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50 years old and it seems my elderly dad seems to think hes got the right to know every single detail of my life. Everything it seems he expects me to get his approval for it seems. No matter how many times he just won't leave it alone.


I work in IT. Dads cousin asked me if I could help out his grandson who was looking for a job. I said yes I would speak to a few people I knew. I saw Dad the weekend and he mentioned his cousin had told him he'd spoken to me.


So of course Dads got to get involved here. He mentioned the job I'd told him about that was on offer in my office (wish I hadn't told him!). I said no they want someone with 10-15 years experience so it's no good for him.


Yesterday got call from Dad's cousin saying he'd got message from Dad that I couldn't help because his grandson had no experience. What?


Made me look like a right idiot. Spoke to Dad and said why on earth did you feel the need to "pass on a message" when I didn't ask you to do this? His answer "I was just helping"


So I said look it's sorted, I can help. His answer "OK I'll pass the message on". Aaaargggghhhhhh NO!!!!!!!!!!

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I guess I'd be glad if he stopped speaking to me - but otherwise I'd ignore what I had to and explain to anyone else that Dad involves himself where it's not his business. So please come to me if you have business with me.
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Paul I can't think you've been paying close enough attention to developments in primary care.

Google your Dad's surgery. If they're not online a) I will be very surprised and b) see if you can persuade him to switch to one of the several practices in his town which are.

The staff are probably too busy looking at kitten memes and porn to answer the phone.
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CM - Didnt know GPs got a fee now. Thats good.

Email? This is the south wales valleys mun. Last time, after I phoned them about 10 times and they didn't phone me back, I had to send a letter snail mail before they even took any notice!
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Do it by email. Here's a template, if you haven't already got one -

Subject line FAO [your Dad's named GP, he will have one] regarding [Dad's name]

Dear Dr Jones

I have recently become concerned that my father is not managing his medications well. As you know, he takes paracetamol as directed but also cocodamol as prescribed to manage his knee pain.

I mentioned his memory difficulties to you back in [rough date] and at the time you felt that they were not of concern, but I hope you will agree that this point might be worth revisiting at his next appointment.

Please feel free to give me a ring if I can provide any information about this or other aspects of my father's care or living arrangements. With many thanks for your attention and kind regards,

PF.
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H'm. Was "last time" before or after the NHS started paying general practices a fee for early referrals to memory clinics?

Your Dad's GP may still not agree that he needs to be referred (it's not a very big fee!), but it is standard practice for GP's to do mini mental state exams as part of a routine appointment.

I'm not sure much will come of that, mind.
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Barb, to a certain extent hes always been like that.....

Yes I do need him to be seen. Not that easy in the UK. Got to get the GP on board first.

I've had conversations in the past with them. In the first instance, it took me weeks of calling before someone even called me back. They just do not seem interested.

Last time they just said no hes fine, there is no need. I think they just put it all down to him being a complete PITA which I guess a lot of old people are....

Im planning to try again...
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Dear man, do you get that your father has an anxiety disorder and a problem with rumination?

Have you looked into getting him seen by a geriatric psychiatrist?

Have you considered that he may have had a stroke that has caused cognitive impairment, which can lead to these sorts of issues?
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Had a bit of a falling out with Dad (again!). Some of his behaviour is just a bit much. Before I start bear in mind Im 50 years old myself!

Dad heard from my brother that I'm going out for the night near to where he lives (a friends surprise 50th party). I live 20+ miles away. So he asked me about it. I said yes but I'm probably driving because Im working on the Sunday.

Dad: "But you can't go out and drink if you're driving!".
Me: "Umm yes of course. I won't be drinking."
Dad: "You shouldnt do that".
Me: "What? Go out and not drink?"

Could tell he wasnt happy.
Next day he phones me...
Dad: "So are you going out and are you staying at my house?"
Me: "No Dad Im driving".
Dad: "Yes but you never know. What'll happen to your job if you get caught? You never know".
Me: "Dad. Im not drinking I told you. And no it wont accidentally happen".

It get worse - next day he phones again;
Dad: "I dont think you should go out. Why don't you tell them you can't go because you're working? Its irresponsible of you to go and maybe lose your job because of one night out".
Me: "Dad thats enough. I am old enough to decide what to do, and old enough to not drink and drive".
Dad: (here comes the emotional blackmail): "I'll be worried sick that night. I wont be able to sleep until I know you're home".
Me: (losing it at this point): "Dad seriously will you mind your own business please".

Hes not speaking to me now. This is not right, is it that he thinks he can control me like this? I dont know ifs a generational thing - i.e. if you can't drink you dont go out or what?

Happens all the time - its as if everything I do has to have his permission first. And its not as if any of his opinions are worth listening to - on the whole hes totally clueless to most things in life.
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Thanks Ginger and Country. Sometimes I get the feeling that Dad expects me to run things past him for approval before I'm "allowed" to do something. Its crazy sometimes.

Like I said before, he had a right go at me when I told him wife was pregnant with daughter - because "we were too old" and "babies cost money".

Nuts right. As if at the age of 45 (at the time) I couldnt decide for myself what I wanted to do.
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H'm. I'm surprised they didn't get in touch with you more energetically once he started calling 999 for a chat. Mind you, there was a lady in Birmingham who did that multiple times a day for months on end and even by the end of the programme I don't think they'd found a way to stop her. She was bedridden and wanted someone to adjust her pillows. Carers going in four times a day. Disabled husband. Didn't want to go into a home... 🙄

Does your father's GP have you registered as his next of kin and, crucially, as his primary carer?
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Paul, I can relate. What I have done is drastically reduce time, phone calls and contact. Nothing else worked. I am not mad. I just want peace in my life. I feel obligated to my parents, but efforts to make them happy were only temporary, and my well-being was taking the hit. I have told my parents many times in the past that it is my life and not their business, but that inflamed their anger and they would say "how can my child's life not be my business"? Ugh. They don't get it and they never will. They have always been like this. Parents are like the drowning swimmer who will flail around and kill the person trying to save them. It had to be up to me to either set the boundary or go crazy. I hope you find some balance in all of this.
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Ikdrymom - You're right. I'd go and see my Dad more BUT he makes it difficult sometimes. Hes rude, pushy, manipulative etc and causes me no end of stress when he doesnt have to.

I have exploded a few times when hes pushed it too far. He apologise but then 2-3 days later hes back to normal. It seems like everything else pails into insignificance compared to what he wants from me.
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Not spoken to his GP for about 6 months now. That was an ordeal in itself - getting them to actually make the effort to call me back. Then it seemed to me only then because I kept ringing them.

They basically said at the time - no in our opinion hes fine and there is nothing wrong. Thing is the first time I phoned them, he'd been going through a stage of calling 999, calling out of hours GP, etc all the time because he thought he was ill. Even then, when I said to GP - look he keeps doing this - they STILL didn't do anything.

What best way for me to contact GP to raise my concerns anyway? I phone and leave a message and nothing happens.

Social services have done many assessments and he has had a lot of work done at home. Stair lift, walk in shower etc. Hes had carers in the past but he ends up cancelling after a few weeks. Then hes off the radar for social.

What he really needs is for a professional to keep an eye on him but they dont. Its left to me and no-one listens at all.
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You are going to end up doing what I do. The more unpleasant he is, the less you see him, the less you call him. How often do you interact with him? Start backing off. When you are with him and he starts to get bossy, take your leave. Have you ever actually blown up at him and told him that he doesn't get a say in how you live? I know a lot of people on this forum frown on yelling at an elder but I find when you get to the point that you get MAD and allow yourself to go with that feeling you start to break free of the abuse. Often people act the way they do because the rest of the world has never called them out on it.
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Paul, when did you speak to your Dad's GP?

He's living alone, yes? Are you in touch with Adult Services in his local authority?

I know you posted before, some time back - but those memory issues are contagious, can you just remind me?
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Paul; We've got some posters here from the UK; I'm hoping that one of them will pop in with the "magic words" to say to his GP that will get you a referral for a cognitive assessment. It really does sound like your dad has lost some level of understanding.
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To answer a few questions here. Yes he has, to a certain extent, always been like this but hes got worse last few years. He lives alone about 30-40 mins drive from me.

Barb - no he hasn't had an assessment. I've tried speaking to his GP but they think hes ok. I'm in the UK and healthcare is not great. Unless its an urgent issue then things get ignored.

Ikdrymom - I know hes not going to change. Its just so sad. Like you its getting pointless to have a normal conversation with him unless its about him and what he wants.
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Paul's father doesn't live with him, but he is very demanding.

Paul, how have you been doing with backing off with regards to your father's many unreasonable requests?
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Does your dad live with you?

Has he always been like this?

What's changed? Why has this started to bother you?
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But got me thinking about how he just can't stay out of things and not get involved. In the past hes:-

1. Criticised me for having another child at aged 45 because we're too old and babies cost money.

2. Criticises me when I take time off work (I'm self employed so don't get paid). Get comments like "yes but you don't get paid" and "does your workplace mind you taking three weeks - I know I wouldn't be happy" (they're my client not my employer).

3. CONSTANTLY tells me to get a proper job where I get sick pay and holiday pay. (I've told him 20x I don't want to do and quite happy what I do and I do VERY well out of it as it is).

4. Criticises how I generally deal with work. Went away for weekend once and they called me and left a message asking me to call back whenever I had chance (they knew I was away) Every hour he nagged "better call them back or they won't be happy".

5. Criticises how much I spend on my kids for xmas. Hes said it to my wifes face on xmas day twice now!

6. Criticises that I spend £10000 ($13000) on a car. He has no idea because he doesnt drive but thinks I should spend about £1000. (So thats two days billing lost if I have an old car that can't get me to client).

Like I said, I'm 50 years old!
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Has your dad had a cognitive assessment?

If this rather concrete way of interpreting conversations is new and not " dad's always been this way", I'd mention it to his doctor at the next appointment.

Looking back, my mom's thought process changed when she was in her mid 80s. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but she stooped being able to reason in the way that adults do. Her thinking skills became very black and white and included no subtleties.
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Your father isn't going to change. So you have to. Now you know you really can't tell him anything. I am at the point where all my conversations with my father are superficial. For me it is mainly because he doesn't really care about my life except for how it affects him. Sad but that is how it is.
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