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10 Secrets That Aging Parents Keep

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10 Secrets That Aging Parents Keep

Your aging parent may be keeping secrets from you. Not necessarily lies, but withholding of information that may be important to their health, safety or general well-being. Sometimes, when elderly parents keep secrets, it’s because they feel their Independence slipping away. They might be embarrassed to ask for help. They might fear their family’s reaction. They might be afraid that family members will “put them away.” Or they simply might not want help.

So they cover up bruises, falls, car accidents, money trouble, alcohol use, and more. Ironically, when they keep secrets, seniors are actually putting themselves in danger and often increasing the chance that they will have to rely on others to care for them.

There are a wide range of “secrets” that elders tend to keep, according to Marilyn Sharbach Ladew, MSW, a nationally recognized expert in senior caregiving.

Here are the top 10 most common secrets.

1. Falls: Falls are the leading cause of death, injury and hospital admissions among the elderly population. “It’s easy for an elderly person to cover up a fall, particularly if no bruising or bone breaks was suffered. Your parent may worry that you will try to send him/her to a wheelchair or walker,” Ladew says. The preservation of independence is of major importance to older adults, even at the risk of falling.

Read: 6 Things That Cause the Elderly to Fall

2. Pain: “So not to cause you worry, your parent may not tell you about new or increasing pain,” she says. As a caregiver, you need to know about pain so that you can get the proper medical treatment or medication for your loved one.

3. Dizziness: “Dizziness could be caused by low blood pressure or a medication” Ladew explains. Although your parents may not want to alarm you, this is a potentially serious and dangerous problem that needs to be addressed.

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Caring for Parents Who Didn’t Care for You
How to Handle an Elder’s Controlling Behavior

10 Secrets That Aging Parents Keep originally appeared on

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+ add your own
10:23PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

It's good to have these in mind as things we could help our elders with!

5:42AM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:13PM PDT on Aug 7, 2011


7:17AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

we have a right to our privacy,

a right to manage our own money

, and--above all--a right to live our lives without generating panic in our adult children.

7:57PM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

Fear sounds like a component for elders..

3:35PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

None of us are getting younger. Care giving is not easy. Compassion is essential.

11:45AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

@ suzanne o.: doesn't your religion
teach compassion?? did you think about
your karma when you wrote that
nastiness about old people??

11:38AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

I watched my mom and her peers suffer
from loss of independence/dignity
because of aging. It's a frightening
thing to think you may end up in a
nursing home, no matter how good/expensive it may be. Thanks for
posting this very important article.

12:56AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

Thank you for this helpful information.

12:41AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

Thx for sharing :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

thank you for sharing

processed foods are hard to trust - I like to bake bread and cookies at home


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