How do I help, from a distance, my elderly father care for my disabled brother?

2 answers | Last updated: Nov 11, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My 82 year-old father lives with and cares for my 50 year -old emotionally disabled brother. My father has peripheral neuropathy and cannot feel his feet and also has had several surgeries for disc problems in his back. He's addicted to pain killers and is also taking sleeping pills, antidepressants and tranquilizers. My concern is that he has always been the kind of person to "be in charge", but I see that he is no longer able to handle things at home and becomes confused easily. He also is adamant about continuing to drive. What can I do about this? I live at a great distance from them. Their lives, home and health are in a shambles.


Expert Answers

Elizabeth Dugan, a Fellow of the Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston, is the author of Driving Dilemma: The Complete Resource Guide for Older Drivers and Their Families.

Observing declines in a loved one and not living close enough to be of much help is a special stress more and more of us are feeling. Hiring a geriatric social worker who is local can be a lifesaver. Hospitals, aging service providers, or the local council on aging may be able to connect you to someone who can manage your father's needs with professionalism and compassion.


Community Answers

Niamh7 answered...

YOUR POOR FATHER. IT SOUNDS LIKE HE IS DEPRESSED, AND NEEDS YOU THERE, EVEN FOR JUST A WHILE, TO TRY TO HELP DO WHAT EVER IS BEST.


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