Non-cooperative elderly dad.

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My dad is 88 yrs old and over the course of 20 plus years has been taking care of(enabling) a younger woman that has past felony drug records,and now he has made her his caregiver which she is the one who needs the care as well. My dad is extremely protective of this so called caregiver and has given her his word that he will provide her a place as long as he lives,but now he has requested his family that in order for himself to have peace, my dad wants the family to take care of this woman for the rest of her life. My dad refuses to come stay in my home so that I can properly care for him, and refuses to divulge any document that would demonstrate his legal allocation of her as his caregiver, or give me copies that I would be able to carry out his wishes in the event that something were to happen to him ( example. an advance directive, since he does not wish to be put on life support) I have no way of knowing whether or not his dr's have this document as my dad refuses to give me a copy of what he says his caregiver and dr.'s have. He has said 3 times now that he would get it for me, but I haven't received these documents yet. And when I ask for these documents, my dad gets very defensive, and indignant towards me as well as other family members. My dad has financial needs and has not refused any family members financial offers but any assistance given him has more than contributed to meet this caregivers needs and not his own needs. In other words, he sacrifices his own needs to see to hers. This violates his families consciences that we feel that we will not enable her to her own self-destruction or possible drug habits. My dad says she is not on anything anymore. But who would really know? My family or myself do not wish to contact any protective agency as we feel this would put our dad in his grave. He has a very strong emotional attachment to this woman due to his experiences growing up where his mother was committed to a mental institution by her family when my dad was an impressionable age of 10 yrs old. My dad lives to this day suffering from guilt over something that he had no control over concerning his mother and somehow he thinks that if some man would have just been there to see to her, she wouldn't have been done that way. Therefore, he is trying to reconcile what happened to his mother thru this woman. This situation now, due to his age, lack of funds, and now his health, he refuses to recognize his own need for true care giving. And my last plea for him to come live with me, let this woman have his place and send her whatever money you think necessary for her to have, he says, "Who's going to maintain his home if he leaves?" His home is in such need of repair that collectively the family can not afford to repair it, nor will a bank lend money against it for repairs.But none the less, my dad needs care and refuses to relinquish to his family to care for him unless it includes her. We all agree that we don't want to take him from his home as it would be too distressing to him and he would definitely view our actions as taking away his purpose, taking away his place, removing his independence and dignity. And we do not wish to dishonor him in that manner, but on the other hand, how do we, now that it is so very obvious that he has gotten himself over his own head and ours, help our dad that refuses to budge, he is of sound mind and still able to decide for himself, but will not leave her unless we agree to carry her for the rest of her life. Is there any one else out there that has found themselves in this same predicament?


this is a big question, and I am only going to address one part of it. He asks for financial help, and it goes to her? Instead of giveing him money ( if you are), pay a bill or two for him. Not groceries or anything she can get at,, but maybe the phone or the HO insurance? Or the electric or heating oil? You are still helping him, but she can;t get cash. and I will say NO WAY would I agree to take her on once he is gone.. Good luck with this
Thank you for responding, and yes the financial help given in the pasted goes to her, his family help has now dwindled down to a couple of family members that still feel guilty enough if they didn't give him what he asks for. Yes, we help him with electric, property taxes, his house is paid for. All of his activities have been for
20 plus years by his own free will, consent and approval. We have contacted authorities about the circumstances but were told that as long as she is an invited guest, there's nothing that can be done by them. Thank you for the response, really was just wanting to vent I guess and to know if any one out there has dealt with a stubborn parent that thinks they can still carry other people when they are now getting too old to carry themselves.
I understand the venting. In this case I would say that your father has made his choice. He apparently enjoys having the younger woman around. From the sounds of it, she should be able to carry her own weight and contribute to the household, rather than depend on her friend's children to do it. Shame on her for putting your father and you in such a position. I wouldn't offer help in this circumstance. I don't know what I would do. I would probably do the same as you are doing and wish it weren't this way. I know you worry about your father and would love to have him back.
What a sad situation. You summed it up quite nicely. Your father is trying to reconcile his feelings at 10 years of age when his mother was institutionalized, and trying to do so through a woman who perhaps is exploiting him.

I don't know that there's any way outside of professional counseling to help him realize that this young woman isn't a surrogate, and that he can't save her, nor could he have intervened and helped his mother. What an awful event to have plagued him so much that it now affects his reasoning.

I agree though that you can't enable him or provide any funds that could be used to support her, either now or for the rest of her life. I don't know that there is any good solution, but viewing her as the surrogate who might be kept from an institution is not the way.

I might "misrepresent" the truth if in some way he could be convinced that she would be taken care of (which could mean many things, including the referral to police or drug rehab facilities, but NOT any financial support). If you can finesse the situation to convince him you'll do what you and the family feel is appropriate, but without being specific, you might have a chance.

If she still using drugs?

But there's still the issue that he's being secretive about his own estate plan, if he even has one, but I'm guessing that if he does, everything goes to the druggie. I wouldn't even consider even misrepresenting "taking care" of her w/o knowing what his estate plan entails, not that you're focused on inheritance, but rather that he's appointed her to make decisions and cut the family out of that role.

Wish I had some better answers; I feel for your family as this must be heartbreaking.
I'm going to ask straight out - is there a romantic relationship between them, now or ever?
Your father in his late 60s chose to have a relationship with this younger woman. How much younger is she? Was she a teenager then? In her 30s? What? She had a criminal record for drug use in her past. Was she using when they met? I assume she has had no more convictions in the last 20 years. Is she still using now? You don't seem to know.

What I'm suggesting is that she may not be a "druggie" who needs more help than your dad does. She may be someone who did some foolish experimenting in her youth and has not used since. (The US drug laws are hideous for lumping everyone who has ever used drugs in the same category as scumbag pushers. I'm reluctant to draw conclusions from "past felony drug records." -- especially from more than 20 years ago.)

In any case, your father then had the right to associate with her regardless of her past. Maybe his motivation was psychologically complex. That it was greatly influenced by his mother's institutionalization seems likely. No law against that, of course.

We are now 20 year past his initial befriending of this woman. He now needs some care. According to him, she is providing this care. You don't think that is adequate. Why?

In what ways is he inadequately cared for? Clothes dirty every time you see him? (Which is how often, by the way?) Signs of malnutrition? Is he not getting medication on time? Is he incontinent and she doesn't change him often enough? Does he fall and she doesn't know what to do? Does he not get medical attention he needs? What, specifically, do you think you could do better for him than what she is doing? I'm not trying to argue that she is a good caregiver -- I'd just like to know how you know she is not.

Dad won't show you his advance directive? Maybe you don't need to know. If he has named her the medical proxy, it will be up to her to make final decisions for him. Sure, he should tell you that now, but he can avoid confrontation if he doesn't tell you.

It must be very painful for this woman to have displaced family in your father's life. Very painful and very sad. Still, he has the right to make decisions for his own life.

It is not as if this younger woman suddenly dropped into his life as a gold-digger. She has a 20-year history with your father. And you have not given any evidence that she is a "druggie," an inadequate caregiver, or is exploiting him. Maybe we just need to hear more about these issues.

Do you have to promise your father that you will "look after" her after his death? Certainly not. He probably knows that you won't. So he has most likely taken steps to do his best to see that she is cared for via his will and insurance policies, etc.

Are you obligated to give financial help to your father? Certainly not.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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