Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Father-in-Law Resists Medical Help

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My father-in-law and I get along very well. But the one thing we always disagree on is his getting to a doctor more often. Although he is only in his late 50s, he is a large man, with diabetes and a family history of heart disease. He lives alone, and I worry about something happening to him, not to mention he almost never goes to the doctor, and if he does he almost never follows their advice. I worry it will take a crisis for him to realize he needs to be under more careful medical supervision. How do I get him to take his health more seriously? --- CONCERNED DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

DEAR CONCERNED: You could start with a firm offer to drive him to his medical appointments. Then, if he’ll allow it and you haven’t already done so, get yourself and/or your spouse on your father-in-law’s approved contact list with his doctors. This will put you in the loop of his medical care.

If neither of the above work out, try bringing providers to him through mobile health services, if available in your area. You could also take on preparing or buying diabetic-friendly meals and eating them with him when you can. And, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association, which is a good source of information, including diabetic lifestyle guidelines and where to find support groups for caregivers as well as those living with diabetes.

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