Dad is getting worse and won’t accept he needs help!

Hi, first time here and hoping to offload and maybe find some helpful tips. My dad was diagnosed with MS almost 20 years ago at the age of 50 and has done really well for the majority of this time, continuing to work until 2019. Since then I lost my mum to cancer during 2020 and dad has also lost 2 siblings and their wives. This has all taken a it’s toll and we have seen a huge change in dad’s physical ability, he lives alone in a small flat after selling the family home last year as it became too much for him, he doesn’t have a support network other than me and my sister who both have families of our own. I work full time as well as being cater to my own disabled daughter and obviously want to help dad but feel he doesn’t help himself. He turned 70 this year and we booked a family holiday, cruise to Norway in June, with his mobility now really declining we have suggested that he should look at using a mobility scooter so he doesn’t miss out on what should be a fun memory filled holiday. He gets so angry every time we bring it up and I don’t know what else we can do, apparently he’s not ready for one. To be blunt his walking consists of him shuffling so there is no way he will cope. Sorry for the probably garbled message but I’m desperately looking for some help. Thanks

Hi, first off, I am so sorry to hear of your family’s losses…losing so many of your family in a short time is horrendous. I lost my parents within 3 weeks of each other.

As someone who has had PPMS for 25 years and been a full time wheelie AND cruised 5 times!..those amazing cruise ships are massive. Anyone with a mobility problem WILL definitely need a scooter or wheelchair to get around.

Cruising is fabulous and ideal for wheels!

Have a ball!

1 Like

He is maybe struggling with the cognitive dissonance of knowing that his mobility is poor, while continuing to see himself as the sort of man who doesn’t need a walking aid. If he sees a scooter as the domain of crippled old wrecks (and he probably does) and he doesn’t like to think of himself as one of those, of course he will not take kindly to anyone (you, for instance) suggesting that you think he is.

Look, there’s nothing logical about any of this. There can be big psychological barriers to work through before a person comes to see a walking aid as a liberation and a way of broadening one’s capability rather than an admission of terminal decrepitude. At the risk of being sexist, I do sometimes think that men are even worse than women in this regard, and woman can be bad enough.

There’s nothing you can do except back off and give him time, I think. When he’s stuck on the boat while you and the rest of the family go on nice shore outings, it might just do the trick and shift his perspective in a helpful way for the future. But my suggestion to you would be to bite your tongue and suppress even the most tactful and oblique of suggestions. Your best chance is to let him come round on his own - if he ever does. Either way, there’ll be nothing you could have done about it.