My dad has been in a Louisville nursing home for a few months. Since he’s been there, I’ve noticed him becoming increasingly fearful and quiet. He has always been a stoic man, afraid of nothing. I don’t know what to do.

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You concerns definitely warrant investigation.

First, see if you can get him to open up about his feelings. Find out what he thinks of his caregivers and the other residents. Is there anyone that he particularly dislikes or that is harassing him?

Stay vigilant. Observe the actions and demeanor of staff members as well as residents, and note anyone who seems to be abrasive or to bully others. If you identify such a person, talk with your dad about the person and see how he reacts. If that person is a problem, speak with the administrator about your concerns.

If your efforts reveal no cause for his change in behavior, talk with his doctor. Perhaps she or he will have some insight into what is going on. There could even be a medical reason for the change.

Finally, your dad may be anticipating the approaching end of his life. If he has any ties with a religious organization, talk to the spiritual leader and see if he or she will visit your dad. The nursing home staff may be able to recommend a spiritual leader if your dad is not associated with a particular church, synagogue, or temple.

A Kentucky nursing home should be a place of caring and safety. 

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