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How to Handle an Elderly Parent's Bad Behavior

140 Comments

I put up with all of the above, and office politics too, in a managerial position job that I accepted the offer on, and ultimately quit, to start my own business and eventually retire. Now I am in this situation again, due to family. No one works for free, no one deserves any or all of the above from either family or co workers. It's very hard not to take personally some of the comments made. My siblings would dump my father in a elder care facility and let him rot there until his dying day, they couldn't be bothered to visit, or relieve me of any duties, so that I can have a life of my own again. It's thankless, being on call 24/7. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't a job and that you should work for free, that's nonsense.

My partners mother is 84 she has always been a control freak with a negative attitude but the older she gets the worse she gets she has ruined my life

They have invented chill out plug ins for cats and dogs please someone invent one for old people

I am reading all these stories on here and am completely horrified. Why would you allow another person to destroy your marriage, or your own life? I work in healthcare and we nurses cannot believe what some families will do to keep their mother or father at home, even at the expense of their OWN families! Most of the time these elderly nightmares do not even know where they are, let alone know they are in a nursing facility! The Bible says HONOR your mother and father, not give up your own life because of them.

My 79 year old mother has always been angry and cantankerous. I recently visited her and my dad at their home in Spain which resulted in the most shocking night in our relationship. She has always been critical of me and disparaging as well as of my dad but not my brother. After a few days with her I was exasperated by her childish, aggressive and nasty behaviour to and about the whole world. It brought back a lifetime of her undermining barbed attacks on me and I snapped and challenged her on her appalling treatment of all and sundry. The first thing she always does is lash out to deflect attention from having to admit any wrong doing. This time was the worst ever abuse I have got from her. She said she wished she had smothered me at birth , my brother is a wonderful person and I am useless, my partner is a nobody, I am a lazy greedy person and she then made innapropriate remarks about sex in reference to myself and how unattractive I am. I was stunned to say the least. I fought back and was told to get out of her house. She got my suitcase and threw me out in the street in a small town in a foreign country and I ended up staying in a hotel before flying home the next day.
It's been the worst event in our family history and I doubt if I will ever see them again. I had no support from my father who chooses to remain browbeaten and stay with her. It has occurred to me that she may be in the early stages of dementia but it's hard to tell since this is her normal self only worse than ever. Has anyone else had experience of this ?

Does a child act rude an say bad things to a relative cause he hears his parents talk bad about that person.

I'M the problem you are all talking about!!!!! I KNOW I must be a real pain to be around!!! every time I melt down - often . I just withdraw from everybody and thing!! I just don't have a solution. living beyond my time sure isn't good for anybody. but I can put on the mr wonderful act at anytime. so I don't know how to deal with me either. but thanks for trying. it wont last forever.

Thank you for this wonderful article. I am caring for my 86 year old father who has started taking out his frustrations on me in the form of verbal abuse. I suspect that I needed to set some boundaries as to what behavior is acceptable and was glad to read I am not alone in this experience.

This advice is for the people who have had a parent who was abusive to them their entire lives… Do NOT… I repeat… Do NOT become their primary caregiver… whether it is in their own home or, God forbid, in your home!

Parents who would abuse (physically, verbally and/or emotionally – like my mother) their defenseless children are NOT going to mellow-out with age. They only get WORSE!

I tried to care for my life-long abusive mother in her home and she would try to hit me with her cane, yell and scream at me for no reason, call my house 10+ times to day insisting that I (or my husband) drop everything and go over to her house to help her with something or other. The last straw came when (after only a few weeks), she threatened to call Elder Services and accuse me of verbally abusing her. Fortunately, I had been secretly recording all of our conversations and her voicemail messages and whenever I was at her house, I made certain that my husband was present as a witness. But, her threat had me seek out the advice of an Elder Law attorney, who advised me to cut all contact with her immediately and allow Elder Services to become her primary caregivers.

If your abusive elderly parent threatens to report you to Elder Services for any type of abuse, you must take it very seriously. It is very sad that your abusive parent was “allowed” to abuse you as a child (behind closed doors) and no one protected / rescued you from that horrible situation. And now these same life-long abusive parents can try to use the Elder Laws in place to control and abuse you, once again! According to the Elder Law attorney (who listened to the recorded conversations that I made and knew that I was not being abusive and that my mother was the abuser), the enforcement of the Elder Laws are such, that if you are accused, you are assumed to be guilty, until proven innocent, which is why give my mother’s threat, she advised that I immediately cut all contact.

All the advice given in the article will NOT work with life-long abusive parents! They CANNOT be reasoned with. Trying to explain to them that their behavior is hurtful to you will gain you nothing. Come on, someone who would abuse their defenseless child is NOT going to care, at all, if they are hurting their adult child with their abusive behavior!

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@toomuch4me I feel your pain. My father was a dirt bag my whole life. He made my mother's life a living h*ll before she passed from cancer. I am only taking care of this creep so he doesn't sell my inheritance, which is also from my mother, out from under me. He is an ungrateful, angry old man. He treats me like a slave, while calling me every name in the book and taking out . When I don't bend to his ridiculous demands , he resorts to petty revenge tactics like making a mess, throwing away my belongings, and abusing my dog. The world would be a better place if he died. He refuses to go to a home. Like an idiot, I have kept him alive way past his expectancy. No good deed goes unpunished.