I'm pretty sure he has an elderly based anxiety disorder, and his doc agrees.

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My father is 87 years old, works out at a gym everyday. He lives with his brother, and I live with them pretty much 10 months out of the year. They're in OH, and I live in CA.
I think I have the opposite problem of the majority of children who take care of their parents. My dad handed over his car keys three years ago, and even his doctors felt it was too soon, that my dad was fine to drive.
My father is overly cautious about walking, showering, etc. to the point where it's affecting his quality of life.
He thinks he's cognitively impaired. He's not. His short term memory is better than mine. I'm 48.
I'm pretty sure he has an elderly based anxiety disorder, and his doc agrees. But my dad won't take the med prescribed to alleviate some of these symptoms. My father is a retired physician, and sometimes I think that he's so caught up in his age, and his knowledge regarding that statistic. I just don't know what to do. This is affecting my marriage, but I'm the only one left. I lost my sister and mom to breast cancer over 10 years ago. My uncle and cousins are completely useless. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


In my case I use supplements to calm anxiety so I can sleep. Magnesium in the form of magnesium threonate (after much experimentation with the many other formulations. Try dr amen product 'calming support' which has just supplements for day and night support. There is a different form of magnesium in it, but it his combo works. Good luck!
Can you slip it into his coffee or smoothie, something he drinks every day?
I just did some experimentation. The Magnesium Threonate can be taken with or without meals. It does not mix well with hot water (coffee), some mixing, maybe you could keep at it and work it in. Not sure I even taste it.

The Dr Amens has a taste, not pleasant but not objectionable. It does mix in hot water. Directions say to take with water on empty stomach.
You can read the reviews for each. There are non pharmaceutical alternatives that can help, that add specific nutrients already in the body and the mineral magnesium. I do know that xanex is wonderful for relieving anxiety, but also know that it depresses cognitive abilities, not good to do long term.

Might be a good idea to check with his dctr in case anything is contraindicated, etc...

My health practitioner friend also takes the magnesium throughout the day to reduce her ongoing anxiety. I just take it just before bed....
I would start defusing Young Living essential oils, like the Stress Away blend or Peace & Calming. The work wonders on relaxing the mind and body. Its a way to accomplish what you are seeking together with a fight and its non invasive.
I agree with using supplements like magnesium, also valerian is calming herb. A good quality b complex vitamin, are all important for anyone with anxiety. As a mental health counselor and aging life care professional I keep a weighted blanket in my office. You can order one based on his weight. I bought mine on sensacalm.com. I use it with clients who have trauma, anxiety, those on the spectrum and with dementia. The weight of the blanket feels like a hug and helps people to feel more grounded. I have clients who use the weighted blanked a few hours a day, while they are watching, relaxing or praying. It helps those with dementia relax. I personally find it too heavy to sleep under it but some people do. I use it with trauma and anxiety clients in sessions and the always do deeper emotional work wrapped in the blanket. It really is a calming tool,
Great suggestions about supplements and essential oils. Is your father getting enough natural fats in his diet? Lack of natural dietary fat can lead to brain disorders. Putting coconut oil in or on his food might help. Even butter from grass-fed cows (like Kerry Gold) might help. One can also put coconut oil and/or butter in one's coffee or tea. (I make a hot cocoa using butter and coconut oil, instead of milk).
After my dad retired, he pretty much resigned from life. He was 70 at the time. He spent the next 20 years of his life waiting for God. He started to avoid driving when he was around 75, then stopped completely at about 80. He had become too afraid to drive. He avoided any kind of medical care. Occasionally we could get him to the doctor, but Dad didn't seem to have any real desire to live anymore. He spent the last 10-15 years of his life sitting in a chair by the window, only getting up to go to bed or the bathroom or to get a treat out of the dining room. He was almost 91 when he died. They found vascular dementia and Alzheimer's, but I think the main problem was that his blood vessels were clogged. Vessel damage could have lead to the brain damage.

It is rather amazing when someone quits living after they retire. I wonder how they can live so long doing nothing at all. My father became fearful of walking outside after he fell once. So he stayed inside in his chair looking out the window. He avoided walking, although he could. He stopped showering unless we made him. He expected to be waited on for meals. He didn't serve himself.

So much elder life is wasted by doing nothing at all. My mother is going down the same road, but her window is the TV.
I went back and read again and saw your dad works out at the gym every day. That is a good thing. I am guessing that his brother takes him?
My Dad's a retired surgeon, with Parkinson's, Lewy Body Dememtia and mini-strokes. He started trying to give me a 'heads up' when he turned 65 and recognized the earliest changes in his brain function. We did the "well, gosh you're so smart and accomplished, you've got a lot more brain left than most people start with!" It was no comfort to him at all.

He also started to let his hygiene slide, because he was afraid of slips and falls, and didn't have the grip to clip his nails anymore, but he was fiercely independent and modest and didn't want to ask for help.

We got him to bathe with our (me and my brother) assistance only after an argument when I told him "well, I've been told this could be seen as prosecutable elder neglect. Either you bathe with us, or a nurse I know has said she'll come by and bathe you. I'm not going to jail for anybody!"

Rather dramatic, but I was upset, and I believed it at the time. He bathed with a bit of outside the open door supervision, probably to avoid the humiliation of a stranger getting involved in his hygiene, and later told me the neglect wasn't because he didn't care, but because of failing sight and grip, and fear of slipping.

We switched from tub to standby-supervision shower with a little bath chair, and this worked well for a while, but we had a male (my brother) to help. He wouldn't accepted shower help from me (daughter). We also found out just how much assistance he needed. He'd been working very hard to maintain a facade of normalcy.
As an MD, you can bet he stopped driving because he was monitoring his performance, and found it lacking. Be glad. My Dad only quit driving when he was in a crash.

Have you tried asking your Dad to explain what's going on inside his brain as if he were talking to another MD? His anxieties are probably very awareness and performance based, rather than non-specific.

If he can, or is willing to be as specific as possible, and you can listen and take notes like his student - that's a comfortable role for most MDs.

I also was calm and inquisitive, which are also prized in their world. Is he keeping up to date on medical advances with that MD radio-channel? If not, he might like to get one. I wish I could give you a link, but I don't have one.

If he knew of the new medicines available and advances he might feel more hopeful, etc...

Also, what vitamins are being used? Sublingual B12, Bcomplex with C and multivitamins helped until Dad got a diagnosis.

I hope some of this is useful. Nothing was perfect or guaranteed or lasted forever.

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