I write this from the perspective of my dad.

When he was a child, his father was always there physically to support him but had personal difficulty expressing emotional support, such as saying "I love you" or giving hugs (edit: his dad loves to accept hugs, just had mental difficulty giving them). As his father has been aging, just in the last couple years he's been having a lot of medical problems, including difficulty remembering, poor blood circulation and blood not clotting, and especially recently including leg weakness.

In this state, his dad has been a lot more self-aware that he genuinely may be near death's door, and has been acting strangely. My dad came to me about an hour ago crying and said "You know when I was a child, my dad didn't really hug me. Now that he's been having these problems, he won't stop hugging me. I think something bad is happening.". I noticed the same things happening; my grandpa (his dad) came and hugged me for the first time just yesterday, and it was a very long hug. I assume it's due to him knowing that death might be close.

What can I do for my dad to help him feel better? What can I do for my grandpa to make him feel better? Is there even anything I can do? Does anyone know if there is some condition that I am just misunderstanding? Please, any advice is wanted and I will answer most questions.

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Maybe your g'pa is trying to make up for lost time by realizing he never offered any affection to you or your dad. People do have premonitions that something is about to happen. Your g'pa may feel a sense of impending death.

I don't know how you can make them feel better. Maybe initiating a hug, or verbally reinforcing your love for them, or even reminiscing about your lives together. Speak of good times together and their positive influence on you. If g'pa should ever apologize for his lack of intimacy, accept his apology and tell him it never stood in the way of your love for him.
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TheBurger3 May 2021
Thank you :)
Your father should likely go now to his MD for a thorough evaluation. He could be suffering from a UTI if he is experiencing mental changes. Do you feel your father is competent at this time? Is there a POA involved in the family? Is that person you?
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If the hugs are helpful, go with it?

I'm not sure what conditions/diagnosis there are but difficulty remembering & poor blood circulation may be causing some brain & mood changes. *Emotional lability* comes to mind: Often rapid changes in mood, strong emotions (uncontrollable laughing or crying, or heightened irritability or temper) occur. Or strong emotions expressed in a way that is greater than the person's emotions.
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I talk to my personal doctor and other family members in the medical field about what my folks tell me in regards to labs, scans, etc. to get a better grasp on where to focus.

My dad's mom passed in 2011, followed by my grandfather in 2012. He didn’t speak much about it. Worked a bunch and kept journals.

When my Uncle, his YB and my godfather, was dx with terminal pancreatic cancer, he began to share childhood stories with us. He passed in 2019 on the same day as my grandfather.

My dad has been a workaholic and probably would never seek out a therapist. He and I haven’t been close outside of work since college. I try to have conversations with him, which end up become work discussions. We have grown farther apart in the last few years.

Afraid I’m not able to offer much advice other than listen to and support him when he needs you.

Best regards to your dad and grandfather. Hope you can hone in a solution!
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