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My mother and father's relationship is strained - she nags him to seek medical care to see what is going on and he resists and shuts her out. Are there support groups that she can attend? Other options for supporting them during this difficult time?

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Your mom isn't going to get what she wants---your dad to see a Dr.---by nagging him. There's nothing she can do to make him want to see his Dr. There are no support groups for people who can't make other people do what they want.

I'm sure it drives your mom nuts that your dad won't see his Dr. but unfortunately that is your mom's issue, not your dad's.

I agree with the above poster who talked about finding out what kind of resources your mom has. Respite care? A few hours a day with an aide? If your mom needs some time away from your dad she can set that up with or without his permission.....until dad throws the person out of the house on the first day and then you have an entirely new problem. Once your dad's refusals begin to affect your mom's health (stress level, anxiety, etc) the concern should then be for mom and getting her what she needs. Does your dad have dementia? I didn't read your profile. If your dad doesn't have dementia then someone will need to sit him down and explain to him what needs to happen. Maybe a son or a son-in-law, preferably another man. The discussion should focus on mom. What mom needs. If your dad continues to compromise your mom's health and well-being perhaps someone should suggest that he might be happier if he lived away from your mom, say in an assisted living facility.

When someone's fear/stubbornness/need for control/fear/denial begin to affect the people around them action needs to be taken.

But before it gets to this point, have your mom stop hounding your dad about going to see a Dr. See if that works.
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I've learned from experience when I knew that my bedridden father had pneumonia based on his coughing and the color of the phlegm - that you cannot force anyone to seek medical help if they don't want to. I went as far as begging the 911 to send the ambulance and just TRY. They came, asked him some questions and then left. They were quite nice and understanding.

As for your mom, have you tried calling your aging care center there? We live in a small island and we have a local government division for the elderlies. If you can look in the Yellow Pages or the Government Listing Pages for Senior Citizen, etc.. you can ask what kinds of programs they have. My dad did this. They sent a social worker to do an assessment and mom got approved. The govt caregivers came 4 hours a week to give the caregiver some respite (time out from caregiving.) The govt workers would shower mom, change her bedding, do some light housecleaning like mopping the livingroom, laundry, etc...

Dad also found out from this department the meals-on-wheels program. Mom qualified for Monday-Friday. Dad argued with them that because he's older than mom and her full-time caregiver, that he has no time to cook lunch while taking care of her. So, they included him in the meals-on-wheels.

There was also a federal govt program that was studying dementia - in which my dad applied for mom as their case study. In return, they provided 1 hour caregiver respite a week and some free supplies (like pampers, wipes, boxes of gloves, etc...) for free or at such a low discount price.

I hear that they now have a program in which the elderly adults with dementia, etc...can attend in the day time and due stuff like arts-n-craft, dancing, etc.... (adult daycare - but I wouldn't use that to your mom. )
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Pam, sounds like your dad was a straight shooter. I wonder who he passed that quality on to?
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In his seventies, my father saw a new MD. "Sir" said the doctor " Your blood pressure is high, you are grossly overweight and your sugar is marginal. What do you intend to do about this?" and Dad replied " Well, so far, I've buried three doctors." True Story.
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Tell her to stop nagging. The old bear will dig his heels in and defy her just to prove he is still in control. My father did not discuss his medical history with anyone, not his wife, not us. He lived in full control of his destiny and dropped dead at 83. May you live so long and die so quick.
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