Originally Published: March 10, 2016 6 a.m.
Dear Annie: My sister lives with my father. She is supposed to be helping him, but she has a problem with depression and self-medicates with marijuana and alcohol.
Do you have any recommendations as to how to handle her? She is so difficult to work with, and will not admit that she needs help. – Concerned Siblings
Dear Siblings: We’re not sure what you are looking to do. Is the drinking and pot use excessive? Does your sister neglect or abuse your father? Have you spoken to your father? Has he voiced any complaints? Are you willing to take Dad into your home to better care for him? Can you afford to hire occasional help for Dad?
It’s unlikely that you will convince your sister to treat her depression by talking to a doctor or a therapist. You have tried discussing it, to no avail. Unless you are willing to remove Dad from the home, you have little influence on her forms of relaxation. If she is abusive or neglectful, report the situation to Adult Protective Services. And whenever possible, please take over so that your sister can get a break. Being the primary caregiver is a tough job, no matter what shape you’re in, and it may be more stressful for your sister than you realize.
Dear Annie: I have read with interest the many letters from both men and women of a certain age who are dealing with sexual and intimacy issues. Then I read the letter from “Three Sexy Broads in Vermont.” First, I applaud them and count myself in the same league – over 70 and still sexy.
To the rest, I ask, “Didn’t you need to go through a learning process to find mutual satisfaction in sex when you were younger?” The answer is yes, and now our bodies and our sexual needs are different. We need to learn new ways.
Annie, you publish all these letters, but never a source of information. There must be some resources out there to learn about geriatric sex. Please do us all a favor, and post some sources of advice. – Fourth Sexy Broad
Dear Fourth: You must have been absent from school on the day we said that AARP offers some wonderful information and help. Go to lifereimagined.aarp.org and click on “Relationships” in the menu. You also can find information through the Mayo Clinic, and at your local library or bookstore. And if you Google “senior sex,” there are all kinds of websites that offer tips and advice that you can peruse as you see fit. Here’s the last word:
Dear Annie: A lot of us would love to have great sex after menopause. The problem is not how our bodies look, but how things function. For thousands of women, sex is just too painful. Some, like me, have had breast cancer and gone through chemo and hormone treatment. There is no drug or cream available that will both alleviate our painful symptoms and is safe for us to take.
I’m glad these “Three Sexy Broads in Vermont” are having the time of their lives in the bedroom. Just don’t expect this to be the case for all of us, and they shouldn’t make us feel guilty for not enjoying a better sex life. I am thankful to have a loyal husband who understands the changes I’ve gone through and loves me anyway. I would do the same for him. -- Grateful to Be Alive
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.