Can't live with my father anymore...We've lived together for 14 years.

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We have lived together for 14 years now...that is after I moved out of the family home originally. Then my mother died. My husband and I just had gotten married. We have not been alone since. Now Father's mental capacity is declining. His judgements with regard to caring for himself and his environment, and safety has gone down hill. He really should have more assistance and supervision that we can give since we both work. We have talked to Father about a Residential Care Home. One day he is okay with it the next rebellious. He has told me that he regretted moving in with us. I have to say that it was the worse decision I ever made. I am at the end of my tolerance. It shouldnt be this way. I think we would be better off apart...perhaps have a better relationship all around. My marriage is suffering. We have to be apart. But Father is laying on the guilt...he now loves it here, doesnt want to leave. He says all his friends are here...What friends? He has chosen a isolated, stagnant life in a lawn chair in front of the tv. I had encouraged activities and clubs but he refused for 14 years. Friends...there are a few old neighbors who have since moved out of the neighborhood that come see him sometimes. I am sure where ever he is they will visit. We cant live together much longer...we will all go mad. I dont know what to do...who to tell him what must happen for all our best. I envision crying, pleading, hatred for me...there is guilt no matter...Help


Oh geesh, my heart goes out to you....How about his Doctor? Could somehow, his Dr. evaluate him, and ask questions, with possibly 'you' and your husband present?..Could he investigate if you all work, and how long your father is in the home alone? I see myself in the same position, caregiving really does effect a marriage, and "mine" don't live with me (Yet), but in reading your post, I'm thinking 'am I outta my mind, to think, that living together would be easier?'....Your marriage should come first. You and your husband need time for yourselves. Do you have any type of services for your Dad, such as aides or therapists coming to the house, that could give input? One thing I am learning, is I have been controlled by guilt with my Mother, and parents that need someone, can become master manipulators with their kids. I can just picture me telling my Mother that she would have to go into an assisted living place...(I'd be called everything, but a white woman, probably)...........GOOD LUCK to you...I'm sorry that you are going thru this difficult time....Hang in there!
You know what they say about guilt, it's the 'gift that keeps on giving'. Put aside the guilt, anything you do other than what HE wants to do is gonna lead to guilt anyway, so forget that nonsense. Do what you have to do in order to preserve your marriage, and also any future relationship with your dad. Change is always scary no two ways about that, but it will not always be that way when he gets comfortable with his new surroundings. Your father put his spouse ahead of everyone at one time (hopefully) now it's your turn. Remind him.
Give your dad a choice: This residential care home or that residential care home.

You go out and check out residential care homes. Find 2 you like. Take him to the top 2 and let him choose the one he likes best. Tell him you'll inform his neighborhood "friends" of his new location so they can visit him there.

I agree with Frazzled that it may possibly help to have his doctor recommend to your dad that he move to a facility with professional care.


I completely understand. I'm going through a similar thing. We did have my dad stay with us, but it didn't work out and he stormed off to his house (Of course after we'd taken the time and expense to move him). Now I am worried about him because he recently fell and isn't doing well. He needs to be in a care facility but he refuses.

I am putting my foot down though that I will not let him destroy my marriage or emotionally scar my little girl. What can I do?
I totally understand what you're going through. After my father died, I had to take care of my Mom as she started developing signs of dementia and Alzheimer's. It got to the point when she was living with us that I felt anger at her all the time, then extreme guilt because of the anger that I tended to shift to my husband and children (I know, very unfair). Unfortunately, her Alzheimer's advanced to the point of it not being safe to have her in our home 24/7, as she was getting up in the middle of the night and wandering. We did place her in a Certified Alzheimer's Facility and I can now appreciate and love her again without always feeling angry with her but I can tell you the guilt does not fade. What you have to look at is truly what would be best for your family and your father - what would you tell someone if they asked for your advice in your situation. I would tell them, yes it will be hard initially, but then when your father is exposed to other people and involved in some activities he will come to like it and transfer some dependence to people at the facility and you will be able to visit and maybe take him to lunch without feeling such a heavy burden from him. I don't know if you have POA or not, but I did with my Mom, so what I did was this - I went to the facility and got a room set up for my Mom, decorated it with all her familiar pictures, furniture, etc...then I took her out for a ride and told her about looking at a few places (which she did not want to do) so I said, you know Mom, your right you shouldn't have to go through all that, then I dropped the subject and took her to eat lunch, after that, I drove to the place and asked her to go in and talk to my friend with me, which she did, after we got in there we sat and visited with the caretakers there as if they were my friends - which this is what we'd had prearranged - then I took Mom aside and told her how much I loved her and how much I know she wanted her independence and by staying there in her own room that is what she would have, then I took her to the room we'd set up for her and I just asked if she'd stay and try it out and that if she didn't like it after a month, we would find her another place. She did agree to stay and I can tell you the hardest thing to do in my life, was to leave her there. I can tell you though, that after a month she didn't want to leave, as she felt she helped other people there and played dominoes and watched TV with the other people and interacted with people which is something she didn't do for 7 years. Tell your Dad, that he can call you day or night, and set up times that you'll go by to see him at first and he will be fine. You do owe it to your family, as well as, your father to do this. I can guarantee it will be a lot harder on you than him, so do not fret that your breaking his heart or not being a good daughter - loving him enough to set up a place for him where he can be safe and maybe interact with people his age, is a kind and loving act. You have to tell yourself also, your father has lived through the choices in his life and got to live it and it's now your responsibility to care for your husband/family like your father and mother took care of each other and their family. I hope and pray for you that any transition that you make is not too hard for you. Please know you are not alone in this type of situation - it can sometimes feel monumental and the emotions insurmountable but you can get through I promise. Take care.
My situation was a lot like bonnecs, I also had a room ready for my mom at ALF. The only difference was that my mom didn't want to stay so we had to just leave her there like a child on the first day of school. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, luckily I held out and after about 2 months she adjusted and now is happier than she has been in was the best thing for her and myself that I ever did. I should have done it years ago....good luck
I want to encourage the people on this thread who are dealing with the challenges described. I went through something similar with my parents, and I want to add that what I learned was that, sadly, both of my parents---as they entered their 80's-- began to behave and think less rationally than when they were younger. I discovered that I had to make tough calls and sometimes even feel like I was the "villain" as I planned their care, but I always kept my parents' best interests at heart and did what I felt was best. Many times I cried into my pillow, but always had a clear conscience before God. Don't feel guilty. Realize that when your parents say nasty or accusatory things to you, it isn't always "them"'s their aging brains. Among other things, my mother once said to me: "I don't need a daughter who's trying to run my life." and " Just wait till YOU are old!" And then, just days before she died, she thanked me profusely for everything I had done for them. Trust your gut and do what you feel is best. Only you know your own situation intimately, and between you and God, you can come up with the best plan.
I don't even know where to begin. My heart goes out to your post. I hear you girl. What a way to start off your marriage.

My dad is only 64 and there is no mental diminishment but he is a real "challenge." He is paralyzed from the waist down and while this is a very depressing condition, he is at least partially responsible for it but will never admit to that. (long story) Since this, his other health conditions have worsened. Fortunately he has helpers who come to his home and help with ADLs. I got him enrolled and moved into an assisted living (one where he could even have his pets!) which he moved himself out of within 5 weeks and went back to his home.

He has always been a self-imposed hermit even long before his legs stopped working. He is divorced three times, has NO other family or friends and I am an only child. IE the punching bag. Your comment about the TV and lawnchair really hit home.

Guilt is such an ugly thing to use against someone. It takes the love that a person has for another and USES IT AGAINST them. Think about that.

You and your husband really need to have your privacy. It sounds harsh, but we are only human and have limits. We are not machines. Don't take your marriage for granted - even the BEST marriages fail from too much unrelenting stress with no end or let up.
I find it interesting how you said "But Father is laying on the guilt...he now loves it here, doesnt want to leave. He says all his friends are here...What friends?" It seems that his brain is still working well enough to manipulate you. You also said that "He has told me that he regretted moving in with us." You might try something like "Since you say you regret it, let's go visit a few ALs to make you feel better about that."

My dad's temper goes through the roof at me. I walk on eggshells not to upset him but it can be impossible. You said that "I think we would be better off apart...perhaps have a better relationship all around." I found that by "managing" fewer of my dad's issues (even if things worsen), we DO get along better. For awhile anyway. He still wants me to do his checkbook, banking, etc. and write out his bills, but when I inform him (I even say "Dad I don't want to upset you but X is what you have left in the bank) how is savings is dwindling due to his foolish decisions, I am told that I am always critical and come over to his home just to aggravate him. He never hears the praise I give him for this or that. It is always negative. He has also ALWAYS been this way.

Sorry for venting on your question but you are not alone out there. I understand that your dad is probably afraid and all. How about YOU being afraid of ending up divorced? There are limits to all of this. We all have different circumstances and just try to do the best we can. You need to find another living situation for your dad. Good luck and hang in there.

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