CAREGIVER The Caregiver is telling me that my father is difficult to care for, but he seems fine when I’m around. What should I do? Your father may be having some difficulty with a stranger in his home, which may be leading him to appear to be difficult with the caregiver. You should ask your father, when the caregiver is not present, how he is feeling about having the care. He may be more comfortable speaking to you when you are alone. You should also ask the caregiver what he/she means by “difficult.” Is it a personality conflict? It may just mean that a change in caregiver is required. MEMORY LOSS The bank called to say that my mom hasn’t paid her credit card bill in three months. I also notice that she is not eating or changing her clothes regularly. Who can I talk to for advice? You should work hard at convincing your mother to go to her doctor to see if there is something medical that is wrong, and you should try to go with her. It sounds like she is having difficulty with her memory and may not be remembering to eat or change her clothes. Once you have talked to her doctor, she should be assessed by homecare to see if she is eligible for some assistance in her home. If not, you can contact a homecare agency in her area to see what options are available for privately funded care. DIET CHANGE All of a sudden my mother has stopped eating and only wants liquids. What should I do? Does your mother wear dentures? Has she lost weight recently? Do her dentures still fit her? She may be having pain or discomfort when eating solid foods due to a problem with her teeth. You should take her to her dentist for a check-up. You should also make an appointment with her physician to ensure there are no medical conditions that may be causing her to stop eating solid foods.
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