I know many are facing worse dilemmas, and this is really the beginning of my struggle -- but it's so hard when your parents are getting older and need more help. I just have my mom to consider; my dad passed away about 7 years ago. Ever notice how older folks who seem to be doing great, maintaining, being active, etc. can just suddenly seem to age 20 years overnight? Maybe it's because we didn't notice the gradual changes until there was a crisis, or maybe a health scare or illness changed them. Either way, it's frightening. This past year has been difficult for my mom. I wouldn't say she's always been active, but at least she's been able to do things for herself like go to the grocery, get a haircut, etc. I never worried about her ability to do her own meal preparation, cleaning, laundry. She had hobbies -- crafts and reading. She's a wonderful seamstress. I counted on her to watch my kids occasionally at her place; sometimes they even spent the night. Mom's 74, which is old, but not ancient by today's standards. Heck, my FIL is 77 and he still runs a mile at the health club 3 times a week! And goes on dates! :dance: Mom's always been healthy -- not in terrific shape, heck she's never ever been in terrific shape, always pretty sedentary, but no major health problems. Two years ago she had clogged carotid arteries and needed surgery for that, got through it, seemed a little weaker and slower after, but appeared to be recovering OK. Even now the doctor isn't saying there's anything big to worry about, just high blood pressure, which is normal at her age. She's also a heavy smoker and by now I know darn well there's no way she's ever going to quit despite our nagging, so we just have to cope. The past year, though, she's been severely restricted in her activities, saying she's dizzy all the time. Thought it was her eyeglasses, got 2 different exams and glasses, and it wasn't that. She does have bad eyes, had glaucoma and cataracts, but had it taken care of to the point where the doctors say she can see well enough to drive still. Thought it was the blood pressure, took meds, got it down -- not that. Thought it was an inner ear problem -- not that. Thought it was the *meds* she was taking for the blood pressure, may be part of it, but she needs them! I suspect she just doesn't exercise enough or eat well, and therein lies my dilemma. My mom needs me. I try to stop by at least once a week to bring her groceries (I balked at this at first, figuring that if she got into the habit of having me do her errands she'd never get back out to do it herself...tough love kind of thing where I've actually told her no when she asked...but nowadays I really don't want her driving anymore.) and to take her out to lunch. But I don't always make that goal. I get busy with work, the kids' activities and housekeeping. I also think she needs me to FEED HER. Left to her own devices, she will live on candy, cheese, and peanut butter. I keep telling myself I should make her freezer meals and deliver them weekly, if only setting aside one extra portion of the meals my family eats. But mom is very picky, always has been. I suspect she'd thank me profusely and then dump them out in the trash a week later, saying she just wasn't ever in the mood to eat them and worried they might have gone bad since she waited too long. She's like that. :shrug: Mom eats great at my house, but she lives 30 minutes away so bringing her here for meals every day is not practical, even if she'd agree to come that often, which she wouldn't. Mom won't even consider moving into our house with us because her mother lived with us when I was growing up and it was HORRIBLE. That was because her mother hated my father and was a dreadful, bitter woman. My mom likes my husband and is not an unpleasant person in the least. Mom says she's afraid she'll turn into her mother if she lives with us. I understand her fear, but I'm sure she won't. OTOH my mom does drive me crazy for other reasons, not the least of which is the fact I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke. She's also an extremely virulent procrastinator. "Oh, sit down and rest, you can do that work tomorrow." I'd never get anything done. Mom's always been good about going to the doctor when there's a problem because she wants to take care of herself and stick around to watch her grandkids grow up! And because she knows I need her too! We can get on the phone and talk for hours about anything and everything, I ask her help on things, I do need her. But she's not like that anymore. She'll cancel appointments she's made because "she got to thinking about it and didn't want to put me out." :flame: Now my DH stopped by her place today -- he works in her neighborhood and sometimes stops by on his way home, what a guy -- he says she's got a horrible rash on one hand and arm. She said it'd been there for a week; this is the first I've heard of it and I talked to her on the phone three days ago. He asked her what the doctor said and she just kind of changed the subject. I am at a loss. I'm not ready for this, but I guess life happens whether you're ready or not.