What can I do if I feel my dad is to dependent on me?

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My dad expects me to have all of the answers to everything, I feel that i have become the parent to my parents. If I don't answer the phone, whether i am not at home or busy, he will keep calling over and over. He expects me to come over every day and sometimes it just is not possible. My parents have a live in care giver and sometimes even the care giver calls to much for things that could wait. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, etc,. I have a lot going on in my life and so many roles to play. I am feeling overwhelmed. My mom has severe dementia and needs more help now. I feel like my dad gets jealous because it is not all about him. Their care giver is a man and now I have to help my mom shower, am taking her to the dentist this morning, the list goes on and on. I have my own health problems and some days I just can't function at all. Please, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
Top Answer
Hugs and hugs to you - I can certainly relate as I have been only caretaker for parents and MIL - all at the same time. My father and MIL have passed on, but mother is in NH. It is overwhelming for you now and my heart goes out to you.

Would it be possible for them to go to assisted living or some other facility; depending on their needs? It seems you are at that juncture, where it is just too much and something's got to give; and it can't be you. You need your health and I certainly can relate to having your own health problems while tending to their care.

And the stress it causes to caregivers can be so draining; mentally and physically. I would recommend calling Elder Services in the town where your parents live - they are a phenominal source of advice and understanding.

They have ideas that we might never think of that are so helpful. Thinking of you and wish I could be of more help. Blessings to you.
First, learn to say no sympathetically. We tend to think it's black-or-white: you do what they want or you're being unsympathetic. That's not so: you can validate all the feelings and still not jump whenever you're asked.

As to the practical stuff: You've hired a caretaker but you've decided he can't help your mom shower (how come female nurses can help men but male nurses can't help women? I never understood that). Anyway, taking that as a specific example helps clarify the kinds of choices you have: (1) that caretaker can help her more; (2) you hire a different caretaker instead of the one you have (3) you hire additional help on top of the one you have, or (4) you do it yourself. But of course you can't do it all!!!!
Good luck.
Is your Dad able to leave the house for a senior center, or other community based location where he could have a social life? Would he volunteer somewhere? See if you can hook him up somewhere.
But the big thing is finding ways to disconnect from the guilty feelings the requests generate in you. He is trying everything he knows to get what he wants. He won't stop, unless he finds another outlet. If there isn't one, all that's left to change is your reaction to it.
Is there a counselor you could go to for 8-12 sessions to help you with practical strategies for boundary setting? It might be exponentially worth the time and money. And it wouldn't be because there's anything wrong with you foe feeling the way you do; it would be to help you dupisrupt decades old patterns of thinking that we ALL have about obedience and duty and self worth.

Good luck to ou!
It's tough. I had the same problems with my Mom. She's in Assisted Living. Moving them absolutely won't stop the phone calls. I had a psychiatrist tell me that to set up a certain time each day that you're going to call and tell them to hold their questions until then. This helps them feel more secure. They can wait and don't feel abandoned because they know you're going to call at 5 or whatever. This helped the phone calls, though there are still a million other things to keep you on your toes.
Dad 87 is a total recluse, will not speak to any health care people. The thought of a nursing home is out of the question. He has always been very frugal, is an immigrant from Europe, worked as a tailor seasonally. He only makes $90 a month in Social Security. I am 40, single, an only daughter (an "accident") as he calls it and have lived with him all my life. He was 50 when I was born. My mother abandoned us when I was little We live in a slum, 4th floor walk-up rent-controlled apt. in NYC. I only wore hand me-downs because people felt sorry for me thinking I was an orphan. I had to live without friends because he would not even buy furniture. He refuses to have a telephone.The only think he values is his money. I had to sleep on a mattress with no stuffing, flat as a board and he as well. He adamantly refuses to pay for medicare and does not believe in doctors. He now demands I give up my job, health insurance and pension and stay at home. I told him no, that he was crazy. How can I possibly send my father to a mental asylum - that would kill him and me.
Dear Redhead,
It is difficult to see a way out and think rationally when you're in a situation. My best advice is self care. No doubt your father is controlling/guilting you. You cannot change him, only your reaction ( or lack of reaction) to his behavior. Trust me it will kill you to stay in this unhealthy situation. Not to send him to a mental health care facility. He is being abusive of your good nature, and guilting you. Al anon is a free meeting house for you to receive support for this unhealthy situation. My father recently pulled this behavior on our family. He was contrite when he saw we were not going to tolerate his disrespect. I could go on, but in your heart, you need to practice self care. Remember when a plane is going down, you put the oxygen on the adult first so they can help the child. Well, who is the adult, who is the child? No one can take advantage of you unless you LET THEM. God Bless you in your journey. Do you have access to counseling, or you may end in in the mental asylum. You've gone over and above feeling like a mistake for 40 years. Time to get your life back and he'll figure it out when you no longer enable him to abuse you.
Wow Red! Good for you for saying no! You have your own life and are taking care of your future. It would be great if you could talk to a counselor or psycholigist to help you get through this. That guilt is so strong-but taking care of yourelf is sooo important too! He has his ideas of how life should be, and how his child should take care of him-but they don't have to be your ideas-or your life time sentence! Get in touch with elder care in your area. They can talk to him or asses him for what he really needs. Good luck to you and God Bless! Keep us posted!
Hi Octavia,
I personally know how tough it is feel like everyone is depending on you. I also know that your parents love you and they want you to be happy, but because of their condition they cant fully appreciatte how much extra stress you are under. You mentioned you are becoming the parents to your parents and you are right. So keep this in mind. When you were a child your parents made decisions for the best interest of the family, even if you didn't always like the decision. You now have to do the same.

I would recommend the following:
1) Get a strong female caregiver with experience so she can help both Mom and Dad.
2) If need be let her control the telephones so you do not receive excess phone calls for routine concerns that the caregiver should be dealing with.
3) If caregiver is calling too much that is totally unacceptable let the agency know and have them regulate contact.
4) Set boundaries and stick to them. Remember if you get sick you will not be able to help anyone.

Good luck!
The Advocate Home Care Team
Red go to Social Services and start an application for medicaide if he has money he will have to spend down until he meets their amount he is allowed to have-do not quite your job -if you live with him you have to get even if you have to rent a room someplace-social services will have to help him with the paperwork and he is responsible for the cost-not you-you can not continue as you are-of course he will balk-things are going well for him but killing you-and he will kill you before long-you have to rescue yourself-he is too selfish to even consider you-what gives him the right to run the world.

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