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How do I help father-in-law with safety issues if he refuses help?

My wife and her 2 siblings are avoiding safety issues with their 97 year old dad. Wife's dad no longer showers because he won't use ( or try ) a shower chair. He refuses to fix or allow others to fix his broken-up walkway, which is a fall hazard. He will not allow me to provide and install some basic modifications to make his primary entryway safer and more convenient-not only for him, but for others.
Status: Open    Oct 12, 2015 - 08:18 AM

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Oct 12, 2015 - 11:46 AM

It's not uncommon for seniors to slip into this mode of thought. Regardless of why your father-in-law feels this way, you may have better success if you change tactics. For instance, not showering or wanting to use a shower chair may be due to the embarrassment of his having to be assisted by close family. You might try finding an agency that can provide this service instead. You'll want to have an experienced person that can perform this task professionally. Ease him into the idea, and see if his comfort level improves with the service. Take it one step at a time. And when you see some success, try applying the same approach to other issues, like maintenance around the home.

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Oct 13, 2015 - 04:34 PM

Leave him be. Most seniors would rather age at home but don't realize the danger they face alone. Family try to hard to do anything they can to keep dad from doing too much and getting hurt. The mind remembers, but the body can't keep up and its hard to be there all the time to make sure he is safe.
My father inlaw is 80 and in his mind he can do anuything from restoring a 65 mustang to climbing an extention ladder to trim the 30 foot palm tree in the back yard. he has done these things in his life, but now doesn't have the strength or dexterity to physically perform these duties.
Our solution ; We had installed, a monitoring system that notifiies family members or a care giver of Dad's movments and routines. What time he gets in and out of bed, how many times he uses the bathroom at night, if he goes out of the house at non routine hours. We've automated the house so lights turn on when he gets out of bed in the middle of the night. This is all done using inavasive motion sensors. Dad doesn't even realize that these components are keeping tabs on him. We recieves notifications through our cell phones and can track his routines on our computer. Dads going to continue trying to trim the palm and use his hand tools to fix the sink,but we're wacthing through virtual means and thats the best we can do. The showing is an issue you'll need to work out using a care giver.

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By raparcell on Jun 06, 2016 - 09:33 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

That's a great solution. I have an 85 y.o. father-in-law who has that same mind set and I struggle with letting still try to do things on his own. He can barely get up and move around by himself let a lone attempt to do other things around the house. His biggest thing is he wants to take a trip. He used to travel a lot with friends and still thinks he can do that now. Ugh.

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