4:00 AM wake up calls

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I can' do this anymore. My father calls me about 5 to 10 times a day. At all hours of the day. Last night it was midnight and then again at 1 AM. Usally cursing and yelling followed by a click because he has hung up on me. I just can't deal with this anymore. This is every night. Not a day goes by that I'm not cursed at and hung up on or called in the middle of the night. I've tried to set boundaries but he doesnt care. He tells me, its all about him. Then when I get mad and yell back he tells me to call him when I'm in a better mood. I go to his house several times a week. To cook or clean or pay his bills. I take him to all his appointments and out to eat several time a week. I have home health that visits 3 times a week and I have hired a aid that comes 3 days a week. This is supposed to give me a break but I end up having to run an errand or go shopping at least once while she's there. Dad calls me everyday. When he gets up, again when he eats (3×s a day), when he poops, after he has read an article in his many magazines. When he take his pills (3×s a day). If the news has something stupid or he doesn't agree with it. Or he's just lonely. I'e tried to get his friends to visit but he ends up hanging up on them or he won' t turn the TV off while they are there. I just can' do this anymore. Yesterday he called at 4 AM and again at 6:30. Day before at 5:30. It goes on and on and on. In the past two weeks he has caught the microwave one fire, let the crockpot pot on 24 hrs 2 times, broke his oxygen machine, lost his hearing aid, crashed the computer, can' turn the TV on 8 times. Phone doesn' work 4 times (but yet he' talking to me). I'e been there everyday except 3 days. Dad was dianozied with a fatal lung disease several months ago. No I don't work. I'm disabled, my husband is retired but works part time. I have to hire someone to clean my house and do yard work. I just want to change my phone and move away. Ive tried talking to him about it he just gets mad. He's like a five year old when things dont goes his way. If I don't answer the phone he panicks and calls my brother, husband or aunt. How can I cut the cord?

13 Comments

Change your phone number. Your husband changes his number. YOu don't have to put up with this.
Your father needs a higher level of care than living alone with occasional help. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and find out how to get him what he needs.

I'd also look into having him seen by a geriatric psychiatrist for his anxiety and agitation.
Well, I suppose you could change your number, but, I think that I might first try to get him some help. Are you the Durable POA and Healthcare POA? It sounds like there are a number of warning signs going off that he is no longer able to live on his own. If he has a fatal lung disease, I'd try to discuss his behavior with his doctor. Perhaps, Hospice would be appropriate. With all of his memory issues and obvious agitation, I'd be concerned for his safety. I'd also be aware that due to his behavior, it might be likely that Adult Protective Services may be called in. In fact, if I intended to walk away, I would report what I had observed to them, so they can investigate and intervene for his own protection.

I'd consider that the reason he keeps calling is that he forgets that he already called. And, people with conditions like his have sleep disorders. They may stay up all night. He may also be in pain that is causing odd behavior. I'd want his doctor to know what's going on, so that any treatment that could help could be prescribed.

I hope you can find him some help. With proper treatment and care, he might be more comfortable and less anxious.
There is nothing that says people have to answer the phone. I would turn my phone off or turn the ringer off when I was sleeping and let the other people know not to answer the calls. Tell your dad to call 911 if it is an emergency. We are concerned about them, but it doesn't mean that we have to let them wreck our lives.
Yes Sunnygirl 1, I am the POA for health and financial. I agree he needs more care then what he's getting. I've told him on several occasions he needs to be in assisted living. And yes he can afford it, but he refuses. He says he doesn't need that much supervision. I've tried talking to him, but he is so stubborn. All this drama is horrible for my own health issues. I've taken care of him the last eleven years, since my mom passed, a lot more then he ever did for me. I've talked to his doctors and they agree he needs more care. I guess I'll call the human resource center and she if there is a way to get him analyzed.
It seems that you have tried. I' think your idea of contacting the human resource center is good, but, I night also consult with an attorney to find out the options. Trying to help someone who resist help can be overwhelming. I'd ask for options and do what you feel is best. Sometimes, it's more than one person can handle.
With stubborn, uncooperative elders, sometimes we have to step back and let the professionals (APS, Area Agency on Aging) take over.
I'll say this at first; I'm sorry that it's come down to this. Despite the horrifying way he's treating you, I think it's time to turn over your services fully to professionals.

The fact he's destroying things or leaving it on (intentionally or forgetting to), the mere fact that he set a microwave and crock pot on fire means you can't have those items in his home. He's in danger of setting himself on fire, which is alarming and indicates to me he can't be by himself anymore.

His antisocial behavior and volatile nature means is scary too. Because you are disabled yourself, you may need to make one last trip to make certain everything is automated (his bills paid) or have the ability to pay his bills online from the safety of your own home - and sanity- because you don't need to be victimized by the full extent of whatever his illness is.

It's dangerous to you and to himself. Since you haven't stated it has affected any of his caregivers, and you are bearing the full brunt of it, he's aware of what buttons to push to gratify himself.

That's a button you need to disconnect. There is no pleasing someone who wakes you up at all hours simply to cuss you out. That is uncalled for, and though I wouldn't suggest cutting off family, I think this is one of those instances you are justified in blocking his number for all phones (including cell phones in your immediate family) and relegate his tirades to when you literally wish to help him for things. (if you even wish to at this point).

I strongly bringing on much professional support to take over what you do now (with no apologies whatsoever) because it sounds like he's a real danger to himself and possibly to you. That includes who is paying the bills, whether that is your brother, husband or aunt because you can't be the drum he beats on. If he's leaving on things, destroying things because he forgot they were on (intentionally or not), he may be at a level you shouldn't be caring for him. It couldn't hurt to call aging services for their professional opinion, because it sounds like that's the best option for him and for you.

I'd suggest getting your brother, husband and aunt on the same page; because once you aren't available, they're next. But it's clear that someone has to be done, even if it's without his permission. He's outrageously aggressive, and I wouldn't put it past him to attempt anything at this point: not because he wants to harm you, but he's showing he is very capable of doing harm.

I would say it's time to contact Aging Services. (the professionals others have suggested to you). Will he disagree and be aggressive to them and to you? Wish you to hell twice over? Sure, but I think he may have already covered that well enough for you; I'm sure you got the message.

This is a matter that's best left with those that can tend to his emotional needs, and that shouldn't be you, but others trained to. Until a diagnosis is made, I wouldn't even begin to reconnect to him. It's time to unplug the phone. You need to do what's best for him, and regardless of what he intends to agree to (and it doesn't sound like he will), I'd explore the options that you have as his POA to get him the care he needs without you.
I'm with you on the phone calls. My mother has started calling me and talking endlessly, but with always the same aim; demanding that I take her out of assisted living and move her back to her house. She's become hateful, and calls me at work, at home, on weekends, when I'm in meetings. She started merely calling and not leaving a message; at least most of the time. Then she would leave messages about stupid stuff, like her phone not working. (yet she can call me.) Then the calls became more angry and attacking. Last week I decided I wasn't going to take it anymore, so I stopped answering her calls. She got wise to that and started leaving long, angry messages. I visit her several times a week and talk by phone several other times. Yet, it seems the more I visit the more she calls. Today she threatened to call our family friends back home and tell them "what I'm doing to her." Tonight she left a 5 minute message on my answering machine threatening to call the police if I didn't take her car to her assisted living facility so she can get the friends from back home "who'll do anything" for her to come get her.  This is the same woman who took me to piano lessons as a kid and taught me to love reading and history. I'm doing what's best for her and she hates me for it.
Well I'm heading to his apartment to cut the ties. He call my husband several times this morning and I talk to him too. He has hung up on my twice this morning and said I don't care. Of course that's not true but now my shaking like a leaf scare to death. My husband is going with me. The Aging people never called me back. Hes on steroids and I notice the anger could be from them but her always been high temper. I know now he needs professional guidance. I'll post later on how it went.

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