My dad is indecisive. How do I deal?

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I'm an only child whose father is turning 70 and has advanced Parkinson's. He has always been "difficult" to get along with, and now it is reaching crisis point for me. He had a long-term girlfriend who left for another man but still communicates and leads him on that she might come back. My mom died in a nursing home so he knows what that is like and DOES NOT want to be in one. He is having more and more trouble living in his own home and we have researched places where I live that have all levels of care. He says his only choice is to move near me (i'm on the coast and he is midwest), but is already listing what he won't like about the facility sight unseen. When I say if you really don't want to move there, don't, he yells at me, "What choice do I have?" He feels he needs to be near someone who can oversee the nursing care when it gets to that stage. He does not want to be in a home without someone closeby to monitor how they are treating him. He has relationships with some family members in other states but has alienated some and doesn't want to reconcile. He isn't even here yet and I'm a mess. Please help!

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Top Answer

hi there and welcome to the hair pulling stage of elder care!
sorry you have been waiting so long for some communication and I will do my best and others will step up also.

The good news is that your dad knows he has to go into a facility and is not moving in with you! He cares enough about you to not burden you with his full time care but he also knows that he will need help overseeing the facility in the near future and he is right.
What he's letting you know is that he trusts you. He's not going to make it easy, but he trusts you.
Griping is what they do. Griping all the way around is better than total denial, that he thinks he's ok and wants to drive and day trade... He's not doing that, he just wants to be near you so the next issue is can you handle it?
If you have already done the research for a good spot, how about continuing on and setting him up?
Ya, he's going to gripe because that will be about all he has left and if you know that he's in a good place you can also know that the bi!ching and moaning is his way of venting just like we have our ways here on the site to vent to save our sanity.
I know from experience that it's hard not to internalize what you are hearing but if you can find it in you to have him near, handle the facility business for your dad, you may be pleasantly surprised how it all may settle out for the best.

When he gets all fired up and starts to gripe just tell him to knock it off. Tell him that the big condition in which you will help out is to not take any abuse from him in the form of griping. Tell him that the griping makes you sick and if you are sick you can't help him.
See if that works....
My mom didn't have PD, she had Dementia and could gripe about a sunny day with a Sunday chicken dinner with all the trimmings. she wasn't doing it because she was a bee yatch, she was doing it because she was sick.
I used a lot of humor on her to get her to mellow out and a lot of times it worked and she ended up laughing.
If he says: What choice do I have? Tell him that he's got lots of choices and he'd better make a snappy choice to be nice to his daughter so you can help him!
Try every arrow in your arsenal and try try try not to internalize what he is saying so you aren't a mess!

OK... you're on our radar now and if you keep checking in and letting us know how you're doing, you just might pull this off and really be proud at the end of the day that you were the one who helped your dad.
my dad was a nightmare to get along with too. but man, did I love him.
come see us on the Grossed Out thread and there's a bunch of folks over there who have experienced just about the whole spectrum of elder care.
Good luck and we will be here for YOU to gripe to!
Hey, I assumed that you are a daughter, but if you're a son.... same stuff applies. you get it....

As far as his ex full time girlfriend.....
C ya, wouldn't want to Be Ya. Hopefully he'll move and she won't get the new number if you catch my ham handed drift!
Thank you SO much:) Very helpful advice and I will try to implement it. Just got a very newsy email yesterday as if nothing happened. O....K....anyway, if I tried humor he would escalate his anger. When we last spoke on the phone, he kept repeating, I don't have any choice and I'm resentful of my friends and relatives telling me I do. If I said he has a choice to be nice to me, he'd back off saying "well I just won't tell you anything then!" Can't win for losing with him, but I will work on sticking to boundaries and let him know I'll hang up if he gets feisty again.

On a brighter note, I have looked around the site at the funny stories and grossed out stories and they really made me laugh:) Thanks again!
Well Dad, you're right. You don't have a choice. Here's where you're moving. Pack.
think that would work? lol
I hear you. one of the ladies on the Grossed Out thread wrote a few days ago about someone who couldn't be pleased:
He'd complain if he got hung with a new rope!
That really cracked me up!
let us know how he does!
Well he has to get his house ready for sale which the realtor said requires a lot. I asked if he would rent it. No, renters would trash it! Therefore, I cannot have a convo with him. My kids hear me repeating uh-huh, uh-huh for 30 min:(
ugh. I feel your pain. kind of been there myself.
Any idea I came up with was stupid to my folks
Getting RE ready for sale is a heavy task. Any help where he is?
He has some friends but would be better off hiring a contractor to oversee and get it all done. I realized I neglected to mention in my OP that we have a teen, a preteen, and just had our newest 4 mos ago, so I'm not so much help with flying cross-country at this point! Baby isn't napping today so I feel really over-extended as it is...
Update: Just spoke to my father and now the nefarious plan is a facility in his current hometown. Without my knowledge, he ruled out the place near me. Fine, but as I said, please let me know. I asked about having someone to make sure he is getting good care and didn't really get an answer. As my kids would say, "whatev!" Also wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading different posts on this site. The humorous ones about caregiving are really cute:)
Has a home health nurse gone to evaluate his living circumstances in light of his health and shared with him their concerns?

Has his doctor talked with him about not needing to live by himself anymore? Or does he not respect doctors?

Do you have durable and medical POA for him?

Has he been evaluated for being competent to conduct his business in a business like manner?

Wow does he sound like one difficult parent! Do you think he might be narcissistic? Keep up your boundaries for your own safety more than thinking such will every change or fix him. Stick to 'em and have some concrete consequences for when they are broken like he knows you will hang up the phone.
No he hasn't been evaluated but he is pretty reasonable about what he can and can't do. He does respect doctors. Actually over the years we've found he underestimates what he can do. He is the type that when he has surgery thinks he needs to be in bed for a week. These days they want you up and walking. He had hernia repair a few years ago and had planned for a neighbor to come in and make him toast should he not be able to get out of bed! At least tonight he wasn't abusive--he actually didn't want to tell me he rejected the facility here sight unseen because "last time I annoyed you telling you what my concerns were about it.' I asked would the facility in your town not have the same issues. Well, I haven't contacted them yet. He is totally competent, does my taxes! so at this point he will do what he will do. Thanks for the response:)

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