Color & Control:

Expert Advice


Q) It’s not safe for gran to come up north any more—no hospital near by, rocky terrain, lots of noise and activity going on. My brother and mum disagree. Advice please?

A) Safety first at all times is key. Has anyone asked Gran how she feels about the trip. Oftentimes, we forget that a long drive and time away from familiar surroundings is not an older adults first choice. You might also ask for professional guidance from the family doctor depending on how robust your grandmother might be for the visit. If all systems are still a go… do your best to make the cottage as safe and comfortable for her. Good luck!


Q) I’ve been picking up groceries for my inlaws on my way home from work. My husband thinks they shouldn’t be left alone during cocktail hour. What should I do? I can’t be in two places at the same time.

A) Firstly… don’t feel guilty. You’re already picking up groceries for them which is a big help. I would suggest you address the key issue directly…. What are the risk factors he’s concerned about. Is it a safety issue? Is it tied to drinking too much? What is the real issue. You don’t mention where your husband is during their “cocktail hour” but I’m assuming he’s not available. Suggestions include asking a neighbour to check on them? Hiring a home helper or cleaning person to be in the house during that time. It also might be wise to review and addressing potential safety issues in the home that could make them less vulnerable.


Q) The paid caregiver we have insists on giving mum her breakfast in bed. This drags on and it’s almost noon before mum is out of bed, bathed and dressed. Am I being too fussy?

A) Sleeping in or staying in bed too long can cause confusion and various physical problems. Talk to your mum and the caregiver and see if there is a good reason why your mum isn’t getting up? Is she staying up late watching TV. Is overtired, not motivated, bored or even depressed. Once you find out why you can then decide on an appropriate resolution. You might want to chat with her family doctor and also think about planning some nice activities that will entice her to get going a little earlier.


Q) We argue all the time and holidays are always times when alcohol and disagreements go hand-in-hand. Now mum’s gone I’d like to stop attending but I feel guilty.

A) There’s nothing worse than holidays that are ruined by family bickering. Do what’s best for you and your family. Be honest about why you aren’t coming and, if its possible, rather than cutting everyone off, consider finding more comfortable ways to meet when there isn’t holiday pressure.


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