Mother Has Problems Helping Difficult Father

Joyce Hoffman

About the Author: Joyce Hoffman is one of the world’s top 10 stroke bloggers according to the Medical News Today. With the help of her team, Joyce created this newsletter inspired by the format of Dear Abby. The newsletter is a dialog with Joyce on issues only a survivor could fully understand.You can find the original post and other blogs Joyce Wrote in

One of our members from South Africa submitted the following:


Dear Joyce,


My dad who is now 71 years old had a stroke and heart bypass last year. He is fully mobile and in good health. He is just extremely difficult and makes life very difficult for my mom who is taking care of him. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. 


On Behalf of Mother


Dear On Behalf,


Was your father always this way, or did he get difficult after his stroke and heart bypass? If it was before those health complications, you or your mother might suggest he go see someone he respects like a psychologist or clergy or someone in social work as guidance. Or have your mother go and see someone, too, if that helps her.


If the problem started after his health complications, give him time to get accustomed to the activities he has trouble doing or can’t do anymore. 


It took me several years to realize my limitations. For example, I have trouble walking a distance with the cane so I can’t zip in and out like I used to. It was stressful, though it took time to adjust. Give your father time to adjust, too. If he doesn’t adjust soon and still makes taking care of him difficult for your mother, use the psychologist, clergy, or social worker as your guides. 


Again, your mother can go to see those people, too, to discover if she’s doing something that is annoying your father, like lack of patience or screaming at him.


Best wishes to both of them.