Should My Parent Continue to Live Alone? Questions to Ask Before You Rush In

October 20, 2009 at 11:53 pm 2 comments

When we first hear the word, “Alzheimer’s,” we panic.

As adult children and caregivers, we want to swoop our parents in our arms and make this terrible disease go away. Sadly, we tend to rush in, take over, and overwhelm those we love with our worries and fears. Alzheimer’s isn’t a “life is over” right here and now type of disease, and if your parent is in the early stages, you have time to find out what’s best for them and what’s best for you.

First, I hope you take a little time to process the news, and to educate yourself. Talk to a good friend. Take a deep breath. Cry. Scream. Grieve. Ask questions. Search the web (the Alzheimer’s Association at is a great  place to start), get some books and start to make a plan–short term and long term.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What stage Alzheimer’s is your parent at? No matter what the medical community tells you, how do you think your dad (or mom) is doing?
  • How isolated is your parent? Could they get out and wander? Are they still driving? Do you or other family members live nearby? Are their neighbors caring? Is there church or family friends close and willing to pitch in?
  • What community resources are available? Do your parents live in a rural area or near a city with lots of services available to them?
  • Would it be best to hire live-in care? Move them into your home–or you move in with them? What about an assisted living facility–or is your parent’s Alzheimer’s more advanced? If so, start check out memory disorder facilities where they’ll be safe and not wander.

Don’t freak out. There’s a lot you can do to keep your parent’s brain and healthyand active as it can be. You can find your way. You can get the care your parent needs. It won’t necessarily be easy–I can’t promise you that–but trust yourself. You’ll figure it out.

Entry filed under: brain fitness, caring for parents, elder care, family caregiving.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. uberVU - social comments  |  October 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CarePath: RT @mike_gamble Should My Parent Continue to Live Alone? Questions to Ask Before You Rush In –

  • 2. David Gillaspie  |  October 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Carol,

    Most encouraging words of the day, “You’ll figure it out.” Readers may wonder how they’ll figure it out, but hearing it from you will get them on the right track.

    If your post doesn’t help, then their visits with ‘experts’ whose advice and treatment doesn’t jive with what they’ve recently learned about Alzheimer’s will help find a better way.

    My Mom has a recent diagnosis of early onset. Her doctor gave her a treatment patch. My Dad says he’ll let her decide if she wants to wear it. It’s her decision on treatment?

    I got him alone and explained the idea of slowing the disease. She’s still in charge. That’s my Momma.

    You’re a great read,



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This Blog

Hi, I'm Carol O'Dell. This blog will include stories and lessons I've learned while caring for my mom, and now as I speak to caregivers around the country. I hope to offer suggestions, ideas and insights that will help others.

While this blog is supported by Dakim Brain Fitness, I’m not blogging to promote the Dakim company or products. Instead, I’m writing about how caring and being cared for affects your life and your family. My hope is that this blog gives you a place to learn, reflect, gain new perspective to make it another day.

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