Q: My dad had a stroke. He can walk, but he has memory loss. I’m not sure I can handle this on my own. When is it time to get help?
A: The first tip-off that you need help: your question. If you doubt your ability to handle this, it’s a strong sign you need assistance — from a friend, his neighbor or a part-time nurse. Whether he needs clinical help for his memory problems depends on his ability to function day to day without you. The only constant in caring for someone is change. What works today may not tomorrow.
If your dad still has the wherewithal to pay his bills and find his way home after being out, it typically means he’s managing okay. If he can’t, or if you notice other troubling behavior, you need reinforcements. We know what you’re thinking: You’re giving up on him. Quite the contrary. Getting help isn’t a sign that you don’t love him; it shows how much you do.