Two years and counting....

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I have been a caregiver for two years and counting. At the request of my siblings, I along with my three children moved in to help care for my father. For the first couple of months our paid givers were live in. (One person for during the week, the other for the weekends.) Since then Dad's health has improved. So the weekday caregiver works from 9-5. The weekend caregiver from 12-5. Physically Dad has improved tremendously, his behavior is another story. That has gotten much worse. We hear so much about the elderly being mistreated, but there are elderly people who mistreat their children and grandchildren. Dad is insanely jealous of anyone who is close to my sister. He treats like her a Queen and me her lowly servant. If she and I talk, he comes and sits between us and interrupts like a child would interrupt for attention. If we go the store on an errand, he is complaining that we took two hours. He is sure to make me his target of ugly behavior if I go anywhere with my sister. It is impossible to discuss his financial affairs without him shouting: "Someone went into my acccount !!!" If he is not acting like my sister is the Queen, he is treating his weekday caregiver as his wife. She is allowed to bring her child every day. Since I work from home, he got upset with me the other day that his caregiver did not leave her child with me while they went on an errand. He ignores his own grandchildren and fawns over the caregiver's child. Every day turns into an ugly battle. My sister has started to tell him that he will be placed in a Nursing Home if he does not change his behavior, but I know that wont happen. Its a frustrating situation. I find myself feeling anxious and sad all the time. We live in a very expensive state and I could not afford to rent an apartment on my income. Thanks for letting me vent.


It's nice you are caring for your dad. Some conflict can be normal within a family who is living together, but based on your description of your dad's behavior, I would keep a special eye on it. Some of it sounds like dementia behavior. Him being suspicious, belief someone has been into his account, incorrect accusations, odd behaviors, etc. The reason I say this is that I have seen odd behavior that I frustrated me and then AFTER the dementia really set in, it all made sense. If I had known in the early stages, I could saved myself a lot of grief.

I'm not saying that is what your dad has, but I would consider it a possibility to explain his odd behavior. Does he also repeat things or seem to lie a lot? I'd read a lot about dementia signs and keep an eye on it.
Your father sounds like he has dementia which can make nice people behave badly and not so nice people behave even worse. Fighting with him or anyone with dementia is a one way ticket to nowheresville. My suggestion is to let his dr know about what's going on. Perhaps a change in meds can help. Maybe dr can do a mental evaluation to determine competency.. Does anyone have POA or guardianship? I would look for a caregiver who will not bring their child to work. The caregiver sbould be there for your dad and only your dad. I take it this cargiver does not work for a licensed agency. I would look into one that is and get someone who is legit. I would also ask the dr about facilities that would best help your dad and go visit them.
Well he definitely falls under the not so nice people act even worse. Many of his behaviors existed from the time I was a kid. So this is why I have a hard time distinguishing what is possibly dementia and what is just his normal life pattern. I think if he does have dementia, we should find out and not just threaten to have him evaluated. If he does have dementia, as a family we need to sit down and discuss how we are going to deal with it. I have three children, and Im thankful that they are very easy going because at this point, they get very little of my attention. My entire day is usually revolves around Dad. Every time the phone rings he comes downstairs to find out who is calling. Sometimes he gets upset because the phone rang and no one was on the other end (they hung when they realized it was a wrong number). We tell him not to answer the phone if its a sales call. If my sister is traveling, he answers every call that comes in because it "might be my sister" trying to call (even though he knows her number). These may sound like minor things but they can turn into an entire day WAR. I appreciate the responses I have received from this site. I think we need concrete answers and a solid plan for moving forward.

He sits on the couch and watches every move my children and I make.
toomuch4me, since your Dad's physical health has improved, by chance would there be a senior center that he could be taken to.... sounds like he needs to be around guys of his own age group to talk common interest. That is why he is acting negatively like he is, trying to get attention.

Any chores Dad can do, to keep himself busy. Guys like to feel useful, like they are contributing to the household. Is there something he really likes doing where maybe he could volunteer if he is mobile enough to do that?
Oh lord FregFlyer, we have tried to encourage Dad to make new friends. Believe me, part of his daily routine was supposed to be going to the senior center. That never worked out. He does nothing all day except wait for his meals, sit on the couch in the same spot and watch everyone. He will sit outside most of the day and sometimes he will go across the street to chat with a neighbor. But the other ninety percent of the time he argues over the smallest things and enjoys creating conflict between me and his weekday paid caregiver. For instance he will tell me he wants me to go shopping with him because she is "too nosey". Then he will turn to her and tell her he wants her to go shopping with him because she is better at the shopping than me. She in turn takes full advantage of the conflict and enjoys having Dad driving her places, buying her things etc. When Dad goes to my sister's house suddenly he is Mr, Fix it. He put together tables, takes out the garbage etc. But in his own home he feels he has a "staff" that should be waiting on him hand and foot. He wont even put his dishes in the sink most of the time.
He's driving around, shopping, fixing stuff, putting tables together, climbing up and down stairs, eating nice meals, and playing one off against the other. Have I got it right? So besides being a raging pr.....k what's wrong with the guy? How is it he seems to have this harum of slaves?

Youre in his house and he's the tyrant. Tell him how it's going to be, don't take his abuse and if he can't act somewhat human get out. No one deserves this.
Windybridge, you summed it up perfectly. Tyrant is the PERFECT word. He has two Home Health Aides (weekday, weekend) plus me. He feels like he is the head of corporation and talks to me like an employee. He is now on vacation with my sister because he needs "a break" I realized that he even uses groceries as a means of control. I always buy my own food unless Im short on funds (which happens to be this weekend..ugh) Even when I am short on funds, I dont ask him for a dollar. Anyway, to make himself look good he offered me to give me 20 dollars for groceries yesterday (that is after my sister arrived) He feels that if he is not there to control was is bought or at least cause trouble, then he will not contribute. My sister attributes everything to possible dementia. When I asked her if the doctor should prescribe meds, she responded with the meds probably wont help. While is on vacation with her this week, he will act self sufficient. He wont want her giving him his meds or helping him with his eyedrops. But once he comes home, he will be helpless once again.
StevieGirl, I know arguing with him is not the answer. I find myself anger with myself for resorting to shouting and screaming at him. I dont want my children seeing me act that way. They have not seen me behave that way in their whole lives and if did occur it was on a rare occasion. I try to ignore him. But he is the type of person that has already decided that he wants to argue long before the argument starts. So if Dad is in the mood to argue, if he asks what time as it and you say, 10am, he will respond with: You dont have to get an all upset..I was just asking the time.." Emotional blackmail at all times. Its overwhelming. I really would like to be able to communicate better. Im not proud of myself these days.
As I understand this, you and your kids are living with him in his house. Are you financially dependent on this arrangement? If you have the resources to get out on your own you should do so. He may well be developing dementia and this only makes it worse. Start looking at how you can put some distance between you and Dad now.
Im trying to get a better paying job in order to move out but that is going to take alot of time

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