My much-loved relative has cancer and has had many strokes. The children have stopped looking after him for several days now. What do I do?

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One child is abroad and was not told the real situation and thinks that the father is being looked after. The father doesn't want that child to be told. I would be mostly dismissed by them if I tried to speak with them.

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Thank you very much. It's reassuring to have someone connect with this issue. I'm monitoring the situation closely, and I'm making sure that he gets three meals. I'm hoping they'll come around. He's able to get around and, but cannot do much for himself.
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What a very sad situation! Is he on hospice care? Could you go in as a visitor and maybe do what most needs doing?

What is your relationship to this relative?

Is this poor man cognitively impaired? That would not be unusual after a series of strokes. Do you think he is aware of his own prognosis?

Family dynamics can be very complex. Maybe these adult children have been told to get out by their father. And they probably have a huge conflict between honoring their father's demand and informing their sib abroad. These sibs are no doubt in a world of hurt. I doubt that arguing with them would accomplish anything but more hurt for all of them.

Could you approach them with an offer to help? "I know that your father has told you not to tell Abroad Sib and I respect that you are honoring that. If you think Abroad Sib should know, I could make the contact, and you wouldn't be going against your father."

"I'm going to visit your father briefly tomorrow. If he doesn't kick me out, is there a particular task that he can't do but needs doing? Perhaps I could figure out how to get it done without him fussing."

Your offers of help might be firmly rejected. Remember that these folks are hurting and may not be behaving sensibly.

If you get into the house on a visit, if the vulnerable gentleman need help he isn't getting, you could advise APS of the situation.
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