Q: We're facing some hard decisions about my mother. She's getting more feeble and confused, and we don't think she ought to be living alone. But we have a very small house and just don't have room to take her in. To make things worse, she refuses to admit she even needs help. What should we do?
-- Mrs. H.N.
A: I'm thankful that you're concerned for your mother; the Bible tells us to honor our parents, and we should do this as long as they live (see Exodus 20:12). One way we honor them is by doing all we can to help them as they grow older.
Frankly, your mother's situation could end badly if something isn't done as soon as possible. She could suffer a fall or other serious accident, fail to pay her bills or take care of her physical needs, even run the risk of being scammed by those who prey on elderly people. Until you're able to find a permanent solution, make a point of calling your mother and seeing her as often as you can.
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What else can you do? First, share your concerns with her doctor, who'll be able to evaluate her and suggest what steps you may need to take. Then seek out alternatives in your community -- someone to help her in her home, for example, or a facility where she'd receive the care she needs. (Your pastor may be able to point you to local agencies on aging to advise you.) It will be hard for your mother to give up her independence, but it may be necessary.
Above all, pray for your mother, and also for yourselves. God loves her, and she can depend on His promise: "Even to your old age and gray hairs... I am he who will sustain you" (Isaiah 46:4).
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or go to billygraham.org.