To home or not to home
Q) My 86 year old grandmother is adamant that she wants to stay at home. I’m worried about her safety. What should I do?
A) If you’re not confident that your grandmother is still able to live on her own, try and organize household help, make scheduled visits, and see if she’ll wear an emergency alert pendant. You could also ask an occupational therapist to do an
at-home visit and safety check.
Q) I finally got my “old school” father an appointment with a nephrologist, but he has an issue with her being a woman. How do I convince him to look past this?
A) This is a tough situation and may require some patience on your part. Discuss the nephrologist’s credentials: her education, years of experience, success stories with past patients, or any other information that you think may help his level of comfort. If all else fails, ask the referring doc for help and/or organize a call instead of a visit for the first time.
Help without warning
Q )My brother only shows up occasionally to visit our sister. He refuses to plan ahead and his timing is all wrong (bedtime/bath time/out for doctors appointment).
A) Try sharing your older sister’s schedule. Give him options for specific dates and times and a shared calendar (Google calendar, iCal, etc.). This way he can see the schedule as it changes and hopefully understand that while his visits are appreciated, a little warning is needed.
Pills and booze
Q) How dangerous is it for my dad to take his medication with whiskey?
A) Common wisdom suggests that many medications will not interact well with alcohol. Depending on how a drug is metabolized, alcohol can decrease the desired effects of the medication, increase side effects, or even make it toxic. It’s definitely time to call up the family doc.