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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 06/11/13


At 48, I gave up my career and life as I knew it in Florida to move back with my parents after they lost everything during Hurricane Sandy. I rebuilt their home and got them moved back in. The plan was that once I reestablished my career in New York, I would get my own place close to them. Two months ago, my mom became very ill and passed away six weeks ago. I decided, along with my dad, who is 81, that I would remain in the home to assist him while still pursuing my career. He has since become very bitter. He becomes angry when I go out and would prefer for me to sit here and watch TV with him 24/7 as he did with my mom. I am a person constantly on the go. I need to find him companionship or things to do during the day/evening. I have offered for him to come with me, but he refuses. I am looking for advice on activities in Brooklyn. Thank you.


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Name: Sue S
Location: Wisconsin
Date: 06/12/2013
Time: 06:46 AM


Jean, I would like to suggest that you call your local Department of Aging (most counties have a departmetn of aging and/or an Aging and Disability Resource Center. The staff there are aware of the local resources for seniors. In our county the departtment of aging has 8 senior dining centers where the participants can enjoy a home cooked meal, socialize with others, join in Bingo, cards, dances or other activities. We also offer seniors many different volunteer opportunities within our department. Another suggestion is to find local church or civic groups that may offer your dad some new interests or opportunities to meet other seniors. For you, I would suggest a local caregiver support group. Again, our County department of aging provides this much needed support for caregivers, where you can learn about resources and services available as well as talk with others in similiar situations - invaluable! Take Care, Sue

Name: Grace Terry
Location: Tampa FL
Date: 06/11/2013
Time: 09:52 PM


Jean, do not wait for your dad's permission/understanding/support before going on with your life. Do what you can to encourage and support him in his grief work, (which will include finding/creating a "new normal" for himself), but the rest is up to him. You cannot do it for him. Do not let him manipulate or bully you into completely changing your lifestyle for him indefinitely. You will only enable him to stay stuck in his bitterness. It sounds as if he could benefit from grief support, but will in all likelihood resist the idea, especially if you are willing to sit and watch TV with him as your mother did. If he will not seek and accept grief support, get grief support for yourself which will include support for taking care of YOU. Don't be a martyr, sacrificing your entire life and career for your dad's sake. Chances are, it won't be enough. He will still be angry and bitter if he refuses to take the steps necessary to build a satisfactory life for himself, and he will likely refuse to take those steps as long as you are trying to do all the work for him. You didn't say if you are an only child, an only daughter, or the oldest daughter, but I am guessing one of those things is true for you. If you have siblings, BE VERY SPECIFIC in requesting support from them. Also, ask repeatedly, if necessary to get their attention. Blessings to you AND to your dear father. He is fortunate to have you for his daughter.

Date: 06/11/2013
Time: 05:06 PM


Try checking with your local senior center. You might find other seniors who are lonely and would welcome an opportunity to sit and watch TV with your Dad. A woman friend might even bring lunch.

Name: Janice
Location: Cape Cod
Date: 06/11/2013
Time: 07:10 AM


Jean: You didn't say where in Bklyn you are now but I am from there and own a business helping elders. Your dad is probably bitter because of all the losses he has sustained in such a short period of time, with the most devastating being the death of his wife. I would start with him seeing his primary care MD to rule out any underlying reason for his behavior. He may also need to speak with someone such as a therapist so that he can express his feelings. As you didn't say what kind of activities he enjoyed with your mother, it is hard to say if he would like to do group or individual types. I would recommend that you start with the a local agency on aging. You can research this at Your dad may be eligible for programs they offer due to his age. In addition, you may also benefit from some of the services as you now find yourself in a caregiving role. Good luck to you.

Name: Pam
Location: Virginia
Date: 06/11/2013
Time: 06:19 AM


Check the Alzheimer's Association website for resources.



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