Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I get my paranoid dad to see a doctor?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My dad is becoming either a survivalist or senile. It started innocently, with stashes of bottled water and canned food in the basement. Then he bought a pricy generator and started shopping for a gun. He lives by himself, and neither my sister nor I see him more than once a month. She’s convinced it’s dementia; I don’t think so but want to be sure. How do we get him to a doctor—something he hates—without upsetting him?
—Son of a Prepper Man, Bloordale
At his age, any kind of sudden behaviour change is cause to see a doctor, stat. His sudden interest in post-apocalyptic prep could be a symptom of dementia, a stroke or just believing what he reads on foxnews.com, but you need to find out. Get him to a doctor however you can—cholesterol check, colorectal cancer screening, whatever—then tell the doc about your worries so she or he can watch for signs of cognitive impairment. The worst thing you can do is spook your doctor-averse dad, so curb any talk of dementia in his presence, whether or not he succumbs to another bout of sudden-onset firearm shopping.
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