing home, not because of violence but because the Alzheimer's had required care that he was no longer able to give her, and it was the best choice for him and her both. She is thriving and happy there, and he isn't agonizing about what to do if something happened to him.

    Answer by Bmat at 10:21 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • You might even consider an Assisted Living facility--which is more active, and allows for married couples to live together, while having doctors and nurses on staff/call 24/7. If he's not to the point of needing constant care, than an AL place might be more of a happy medium. Granted they are expensive, but if it's where he needs to be, IMO it's better than separating him from his wife and being completely alone (except for visits).

    Answer by LoriKeet at 10:43 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • I have worked a nursing home and done home health for years. This is a question that strikes a chord with me. A nursing home or assisted living sounds like an easy fix, BUT it could aggravate the situation and his behavior. If he is violent at times he would not be allowed to stay. And having worked in home health, you most definitely tell his nurse. It would be unfair and unsafe to keep this from her. If she got really hurt, legally you and your family may be liable.

    I would definitely have him evaluated by his doctor, first. It could be something as simple as an bad interaction of different medicines. It could be something neurological. It could be any number of things really. Have him checked out!!! GL!


    Answer by evilabbysmom at 1:30 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • hugsI would def. alert the nurse for her safety. and I would also talk to his wife and his doctor. It is not a safe situation for any of you and you may be at a point of looking for other options.


    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 4:34 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

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