Should we move dad closer while he is experiencing paranoia?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 12, 2016
Daughter1034 asked...

My parents are 66 & 70. They live about 2.5 hours away. My dad has been experiencing paranoia and other medical problems for the past 2 years. The paranoia is getting more severe. My parents have agreed to move closer, but it is taking time to sell their house. As time passes, his paranoia gets worse. Should we move him while his paranoia is not controlled or wait? My mom is really struggling to handle this alone. They live is a very rural area with few contact with others except through church. Moving closer to us will bring them into a busy suburban area. Will the move make the paranoia worse? The doctors in their area are trying but doing a very good job treating his conditions. Moving will bring him into contact with better medical care. If we should move him, how can we manage the move without making him worse?

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

Sorry to hear of the trouble with your parents. Paranoia is not really an illness, but a symptom of an underlying condition, either physical or mental. A large per cent of paranoia symptoms in older age are caused by medications and how they mix. Also, they are often caused by withdrawal from medications such as narcotics for pain. Withdrawal from alcohol is another frequent trigger. You are correct in your assessment that he needs better medical care. Paranoia can end with a flash if treated properly. It would help the move, if it is treated first, and it will make a difference in what living facilities will be available to him. Your father needs a work up from a good clinic. Check with your own doctor to find the nearest possibility in your area.

Proper treatment for his illness will help your whole family. It gives you more time to sell the house, first.

It gives them more time to live a normal life, connecting with the people in their church, until the time of the move.

It gives your family time to plan the move and execute it with dignity, which includes finishing up with one stage of life and entering in to the next one.