Ailing father-in-law

Fatal attraction

I’m a 39 year old single mother and I have no time to socialise with other adults. I’m the only one of my few friends who isn’t married so I feel very lonely. Recently, a guy moved into my building and we have become quite friendly. I really enjoy his company and have even developed feelings for him. He seems to respond to my advances but he is only 29. I don’t know if I’m just reaching out to him because I’m lonely. I feel like this relationship is very inappropriate but I’m not ready to give up on it.

Hi. It can be difficult to meet someone when you are a single parent and loneliness normally starts to set in. This feeling is further magnified when you see other happy couples around. Thus, it is important that you try and interact or maintain friendly relations with other single parents or persons as well. You could try and find online forums/ groups for the same if joining classes isn’t practical at the time. In respect to your feelings for someone 10 years younger, it is essential that you understand what you really want. It is possible that you may be seeking out his company due to loneliness and as you spend more time with him, you realize that you have started liking him. If you feel he is responding to you positively, then you can talk to him about yours as well as his feelings. You both can discuss about your future plans and what kind of partner you want. It is possible that you both may realize that it is merely an attraction between the two or you and neither of you may want to pursue it further. If you both feel that you must give this relation a chance, then you both must try and see if this is what both of you truly want. Also, you may be feeling guilty about it as it involves your children and they may not approve or like the idea of you being with another man. Thus, you can try and take it one step at a time. You can introduce them as friends or neighbors and meanwhile see how your relationship is shaping up. You can try and take time to make a decision rather than acting on it impulsively.

Ailing father-in-law

My father-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 6 months ago. Since then, he has moved in with our family. My husband and I both work and it is getting increasingly difficult to take care of him and our child. He has wandered out of the house on several occasions and not come back home for hours. Recently, he has become very suspicious, not only of me and my husband, but also our son and won’t listen to us. How can we, as a family, cope with his illness without compromising our daily routine?

Hello. His illness seems to be advancing rapidly. It is important that you meet your doctor timely to understand what changes to make in his treatment plan as this disease is progressive and worsens gradually. It can be difficult to take care of a family member with this illness. You can try and ensure that he takes his medication timely, you can label household items, leave instructions on cue cards, have reminders or alarms set for him, keep safety locks to avoid his wandering about and have a fixed routine for him. Sometimes, he can also be moody or aggressive. You can have a chat with your kids about his condition and make them aware of the possibilities and what they can do in such situations. It may be a good idea to hire extra help at part or full time to take care of him in your absence. Caregivers often experience stress and must take time to de-stress themselves. Sometimes it can take an emotional toll on you so it is essential that you have a good and strong social support and ask for from close ones help when required. Also, sometimes these emotional concerns can develop into anxiety or depression and must be
treated by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

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