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Elderly parents

Persuading FIL to look after himself

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thecatsminion · 18/08/2012 16:11

FIL is a widower in his early 70s and stays by himself in another bit of the country (4 hrs away). He's always been stubborn and bit eccentric, but a really nice guy.

For the last year or so, he's been complaining about indigestion. My DH and I have suggested he goes to the Dr but then he'll start saying it's not that bad. We also noticed that he's becoming more eccentric, unkempt - he has bad BO at times but my DH doesn't want to hurt him by pointing it out.

His house is really too big for one person and is filled with junk and has no central heating.

He's still physically and mentally in relatively good shape and has a good social life. But we're worried that things will go downhill fast unless he, for example, gets his stomach problems sorted out, does something about his house and starts washing more frequently. He came down to see us earlier in the year and had a whole range of mishaps on the way, (nothing serious, but getting wrongly accused of swigging vodka from a lemonade bottle in a public place because he looked so down and out and that sort of thing), and just seems to be struggling more and more outside an increasingly small and restricted world where everyone knows him.

Things have come to a head because fell when out walking last week and it took several days and a lot of effort for SIL (who stays a bit closer) and DH to cajole him into going to A&E, even although he couldn't put any weight onto one of his legs. It turned out not to be too serious and should mend, but it seems like a good time to try and turn things around, now that he's actually been to a doctor.

It's just really difficult - he should have a few years of enjoying life yet, hanging out with his friends and seeing his grandchildren grow, but it's like he's given up. Can anyone give any advice? I think he might be depressed but it's unlikely he'd admit it to a doctor. Sorry this is so long.

I posted this in Gransnet first, didn't realise there was an elderly parents section too.

OP posts:
MoaningMingeWhingesAgain · 25/08/2012 10:36

Only just seen this, because I had a thread in this bit.

He does sound a bit of a worry, TBH.

I would contact his GP surgery and let them know your worries about him, then they can arrange to check him over if he will agree. If he won't agree it may be difficult when so far away.

If he was nearby, I would ask the GP or district nurse to come and see him at home, be honest with them about his apparent inability to meet his hygiene needs etc. But if he is competent (ie totally with it) and refuses, they won't be able to force him.

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