In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2005 / 14 Sivan, 5765

How do we reconnect with our ailing parents?

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Our parents are in their early 80s. For the past five years, Dad has had physical problems, some of which required surgery. He has difficulty getting around and has become more dependent on my mother, yet he has remained mentally sharp. Recently, we've noticed Mom has become quite forgetful. My brother and I have seen her go from task to task without completing any of them. We are especially concerned that she and Dad are not eating and drinking as they should, and that she is not giving him his medication as prescribed. In fact, we've seen him correct her during this process, and Dad has mentioned that he has pressure sores that Mom, and not a physician, is treating with some type of salve.

Our folks have always been very independent, but we feel they need some help. In fact, when my brother and I stopped by together and talked about getting some help in the house for them, Mom became very belligerent, accusing us of trying to "put them away." Dad remained silent. After this episode, Mom called our younger sister, who apparently has sided with Mom, and now my sister is the only person Mom will allow to visit in their home. Our calls to check on them are met with "we are fine," and then being hung up on.

It has gotten so bad that we have been turned away at the front door when we brought our children and grandchildren to visit. We have seen a complete reversal in their attitudes toward us, and complete trust in our younger sister, who never spent much time with them and whom our parents used to criticize for being married three times and giving up custody of her children to her husbands. This has now gone on for two months, and we are at our wits' end. Our sister won't tell us anything, nor will their doctors. We would appreciate any guidance you can give.

A: Keeping in mind that seniors are very independent people, there is a fine line between what some consider concern and what others might interpret as interference. We believe that while the intentions and concerns expressed by you and your brother appear to be appropriate, your mother realized that you had discovered a flaw in her that she believes could lead to institutionalization and the loss of independence. Your father was silent, probably because he is so dependent on your mother that he can't express his concerns. To attempt to equalize the situation, your mother chose to recruit your sister as an ally so that she could have an advocate. By siding with your mother, we believe your sister is not only enabling a situation that will only get worse, especially for your father whose physical health appears to be most at risk, but also setting the stage to become the favorite child.

Donate to JWR

Since it appears that your strained relationship is not getting any better, we believe you have several options, none of which are terrific: 1) Since neither of your parents seem to meet the strict definition of "incapacitated," a court proceeding to attempt to take control of their health care would fail. 2) Due to privacy issues, your parents' physicians will not be able to talk to you unless your parents signed a medical authorization — which we doubt. Therefore, you could write to your parents' physicians, let them know what is going on from your standpoint, and suggest that they get your parents in for a visit. This should put the onus on the physician to at least look at the situation. As a mandatory reporter of abuse and neglect, the physician may have to do something if your Dad is in the condition you say he is. 3) Report the situation to your local adult protective services agency, as it appears that your parents, especially your father, are very vulnerable. 4) Do nothing if you are uncomfortable involving medical personnel and state agencies, and let things take their natural course with your sister at the helm. The situation you describe, while difficult, is not uncommon in today's environment.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.


© 2005, Jan Warner