Its been over a year I see......

Dad is still with us - some things have changed some haven't.

Haven't spoken to my brother for a few years now and don't intend to. Wife hasn't spoken to Dad for about the same length of time.

I did have a discussion with him and pointed out that it was up to her and, considering what both my brother and him had done, I could see her point. He moaned but hard luck.

Hes not seen my kids for at least 3 years now. Not interested.

I visit once a week, do his shopping as usual. He never changes. Its all a scam to get me to visit - he deliberately runs out of food so I have to visit.

Hes got worse with a few things. Won't spent a penny - hes just so tight fisted. Got thousands in the bank but wont spend any to help himself.

Health wise hes pretty good. But not in his head - hes been warned off by his GP and the ambulance service AGAIN for misuse. Doesnt care.

I saw him Tuesday - he'd bumped his knee and it was a bit sore. Not that bad he was still mobile. Yesterday, and I could see it coming, hospital visit, everyone gather around.

I ignore it now. He doesn't like it but its happened so many times I'm not interested to be honest.

I hope I never get like him ever to be honest. Hes constantly miserable and anxious but refuses to talk to his GP.

I constantly feel like I'm in the middle and Dad is pulling me towards him - he needs to be number 1 priority. Not happening but its difficult.

Wife works shifts still and shes away this weekend. He wants me to speak to her to cancel work and her time away so I can go visit him!
After the way hes treated her Im not even going there!

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Yep he sucks people in then when they push back he moves on to the next one. He doesn't get away with so much these days with me, so he's onto cousin but I think he's now sucked that one dry. He's running out of people now.

What I've always found strange with Dad is hes always had this "but family have got to help you" attitude. Then when brother that one time was asked to take custody of HIS OWN kids temporarily Dad was advising him to put them into care because "he hasn't got time because of work". Yet I tell him NO I can't bail from work at 30 mins notice and I get "but surely they understand?"

Margaret - Thanks. lol. I know, I know, I know I still find it hard to do!

Update - I thought enough is enough now. Told his cousin a few home truths about how Dad had been - I think he was quite surprised. Hes already been saying hes had enough but think this might push him over the edge. Good....

After all, its 2 unnecessary A&E visits (5 hours+ each time which alas is normal in the UK) in the past 3 weeks.

I also found out a few things that Dad had kept from me. Cousins daughter is a carer and has offered MANY times to be his carer (paid mind) and hes said no. I also found out that last time he was in hospital they offered him care and he refused (his excuse "I got confused").

More like he didn't want to spend any money - 1st I'd heard about these two things. Not happy at all!

JoAnn - He'd LOVE a care home BUT in his head "you put your parents away to die in a care home". Its an old fashioned totally wrong attitude he has. Alas, the area hes from is very "traditional" and its considered shameful to do this. Crazy eh?

I've sat him down MANY times. Hes ok for perhaps a week then back to normal.

Where in wales did you go? Im in newport which is 12 miles from the capital, Cardiff.

JoAnn, great chat. Will be water off the ducks's back but I think important for Paul to say. Speak it out loud to Dad.

Barb, brill letter. Cousin may be another *duck* but YES write it down & post it.

This is how it often goes.. burn out the kids, then next closest rellies (in this case a cousin) but often nieces/nephews. Why? Cos *family must help family* is ingrained. It's a GOOD concept... Helped all our family members to survive hideous wars & unspeakable evils of history.

But to me, Paul's Dad has twisted the *family helps family* into a food he must be fed on to survive. Must have this constant attention.

Outsiders may view his stubbornness, his refusal to take doctor's advice, refusal to call a taxi as his 'independant nature'. I see it as *attention seeking*.

Boundary setting is all you can do. Strong walls of steel.

Just like the outrageously self-centered, demanding lady I met today (yet quite demented poor gal). Her family had a private pay carer for individual support, as additional to usual staff in her care home. (No family member could put up with her demands).

Dad. You need a bunch more help to stay at home now. Time to employ an aide or two. They can drive you to appointments & help you with shopping.

On repeat.

Dear Paul, you must know that I’m actually quite fond of you, but for pity’s sake: why are you such a slow learner? You know exactly what your father and your brother are like. You are supposed to be the one with some brains.

Why tell us? Write it all out (in summary, perhaps) and send a copy to everyone in the family plus everyone in the medical system. Block his phone number. If you get a call from someone else, get an address and send them a copy of the summary.

Your father has used up every smidgin of care you have ever owed him. Quit the guilt. Don’t swallow down your anger, and don’t bother your wife and children with it. Just get out of his life. He has access to all the care he actually needs.

If you are thinking of an inheritance, surely you can see that he’s going to leave it all to brother because ‘he works so hard’? Yours, Margaret

Pall, I don't read your cousin's message as seeking YOU to provide care. My own cousin told me as much about MY mom when cousin got drawn into one of mom's "emergencies".

If your dad hears the same message from EVERYONE, might he relent about having carers?

Paul, how did you reply to dad’s cousin?

Did you tell him you’re not a carer either, nor you have time to sit with dad 24/7?

""Hi in A& E again with your father.His wrist is swollen red and sore.It could be an infection fracture etc.Paul your father us not well and needs regular care and attention now. I don't think he should be left for periods on his own. I did emphasize this to the Dr. I would appreciate you or your brothers help as I am not a Carer. There is a 5 hour wait here I'll keep you in touch"

Dear Paul;

This is what you write to your cousin:

"Dear Cousin; dad needs far more care than us working blokes can give; you are correct, he should NOT be left alone. The thing is, he refuses caregivers, won't consider a care home and does not listen to his doctor's advice.

I have set firm boundaries with dad because if I came running every time he called, I'd be unemployed. And divorced. I have to support myself and my family.

Sadly, like many others I am in touch with over this issue, I need to wait until dad is hospitalized and OTHERS with authority realize that he is no longer fit to live alone.

I strongly feel that dad should have a mental health assessment; he doesn't seem to have any insight into how much care he needs or how much his needs impact the lives of others."

The only solution is to tell dad you are done and be done. I think your cousin after a 5 hour wait at the doctor is done. I don't blame him.

I just went and reread your first post from 2018! Boy that time went. Dad is now 88? Tell him if he wants someone to be at his beck and call, he needs to go to a Care Home. Not that they will wait on him hand and foot but he may end up enjoying getting 3 meals a day, a cleaning service and his laundry done.

This may have been asked before, do your have Adult Protection Services. If so, ask for them to evaluate Dad. Get him on their radar. Really, with people like your Dad you may just have to wait until something serious happens and then place him in a Care Home.

You need to tell his cousin that neither you or your brother can be depended on. That Dads problem is that he expects you to come at his beck and call, and that is not going to happen. He has cried wolf too often. That if you were there for everything Dad wanted you for, you would have no job or family. Employers are only so understanding.

To me, it seems parents that are retired for a while forget what it was like to work and have a family. They forget that an employer expects you to show up for work everyday and do your job. If a family matter arises they may give you time off get something set up so you can get back to work.

Seems you have set your boundries. Dad will just keep pushing. Did you have that sit down across from him and look him in the eye talk? You have to look them in the eye to make sure you have his attn. If you didn't, try it and say directly and firmly "Dad, I cannot be your go to person. I live 40 min away. I work 40hrs a week. When I am not working, I spend time with my wife and kids and have a home. I have a full life. You are perfectly able to take care of yourself and take advantage of the resources that are available. If you feel you need help, hire it, you have the money. Or, go to an AL where there are people to help you. But Dad, you cannot keep depending on me. To be honest, you continue to cry wolf so I have no idea if its an emergency or not. Its usually not and thats how I will continue to look at it until someone, like a Doctor, tells me differently.

He is a selffish, self-centered man. Please, stick to ur boundries because the one time you don't he will take advantage and this will start all over again.

My DH has relatives in Wales. We were there in 86 and loved it. Just had cousins visit Aunt in Fla so we were not able to see them.

"Hi in A& E again with your father.His wrist is swollen red and sore.It could be an infection fracture etc.Paul your father us not well and needs regular care and attention now.I don't think he should be left for periods on his own.I did emphasize this to the Dr.I would appreciate you or your brothers help as I am not a Carer. There is a 5 hour wait here I'll keep you in touch"

This is what I put up with. This is from his cousin......

At no point has anyone mentioned the below that Dad doesnt listen to the GP,
or the fact that the GP refuses to home visit him because he doesn't listen,
or hes on the ambulance blacklist because he kept calling them,
or that he recently turned down Social Services help because he might have to pay.

Yeh family expect me to drop everything for him.

I'm not familiar with medical mandates in Wales, the UK, or other areas outside of the US, so I'm wondering if seeing a GP first is mandated by the health care providers?  If not, have you considered researching and selecting just specialists?  That's what I did, here in Michigan, after experiencing how useless most GPs are.  

Out of 4 GPs with whom I had appointments for myself, only one was worthwhile, and actually she was top notch.   Same with my father:  most of them wanted to be kept informed, prescribed ridiculous, expensive additives as alternative to natural solutions, never made any referrals, wasted time, and were to us exactly that:  a waste of time.

I still don't understand how his brain works with the GP thing. Is it dementia?

Surely, if a GP recommends a course of treatment you pretty much have to do it. But he seems to think its optional and he can keep moaning about it.

Personally, I think his pain isn't that bad. Its 90% in his head with worry and anxiety more than anything real.

I've tried to get him to speak to his GP about that (i.e. he worries a LOT). Having been a sufferer myself in the past I know how things can play on your mind.

All I get is "What are you trying to say, I'm like one of those nutters they put in a padded cell"?

As you can see, Dads approach to mental health isn't exactly a considered opinion. (I've never ever said anything about issues I've had in the past - he'd make it worse)

sp - he would refuse to take a cab. If no-one would take him he'd refuse to go.
He's said in the past "cabs/taxis are not for people like us". Eh?

I've told the story before but I was working in Gloucester for a few years. It was a fair trek to work pretty much an hour on the train plus a bit of walking. (It was an international commute - Gloucester is in England, I live in Wales lol).

So the hospital call one day out of the blue. Bear in mind dad lives further into wales - it would be 45-50 mins drive once I got off the train. So over 2 hours travel for me.

Can you collect Dad he's here (I didn't know he was but it was another made up illness day)? Umm not really because I can't let people down here and its miles away. So I spoke to him - get a cab I'll pay it'll be £10 or so.

Nope. Point blank refused. Sat in hospital for 4-5 hours waiting for the free transport then it was my fault his back was sore the next day.

Best thing brother was working 20 mins away and had his car. "but hes working, he can't leave the factory". Brother manual job/ me easy office job hmmmmm.

No I didn't drive him. Its 40 mins drive for me to his house. And its literally 200 yds to the GP for him.

I've no doubt he probably rung his cousin to take him. This the cousin who's 2-3 years younger than him and has hinted a few times that he'll help when he can but not all the time (Dad doesn't care).

OK in an emergency my employer/client wouldn't have an issue. I just know this is one of MANY emergencies so I'm not wasting it and taking advantage of their good will to be honest.

Beatty - Oh yes that's what he wants.

Did you drive him to GP or make him take a cab?

Did you forget? Dad is KING. You must spend ALL your time on him. With him, serving him or at the very least thinking of him. You also must stop any activity not about him & immediately refocus on him. That's why sometimes he must remind you, tsk tsk. Now holidays or weekend's away? Just WHAT are you thinking!! That's not about DAD. Stop that RIGHT now.

Dads off again. Went away this weekend and he made it clear he wasn't happy.

Unsurprisingly, hes "apparently" got pain in his arm today. New one. He was fishing for a lift to the GP (200 yards, £5 taxi, or I drive 40 mins and bail on work today). Apparently, hes stopped taking his painkillers again - can't imagine what the GP will say.

I just don't understand the thinking.

1. GP gives you painkillers. Your stupid friend tells you you'll get addicted so you stop and don't bother speaking to GP.
2. GP tells you to start again. They cause bowel problems so you stop taking them again and don't speak to GP/.
3. GP gives you laxatives to counteract. Don't want to take those so you stop taking the pain killers again and DON'T SPEAK TO GP.
4. Phone son ALL THE TIME telling him how is the worse pain in the world and you can't manage.

Jeez- 100 times now I AM NOT A DOCTOR, I do not have a solution. If I could help I would, I can't even speak to the GP on your behalf.
How hard is it to understand that if you don't even listen to what the GP advises in the first place then they're not going to be able to help you?

I can't fob off my kids, wife, employer any more with his made-up-itis. I'd be divorced, jobless, and have no contact with my kids if I did everything he wanted.

I'm 99.9% sure there's nothing wrong with him today. Its payback for me daring to go away. I almost feel sorry for the GP.

Back of my mind I always think I'm being mean to an old man here. I just cannot see how I can help him any more?

Barb - No spend your money! lol

In a way the NHS here in the UK is worse for people like Dad. They abuse it. The NHS can't cope at the moment. My argument is its all well and good having free healthcare but its substandard healthcare.

There was talk on the news today about charging a small amount for a GP visit. It'll never happen IMHO.

My Dad will call doctors out, call ambulances, call whoever, because its FREE. Of course, it might be free for him but the reality is an ambulance, I understand, is £100s per callout. Sometimes I wish for Dad it was like this.

Care at home is not free here in the UK IF you've got money in the bank - like Dad. A double whammy of why you shouldn't hoard it.

Dad went from "woe is me I need a carer" last week to a stunned look on his face and "No forget it I'll manage" when I pointed out that he'd probably have to pay.

His worse one ever was when he got government money to convert his bathroom into being disabled friendly. I saw the final bill - it cost something like £9000. Dad, again because of his savings, got told up front he had to pay £500 towards it.
I remember him saying "£500 for this they're robbing me Im not paying that". He held out for about 2 months saying hes not paying and he'd manage. Basically this meant not showering at all! It was not pleasant.

Barb - I'm sure you'll agree this is taking saving money a bit far!

I didn't grow up poor, but not as secure as my children were, nor as secure as my ex's family.

I found it VERY hard to start spending my "hoard" as I think of it--retirement savings, pension, social security. In reality, I will not run out of money in my lifetime. But the specter of not being able to pay the mortgage, buy enough food, being reliant on charity and/or others to get by leaves one's "financial psyche" in a twist sometimes.

My parents were very much of your dad's ilk; they both grew up poor and getting them to part with a dime to improve their home, hire help, whatever was like fighting WWIII. In the end, we lied and told mom that Medicare was paying for everything, which it wasn't.

My physical therapist recently told me about a private client she has--Medicare is NOT paying for in-home therapy; her children, who have financial POA are using her funds to pay for this supplemental PT to keep her mobile and prevent falls. But it's a big dark secret and we've all been sworn not to mention it to her, or she'll dismiss the therapist.

So, your dad isn't the only elder who is like this, be assured of that. It may not help, but like with the terrible twos and teenage angst, at least you know you've got company.

Stay well!

Barb - pretty much yes he gets an extra payment for this.

With Dad its always "We were poor when I was young so I don't like wasting money". In reality hes not sure how much hes got he just knows its a LOT. It gives him a warm glow I think knowing its there.... Pointless really.

Ah, so he's getting payments aside from pension, which are supposed to be used to pay for carers, yes? (You have a very different system).

Nope, you can't fix this.

Someone here used to ask her parents what they were saving their funds for (and expecting her to do all their errands).

They said "a rainy day". To which she replied "well, it's pouring outside!"

They were in their 90s. Said they would look at Assisted Living "when they got old."

Some people find it very hard to break the habit of pinching and saving every penny when they are supposed to be in the "decumulation" phase.

Just keep saying no except for your once a week visit.

Barb - yes hes 87.

He gets a lot. Yes he does get some sort of disability payment. Not sure what its called now.

He has TONS of income. This is why his savings are going up and up because he saves it.

Barb - No not spoken to my mom. Yeh I know I should....

I do feel a bit sorry for her mind - having to be married to Dad for all those years....

Paul, is your dad getting the Attendence Allowance? He is of pension age, yes?

Well, bit of a waste of time..... Not the right person - got to speak to different team in social services.

They did tell Dad that probably he'd have to pay for carers. Thats the end of that one then.

He could be on his deathbed but wont want to spend any money.

Paul, being available by phone sounds like SUCH a good plan! Bravo for sorting that out, rather than be entangled in dad's and "helpful" family member's manipulations and insistence on your "attendance".

Another question from the past...have you been in contact with your mom at all?

Beatty - yes that is my plan today.

Not only do I not get paid if I don't work but it would be difficult to drop on my client at the last minute. Not that they'd have an issue with a genuine emergency but I think I'd better save those!

Find out who is coming to 'assess'. Call them. Leave your name & number. Advice you are available to chat if they want family info.

Having a family contact to verify a situation can be of use.

I've been on both sides. Been present to explain what I was prepared to do. Rather than a box called *substantial family support* being ticked in error. Wait.. you work? Don't live here? I see..

I've also had 'assumptions' made that I was willing & able to do all sorts of things.. without being actually asked. This is easily cleared up with a phone call later. (Must happen a lot).

I used to take time off for such things. To ensure acuracy. Not now. I just don't do what I said I won't.

Up to you to take off half a day & travel for it or not. Usefully? Or a waste of time - I don't know!! Not sure what stage of "I said No" you are up to.

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