Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax: Mom refuses to discuss her health problems

 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: My Mom just turned 70 and has been overweight for a long time. She has a bad knee and refuses to discuss surgery. This has been going on for years and her mobility is decreasing, while she takes baby steps toward weight loss.

I’m really concerned that she will lose her independence within the next two years. Any tips on approaching this subject with her? My siblings and I have tried in the past and she gave us the silent treatment.

Stubborn Mom’s Child

The simplistic answer is that you can’t do anything for your mom that she doesn’t permit.

But since her mobility problems are on course to become your problem, I urge you to talk to an elder-care specialist about ways you can prepare.

You don’t mention money, but if your mom hasn’t socked away enough to pay for necessary accommodations, then that’s going to add another complication to a list that already includes your mother’s weight and bad knee, her emotional limitations (silent treatment?!), her relative youth should she lose her mobility in the near future, and the fact that you and your sibs might need to step in if she can’t take care of herself, yet aren’t being allowed any say in the path that takes you all there.

The U.S. Administration on Aging offers an online Elder Care Locator: http://1.usa.gov/dyLW1c. Have a look, see who serves your/your mom’s area, and get started on a comprehensive plan.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at washingtonpost.com.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • What do you recommend?

    “The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton — it’s a book built around characters and plots inspired by astrological principles. It’s a neo-Victorian murder mystery and a mere 832 pages long, and it made 28-year-old Catton the youngest person to win the coveted Man Booker Prize. The voice is natural, easy to understand and ambitious; she’s a novelist who is seeking to reclaim the authorial, a writer who seeks to entertain and enlighten.”

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">The Boom:</span> How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Russell Gold. Simon & Schuster. 384 pages. $26.

    Nonfiction

    Book considers the pros and cons of fracking

    Author considers both sides of the controversial issue.

  • Southern Cross Stargazer for April 20-26

    By nightfall Spica follows fiery Mars, in Virgo, higher in the east. Telescopes reveal the white ice cap shrinking in the Martian summer and subtle dark details on the iron-rich red Martian desert. Binoculars enhance the planet’s bright color. Mars sets in the west about dawn and will remain bright for a few weeks.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category