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Nancy Ryburn

Placing mother in nursing home a difficult decision

Q. My mother requires round-the-clock care, but I’m struggling with the decision to place her in a nursing home. Her money is almost gone, and I’m paying much of my salary for her home attendants. Even with aides present, she has managed to fall, hide her pills and start a fire. When her friends visit, they can’t tell there is anything wrong because they stay for only 10 minutes. They are saying that I just want to get rid of her. I don’t see any alternative but the nursing home. Please advise me.

Families should discuss end-of-life decisions

Q. I am getting older, and I try to talk to my children about end-of-life issues. Every time I raise the subject, they accuse me of being morbid. I tell them I am realistic. Isn’t it wise to be prepared for death at any age? Please answer in the newspaper since I want to send your answer to them.

Husband skeptical about wife's bipolar diagnosis

Q. My wife was diagnosed as bipolar II. The psychiatrist said bipolar II people experience periods of “hypomania,” and I guess he thought we knew what that meant. Please explain what hypomania is? I’m really not sure he has the right diagnosis. I thought people who were bipolar had psychotic experiences.