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Posted December 2016
Dealing with my father's anger and expectations.
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Call Dad once in a while. Have a pleasant topic in mind and keep the call short. It may not do much for your dad, but it may help your sister feel supported.
Your sister only has him for a month. Most of us can survive 30 days with a depressed person with unrealistic expectations. She'll get through this! It would probably help if all of you set some boundaries, for your own sakes. "Dad, I"m happy to hear about your concerns and issues, even thought there isn't much I can do about them. But I need to limit this to 1/2 hour per day. It is too distressing to me to do more than that." ... "Dad, we talked about this already today. I don't think anything has changed since this morning, so let's talk about something else now."
I feel sorry for your dad. I really do. Cut him some slack. But don't be afraid to protect yourselves as well!
It was good of you to locate a psychotherapist for him, but I can understand that the stress of a one-hour trip each way might make it impractical. What about his medications? Who is monitoring those? I wonder if some adjustment might be needed there.
BTW, why is he spending a month with your sister? Would shorter visits more often be a better way to handle that?
Actually, my Dad is visiting with my sister out of state in Montana for the month. He is 83, physically healthy, memory is intact. Challenge is that he has become more anxious and aggitated in the past year. My step mom passed away 18 months ago. He was a school teacher till age 70, volunteered , was in China just a year ago for 2 weeks. Was very independent in the past but is becoming more frail. He puts a lot of pressure on my sister to listen, deal with his unhappiness. He lives in Boston and I found a psychotherapist for him to see, but he had to take 1 hr transport to see her, so decided it was too much. He is on medication(has been for 50 years for anxiety and depression). He has burned many bridges with family and friends. If you disagree with him he feels offended and threatened and will insult or cut you off. So my sister wants all 5 siblingss + grand children to call him while he is visiting her in in Montana for the month, to help reduce the stress. Problem is, it's awkward on the phone, he can't hear well, and becomes impatient. I told my sister she can't be responsible for his happiness, but she struggles because he gulits her typical(co-dependency) is unfortunately an issue. What to do?
Could you say a little more about the situation, maureenm? Are you living with your father? Your profile says he has depression. Is he being treated for this? Is he following the treatment plan? Does he have other impairments that require the help of a caregiver?
Is this anger something new? What kinds of expectations does he have that are a problem for you.
I suspect that there are a lot of people who can relate to this, but we'll need a little more detail.
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A unique situation. An elder's adult child has changed her quality of life. What can we do?
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