Follow
Share

My husband, 18 & 21 year old just resent him now. We are all so stressed out because he is able to help but chooses not to. He still drives, refuses to bathe more than once a week and is basically driving us all nuts. He does not do one thing in the house, won't get the mail or empty the dishwasher. He never helped my mom and we jumped into this because of grief and my mom asking us to take care of him. He is 84. I have one brother who does not help. I always have to ask him to take him for lunch or an overnight. I feel used, exhausted from listening to everyone complain and helpless. My father begs us not to put him in a nursing home and says " I have no where to go" so then we feel guilty. I do not see a way out of this. It is eating me alive. Everyone else has it a lot worse I know but he is capable and is just choosing to be an invalid. He watches the news and reads ALL day long. I am at the point that just looking at him makes me mad. Thanks for letting me get this all out.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
classy - what does your husband say when you complain to him? Is he helping out? Is he understanding of your frustration? Can you and your husband move out? If so, do it. If not, your marriage will be in jeopardy.
(0)
Report

I live with my husband and HIS parents. I take care of his parents and work from home on my laptop. We moved in 1 year ago. Each parent has had both knees replaced, and did not do a lick of physical therapy unless the physical therapist was here, in the house. That is the infuriating thing to me. It was important enough for my husband and myself to leave our home, leave our community, move to a different county AND drop clients (my work) because of their needs, but NOT important enough to do physical therapy?

I find myself resenting them because even though they both have brand new legs (basically) they still do NOTHING. The do not even make themselves food.

They do have some health issues. She has Parkinson's, but is NOT an invalid. She chooses to do nothing. He has a pace maker and diabetes, neither of which should cause you to sit in a chair all day and expect someone else to do everything for you.

I feel used, unappreciated, angry, resentful, frustrated, and oh ya guilty for feeling these things.

The father acts like we are putting him out somehow! Unreal. Get this, we even pay them $1k month in rent! HA. What a deal.

Sorry, just venting.
(0)
Report

Deerramsey shut up just.shut.up.
(0)
Report

My 80+ Dad was the same way. Mom had been gone almost 2 years, when he got a new defib/pacemaker. I had been driving him to Dr appts, doing the yard work and shopping, and having dinner with him most nights, so he asked me to move in. He quickly adapted and was finding things for me to do non-stop. Needed things from different stores daily. I was the butler, housekeeper, handyman, groundskeeper, chauffeur, cook, shopper, pill sorter, insulin determiner, etc etc. 8 months in, he told me that I don't do anything to help him. I picked up my coat, and headed home. I came back 5 or 6 hours later, but I was openly resentful for a long time.
(0)
Report

I am afraid that I have created a similar monster in my husband. Don't get me wrong, he works very hard outside the home--but when he is home, he is 100% uninvested on what goes on.
We sleep in separate rooms (he has horrible snoring and RLS) and he does zero to clean up after himself. If I don't make his bed, he'll say "maid have the day off?"
I have commented to the kids that dad is going to have a hard time if I go first. My oldest daughter said "You die first, we put dad in a nice NH the next day. NO WAY are any of us going to baby this man the way you did." Kind of a shock to me, but I said "what if he goes first?" She says, "Oh you can live with me. Or any of the sibs. You'd be great." I will NEVER live with my kids, and have planned it financially so I will never have to. But it did really hurt my hubby to realize he's such a Neanderthal.
He'd groom himself and keep a laundry service, but his house would be a total disaster!
Guess we don't know what happened to the OP. I hope she kicked dad out. At 71 he's capable of living alone. Just sounds like a big brat to me.
(0)
Report

KenyaG0316, where do you live? That will help us provide more meaningful answers.

It sounds like you are stuck in your father's home until you can support yourself. That depends in part on your education level. If you finished high school, why did you not receive a diploma? Is there any way you can correct that? Contact the school board or the school administrators, etc?

If you need a GED, continue to work hard to be able to get it as soon as possible. If it is hard to work on it in your father's home, go to a library or even a shopping mall with a food court -- anywhere you can sit and concentrate on the material.

What is your plan for when you have the diploma or GED? Do you know where you will apply for work? What will you need to be able to live on your own? Will you need 2 months rent and a damage deposit? How long will it take you to save that up? Would living with a roommate be feasible?

Make very specific and realistic plans for when you can expect to be on your own. It won't happen the day after you get your GED. But it can happen if you stay focused on the goal, and realistic in your expectations.

I can see why you feel down on your luck! But that can change. Make it change!
(1)
Report

I have the same problem. Only now I am 26 years old mom died in 2013 from Terminal Illness I was 22 at the time. My dad he started to be lazy he stop doing all the stuff he use to do like clean up this house. My mom was 57 when she passed away. My dad was 62 now he is 66 ready to be 67 he depends on me and my oldest brother he is at least 42 years old. I have other two siblings another other brother he is 38 and my youngest sister is 24 ready to be 25. Everyone has a great life not staying home with dad. I am the last one who stay here with him he don't love me no more he see me as a ugly person which I am not worst part is I graduated high school but I didn't receive a diploma now I am busting my a** to get a GED so I can work I feel down on my luck no can help me.
(0)
Report

Ahemby; It sounds like what your dad wants and needs is a place to live with maid service. It's called Independent Living. It's like a cruise ship with no water. Find several in your area and take the tours (which include free lunch) with dad. He won't be lonely. Men are less well represented in these places and he'll have plenty of social partners.
(1)
Report

Ahemby, I just noticed your original post was over a year ago.... please give us an update regarding your Dad. Were you and your family able to get Dad to help you round the house?
(0)
Report

Back when I was single, never did I see a *Bachelor* who was starving to death, wearing dirty clothes and had a rat infested house :)
(0)
Report

My father had me when he was in his mid 40's. I ruined his life of leisure. My mom is 11 yrs younger. My mother wanted kids. I'm 36 and a recovering drug and alcohol addict. My father was fat and smoked his whole life and had not one ounce of muscle that the average guy who did any activity would have. He worked a simple unionized desk job at a phone company and would brag about how he did nothing and was protected, and made fun of his supervisors because they earned their money.
He was a very ignorant person, he would struggle for hours at night when my mother told him to help me with my 5th grade math homework, I felt so low, i wanted to cry because of the burden and frustration my homework was causing.
He always told me I would be disappointed in life, so never try anything. He hated any thought of me doing any extra circular activities because he would somehow be required to give me a lift or worse, maybe even watch.
He is alive and elderly and I will not speak to him, but he is too conceited to understand why. He has always been jealous of other more successful men. He never had a friend ever since I was born, maybe never had one before then.
He always fakes being sick to get out of any social obligation. He is a very cowardly man. As a child I stood in a parking lot after he bumped into another man's crumby car, the man shook him down for money to fix something he never would, it was humiliating.
He has done significant damage to me emotionally, I was taught and told I was worthless my whole life, therefore I was incapable of giving or receiving love and I started on a self destructive course of drugs and alcohol heavily at 16 yrs old. I only quit last year.
Get rid of lazy people in your life, especially the ones who have harmed you.
(1)
Report

Captain you are funny but you have something there we should think about, especially those of us who have no children who might possibly care for us in old age, even if we've got it together right now. I bought a tiny dilapidated cottage which I'm gradually getting fixed up. There are no stairs, just 2 steps to the driveway and 2 steps to the deck. The old huge jetted (doesn't work) tub is coming out and being replaced with a shower with a seat. Every fix to this house is being done bearing in mind I'm getting older with a hip replacement and a bad back, so I can hopefully manage nicely until I croak.

I'm on 2 acres with my dogs out in the middle of nowhere, wonderful peace and quiet, and I can mow so long as I can climb on the tractor. Though on a dirt road a 4x4 truck gets me wherever I want to go however bad the snow is and the road is kept well plowed. I'm planning for my old age ... oh wait, I'm just about there lol
(1)
Report

i think modern life has just produced too much crap to maintain. i live in the forest, aint cutting no grass, ever.. if i should live to 84 yrs old i hope to be living in a cave with a chip gravel floor. yea, i aint sweeping no dam floor either.. i work really hard building things. if someone else wants them cleaned up have at it.. im not joking. ill sell this house someday and build that cave.. the neanderthals are my role model. walk out the door, knock something in the head and eat it.. man thats livin..
(1)
Report

I found out that there are places in my state that take medicaid. Really nice places for ind living/assisted living...no buy in...just the monthly rent that medicaid pays--3 meals a day, own apt. I had an elderly relative live with us for 5+ years and then a lot of stress on me mediating between my family and this relative. I found a nice place for her and she moved out and is happy there. We are much happier at home also. She is less isolated and has more social contact with people her age. There are other people who can take care of your Dad. They know how to get him to do better hygiene and do more things because mostly they are not the daughter. There may be a ton of drama to start but then things might be much better for all after the move is made. An 84 year old can be pretty tired and done with life--so I don't know if much help can be expected. Find a place where someone else will care for him then you can go back to being Dad and daughter instead of you being the caregiver.
(2)
Report

1. He could be in early stages of dementia. They are very good at covering it up.

2. He could be severely depressed. See if you can get him to a neurologist or psychiatrist for anti depressants. ( I had to tell my dad the neurologist would help with his arthritis pain.) If you have a healthcare proxy you can discuss with dr what the issues are and explain the behavior you observe. (I actually used my iPad to video some of the more bizarre episodes to show the dr).

3. As the child, I had a lot of denial about the impact of dementia on each of my parents. I assumed they had much more mental capacity and were deliberately doing the things that annoyed me so much. It is only in hindsight and with time away, and having finally come to the decision that no matter who he was he didn't have the right to treat me the way he did, that I realized he had some form of dementia for far longer (years) than I had admitted to myself. We are part of the problem. We are not trained to deal with this, but we feel we are doing The right thing. We may be doing the right thing for us, but we are not necessarily doing the best thing for them.

When we live away from them we don't see the coping mechanisms they adopt to compensate for the growing dementia or depression. Those coping mechanisms, work for as long as there aren't major changes. When their environment changes, their sense of control is challenged, the coping mechanisms dont work any more and they can become very difficult.

Make lists of what your options are. Mine were have him live w me, get someone to come in to live w him, put him in a care facility in his town, put him in a care facility in my town, get someone to come in part time to cook & clean. You may have additional options.

Make sure you have power of attorney, health care proxy and living will.

Find some way of getting away for several hours. I used to go sit in Panera read and drink all afternoon, just to look at "normal people" again.

The best decision for me (it may not be for you) was to move him to an Alzheimer's Residential Care Home (ARCH) in my town. He is getting much better care than I could give him, he can't manipulate them like he did me, and after 6 months he has more or less settled into a routine and with the meds they manage him well. I go to visit take him food he likes, take him out to eat, take him to doctors and take him back to them and keep my sanity.

Caregivers die at alarming rates. Nobody, not even your parents have the right to do that to you.
(1)
Report

I printed all of these responses out today and laid them on my dad's bed. I made notes next to the first message that this is exactly how we feel. Not that it will do any good but maybe if he reads everyone's comments it won't come as a surprise when I finally tell him he has to move out of my house. He is only 71 and has no major health issues except being so weak from doing nothing but lay in bed and watch TV all day and night since my mom died 8 years ago.
(0)
Report

Deeramsey - Judge not that ye be not judged.
(1)
Report

some of you really amaze me..just remember you would be old one day too and your kids will have to take care of you just like your having to take care of your parents. Yes things get frustrating but just as well as your getting frustrated with them they got just as frustrating with you as you where growing up. This is the time where you should be HELPING them instead of talking crap about them. It shows that there is still cold hearted ppl in this world and even worse when its the one who took care of you when you were in need.. REMEMBER GOD sees everything and hears everything (even the words not said out loud) He dont like ugly... You wouldnt want your kids doing the same thing yall are doing to your parents..WOW..
(2)
Report

Ahemby - You are there, so you know more about the situation than I do, but I wonder.

IS he really able to do what you want him to do? Has he been seen by a geriatrician or an Occupational Therapist to evaluate his abilities and weaknesses? You probably can get him to do some things around the house, but it will be hard. You need to be really sweet and gentle with him, and take time to be sure he has learned how to do the task. You have to ASK him to do things as a favor to you. Letting him know you think he's a slacker will only make him resist.

If that sounds like it would be impossible, then you probably should get him out of your house, but reassure him that you will not just dump him and abandon him. You might find it easier to love and appreciate him when professionals are responsible for his laundry. God bless you.
(0)
Report

My dad was the same. Many people tried to help him and he alienated all of them, refused to pay for anyone to help w house, including meals on wheels. He got furious w me because I wouldn't drop my life after his wife died (I'm sure his treatment of her is what made her give up and die).

Some of the bad behavior is the brain ceasing to function properly. Get them to a psychiatrist (my dad wouldn't see one because he wasn't "crazy", so I rook him to a neurologist after videoing some of his behavior as proof (iPad is your friend). The anti-psychotic he prescribed helped with the worst of the behavior but not the manipulation, whining, criticizing, and constant complaining. Find a geriatric physician. Regular doctors simply do not understand the issues we are running into with these elderly.

Recently, I came to "help" my dad for the last 6 months and two weeks ago just couldn't take it any more. I finally did similar to what jeannegibbs recommended. Give him two alternatives. Mine were he either comes to my home (where I got him into a residential 24x7 home) or he stays in his house by himself and I walk away. I was so fed up I was willing to walk away thought it was tearing me up. After watching me pack for several hours he asked if I was leaving. I told him yes and he begged me not to leave. I gave him the option of getting on the plane w me or living alone after I left. He got on the plane. Upon landing, he said to me "I'm not going back. I'm going to stay here."

They don't know what they want. They are bored. Feel useless and have no goals or direction or interests. We can't do anything for them but keep them safe if they won't help themselves. There are virtually no resources for care takers, no laws to protect us from sick, demented, lonely old people who can't or won't help themselves. The lesson is there for us as we age. Find interests and hobbies or causes that you believe in to keep you healthy in mind and spirit as you age.

A friend and I have made a pact that by the time we are 65 we will have found a home to live in with several others-- like the home I put my father in but of our own choosing. We will each have our own room and hire someone as we become incapacitated to do what we can't. Learn from what you are going through.
(0)
Report

Bella, stay in school and live your life. My dad has consumed me for two years. All conversations are about him, I am so sick of talking about him I could scream. Things have been getting worse and his behavior, laziness and entitled attitude has made everyone resent him. I spend most of my time in my bedroom while he is in the family room enjoying my house. I have a glimmer of Hope as he might be moving out to go live with his sister. I am secretly overjoyed but afraid it might not really happen. Stay strong and don't be a doormat. I'm sorry about your mom. I miss mine everyday. Good luck.
(1)
Report

Bella...he will never attempt to do things for himself as long as someone, such as you, do it for him. Sounds like your dad and mother had their roles defined and acted upon them accordingly...with each other. Now that she is gone, that changes everything. He must now learn that and adapt by doing those "womanly duties or woman's work", or stubbornly suffer the consequences.

If I were you...I would try to explain to him vocally or written, if he won't allow you to speak, that the house is a mess and can not continue that way, due to health concerns. State that you can not do it anymore, but it needs to be done. You will help him find a person whom will clean once a week for him, or he can save some $$$ and learn to do it himself. But, make it clear to him that you are out of the cleaning/organization game and offer options.

It may be tough for you to turn your back and walk away, but in the long run it's best for both of you to cut this string. Good luck.
(1)
Report

Bella If I was you I would keep my distance. Your Dad is too young to be your concern.. If he wants to live this way then let him. If you are living with him get out now..
(2)
Report

I am going thru the exact same thing. My father is 68. my mom died almost 2.5 yrs ago and he walked away from it all the night she died. He wont take care of his house, acts like a pack rat, there is 2 years of dust in his room cause he is so lazy and procrastinates about dusting. Its driving me crazy. He wont even clean out the fridge from 2 years ago, he collects food and wont toss it etc. I have no social life due to this. His house has mold in it and will not be taken care of, I am attending college and it is putting a strain on me. I dont know what to do. he does not qualify for assisted living cause he has a job and social security plus he has moms life insurance. he still treats me like a child and when i try to speak my mind he gets pissed at me. I sacraficed my last relationship to take care of my dying mom cause he would not and now he does not want me to get a job etc, he even thinks my college education is a waste.
I dont know what to do help!!!
(0)
Report

I am going thru the exact same thing. My father is 68. my mom died almost 2.5 yrs ago and he walked away from it all the night she died. He wont take care of his house, acts like a pack rat, there is 2 years of dust in his room cause he is so lazy and procrastinates about dusting. Its driving me crazy. He wont even clean out the fridge from 2 years ago, he collects food and wont toss it etc. I have no social life due to this. His house has mold in it and will not be taken care of, I am attending college and it is putting a strain on me. I dont know what to do. he does not qualify for assisted living cause he has a job and social security plus he has moms life insurance. he still treats me like a child and when i try to speak my mind he gets pissed at me. I sacraficed my last relationship to take care of my dying mom cause he would not and now he does not want me to get a job etc, he even thinks my college education is a waste.
I dont know what to do help!!!
(1)
Report

Would your father even qualify for a nursing home? Does he need skilled nursing care? Maybe some other living arrangement would be more suitable, such as an apartment in a senior building or assisted living. The one thing that is clear is that the current living arrangement is not working out.

Gather information about the options. Pick up brochures. Inquire about the costs. Before you present these to Dad, ask yourself and your husband if there is anything that would make having Dad live with you acceptable?

If you would be willing to have Dad there if certain things changed, then present that as one of the options. "You could live in an apartment like this one, or you could go to an assisted living place like this one or this one, or you could help around the house and continue to stay with us. Here is the list of what we expect if you are going to stay with us." Go over your list of chores, and the features of each of the other options.

Of course, if you feel the situation is irredeemable, then just present the information you have gathered about the other options. Tell him that he must be out of the house by xx date, and that you will help him with the selection process if he wants help, and you will see to it that he gets moved out.

You need to establish and enforce boundaries and rules for living with you or to see that he lives elsewhere. Otherwise you all may go on resenting him for another 10 to 15 years. Better get this on the right track now, before there are in-laws and grandchildren to come visiting.

Skip the guilt trips, please.

Your mother died and he is lonely. That is Not Your Fault. You miss her too.

He has no where to go. That is Not Your Fault, and it is also not true. You will help him find somewhere.

He has never had to help around the house. That is Not Your Fault. You won't ask anything he is incapable of learning and doing.

He wishes things were like they were back when Mom was living. So do you. But it isn't. Suck it up, Dad, and go get the mail.

In his day real men did not work in the kitchen. Those days are over, Dad. Please empty the wish washer.

He is retired and should be able to just enjoy his leisure. You are retired from your career, Dad, but you are not retired from participating in the running of this household. If you think you would be able to do less elsewhere, you are welcome to go there.

Ahemby, he knows where all your guilt buttons are because he probably helped put them there. Don't let him push them. You are not responsible for his current unacceptable behavior and you don't have to live with for the next decade of more.

Your home. Your rules. Shape up or ship out, Dad. (You'll be more tactful than that, I know, but that is the basic message here.)
(6)
Report

Ahemby...I hear you! My father is about the same age. My mother died almost two years ago, he now lives alone and must do his own laundry, cooking etc. I don't hear him complain about it now, but before my mother died and he had to take-on more of the household and "womanly" duties, he complained and depending on the chore, with anger. At that time I did sense that he felt entitled to not have to do those things (HE was the King of his castle!)...eventhough she had done these chores for years for him and them, without complainng, and would have taken on his chores without complaint, if the shoe were on the other foot. (Yes, I hold some resentment towards him for that!) With my parents, and the era in which they grew up, I think well defined roles were established in marriage and in our culture. Especially growing up in the US midwest, south and/or in a rural area. These roles and thoughts are embedded in their make-up. These routine thoughts will not change overnight and may/probably never change as long as he's around because, that's all he knows or feels accustomed to. Not only is considering doing "womanly" things around the house a foreign idea to him (he may not know how to do some things), but I think it's an ego thing (wouldn't be manly to clean!) and a control thing. He's in control of himself and, whether consciously or subconsciously, he's still in control of his environment. Begging to not be put in a nursing home..."I have nowhere to go"...sounds like he's manipulating you and the situation. And, IMO shows a lack of consideration for others.

So, do you feel as though you are enabling him to continue this behavior? If so, then tough love may be in order, if you think you are strong enough to speak-up, lay down the law and stick with it. If not, then your options are to adapt to him and his behavior (which sounds like your family has reached its limit) or move him out. If you're ready for tough love...then you can say to him, what he probably said to you or a sibling when growing up...while living in this house, you will follow the rules of this house set by you and your husband.

Considering that he may not know how to do some of the chores around the house, I would give him easy ones and be very specific in how you want them done. Getting the mail and emptying/loading the dishwasher are pretty simple tasks and not necessarily sissy jobs. It will give him some excercise too! Ha! If this doesn't work, I would have your husband talk to him...man-to-man may carry more weight with him. Consider how you could make him have to deal with the consequences of not helping out. Doesn't bring you his laundry...don't do it. Doesn't pick-up after himself in his bedroom, don't you do it. Make him live with the results of his decisions.

You are his daughter, not his maid, wife or mother. You're trying to raise a family in your home...not serve a guest at a hotel. Perhaps he needs to be reminded of that.
(1)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.