“Ask Brenda”

“Ask Brenda”

“Ask Brenda” is written by Brenda Enright, owner of Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke. Home Instead is the leading home care provider for seniors, with over 1000 offices internationally. Their services allow seniors to remain in their homes, maintain their independence, and preserve their quality of life.

Brenda will draw from her experiences to provide answers to questions regarding care and available resources in the community. If you have a question for Brenda, please forward it to: askbrenda@homeinstead.com.

Dear Brenda: My mother is showing beginning signs of dementia. Currently, my dad is being treated for cancer and she is his primary caregiver. Neither my sister nor I live in the same city as my parents. My dad has asked us to try and get my mom in for evaluation with a doctor but my mom refuses to cooperate. How do you approach an issue with a parent that is showing signs of mental decline?

Brenda: Sorry to hear about your dad’s health. Between that, and your mom showing signs of cognitive impairment, this sounds like a stressful situation all around. This situation is going to require some planning and adjustments.

Do you or your sister plan to go home for a long weekend? If so, you can see firsthand how your mom is doing—over a few days—and talk face to face. Start by sharing what you have observed and asking what she thinks is going on. Offer specific observations, delivered calmly and in a loving tone. If your mom agrees that there is a problem, you can then ask her what she thinks needs to be done. If she doesn’t bring up the idea of going for a thorough assessment, you can speak to the advantages of being prepared and taking action early. This is in her best interests and your father’s. You might reassure her and say that it might be nothing, but better to be safe and know for sure.

If this doesn’t work, try speaking directly about your own feelings. I find that, very often, people will do something they don’t want to do out of love for the person making the request.

Don’t give up! Try a variety of approaches with your mom. I agree, an assessment sounds like a good idea, for her sake and for your dad’s. Good luck!

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.
Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

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