Worried son-in-law

Dear Queenie,

  My father-in-law is actually quite healthy, but he claims to have some health issues that keep him housebound except for going out to the bar occasionally. He doesn’t have many friends and all he likes to talk about is what he thinks are his health problems.

  I have suggested that he get some exercise, do some volunteer work, or maybe take some classes, but he won’t even think about it. I understand that at his age he might have some problems in regard to getting older, but he won’t even try to do anything about it.

  Queenie, what can I do?—Worried son-in-law

Dear Son-in-law,

  You can suggest that your father-in-law see his doctor to be evaluated, tested and, if necessary, treated for anything that might actually be wrong with him.

  As for any imaginary problems, try to be sympathetic. You might also suggest professional psychological counselling. At the very least, going to these appointments would give him something to do, and perhaps some relief.