Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Taking her spouse's last name could disconnect her from her family

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

Is there a way to tactfully encourage one's spouse and siblings-in-law to start looking at moving their parents into assisted living? Both parents are around 90 and have had multiple falls already, with associated broken bones. Both have other health problems and neither should be driving (but they do). Their house requires several steep steps to get into and out of, although the building itself is a single story. The upkeep on their home is getting to be beyond them, but neither parent wants to admit they are unable to do what they used to. If we lived nearer, I'd certainly move them in with us if they were willing. Do I just bite my tongue? Do I suggest things to my spouse? Do I just hope they don't have any more accidents? -- Anonymous

Why can't you just state the facts to your own spouse?: "Because of [this], [this] and [this], I think it's time to face that your parents aren't able to live on their own anymore."

If you can't, then that's as big an issue as the parents' infirmities. Tact is something most families stop needing after the second bone-breaking fall.

Maybe you need more appealing options, too. Depending on your in-laws' budget and insurance coverage, finding a caregiver to live with them might be worth exploring as an alternative to assisted living.

Stepping in on the driving isn't optional, though. Call their DMV to research your legal options.


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(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group



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