After 3 strokes, my 80-year-old father still insists on living on his own. How can I convince him that it is not safe for him to be alone?

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Dad insistent our 12 yr old brother will be able to assist him. He was found on the floor by one sister when our brother went to spend the weekend with his mom. Two sister says he can go back home and two sisters believe it would be unsafe. Dad uses a walker and is to weak to cook. Dad also says that he can still drive even through he is blind in one eye and glucoma in the other.

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Hmmm ... lots of issues here. Sarah, you have your hands full. I want to first extend sincere best wishes to you in dealing with this.

Dad says one thing. His actions seem to show something else. Some daughters say one thing and some equally-loving daughters say something else. Who is to be believed? I think it would be very good to get an object professional to do an in-home evaluation. Dad and someone who knows his situation well should be there, to help Dad with a reality check.

I take it the plan was for 12 yo son to live with Dad during the summer? And when school starts, what is the plan then? This could be a very valuable experience for a young man, but it could also be more than he can handle 24/7. (I take it that this boy's mom is not living with Dad?)

There may be some things that could make staying at home safer for Dad. Meals on wheels, a homemaker to do cleaning, laundry, errands, a visiting nurse, perhaps some other services. These could be supplemented by visits by his sons and daughters.

Or maybe he is past the point where he can manage alone even with support services. Get a professional involved in making that judgment call.

As for the driving, YIKES! It is one thing for Dad to take risks on his own behalf. It is quite another to put other people at risk. Talk to his eye doctor. Can he or she make a report to the state department of transportation? If not, how about his PCP? I think these kinds of decisions are taken best if they come from medical professionals. But if it has to come from family, it has to come! If he is too weak to cook and has vision problems I cannot imagine he is a safe driver. If there is a rehab facility in your area that does driver fitness assessments, that is another resource you could use.

Even though you diagree among your selves, I hope that the 5 of you can work together to ensure the best quality of life for your father.

Good luck!

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