Is this behavior normal?

by Linda

My mom died about 7 months ago and my 87 year old father insists on living by himself and refuses help.

He does not cook, clean, do bills, get his medications, or do laundry.

He can only make coffee, so he eats poorly.

He has had his share of health problems - colon cancer, a stroke, hypertension, diabetes, but can shuffle around OK.

Here's the problem: my dad's primary interest is gambling. He tries to go to a casino 4-5 times a week to play keno (the closest one is 2 hours away). He can afford it - that's not the problem. The problem is that gambling has become his life.

When playing, he will not eat, drink or go to the bathroom. He is incontinent of urine and stays in the casino with wet pants (occurs other times as well). He won't change his clothes without prompting and refuses to wear Depends.

He's been to specialists about this issue but does not follow up on their suggestions.

The gambling and incontinence behaviors are driving me and my siblings crazy. Dad is "competent" and people tell us he is "grieving", so they feel whatever makes him happy is fine. I'm not sure I agree.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you!

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Taking Care of Elderly Parents.