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Dear Abby

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My mother and her mother died from complications of Alzheimer's. I think I've had a few episodes lately, although it may just be stress over some recent monetary problems.

I don't know whether I should mention this to my daughter, who lives in a different state and who has shouldered a lot of other responsibilities. One of my sons lives closer but, for several reasons, he is not the primary decision-maker.

I know if my daughter had a possible medical problem, I'd be very upset if she didn't let me know, even though I couldn't be of any significant use. Should I say something to her about these possible symptoms of Alzheimer's?

I have not consulted a physician because I think they may sometimes be too quick to prescribe meds, and so far, I am daily-medication-free. Where does one draw the line between being an alarmist and keeping loved ones in the loop? -- PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION

DEAR PROCEEDING: The FIRST person you should discuss this with is your physician, so you can be evaluated and your fears possibly put to rest. If you do have Alzheimer's, your daughter and her husband should be told so you can all decide together what the next steps should be.

DEAR ABBY: My husband wants to go to a residential mental health facility for a year-long program to deal with his depression and suicidal thoughts. I'm all for it, but I don't know how to cover for him. He's very private and doesn't want people to know. So how do I explain a year-long absence? -- SUPPORTIVE IN FLORIDA

DEAR SUPPORTIVE: An easy way of explaining it would be to say your husband decided to take a year-long "sabbatical," which requires him to be out of the area. Period.

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