Don't know how to interpret being "reprimanded" by elderly father.

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I am the sole caregiver to my 87 year old father who is in early stage of demetina. You know how it is, some days are better than others. He was always very controlling and we all had to walk on eggshells around him. He could fly off into a rage for seemingly nothing at times. It was very confusing to my siblings and I growing up.

I am single, never married and took care of my mother for several years until she passed ten years ago. I have a significant other. We have been together quite a few years. He lives about 20 miles away. My father constantly says he doesn't like or want to be alone (for a day or even part of a day), but I need time for myself so I visit my friend for one day over the weekend. My father seems to do ok while I'm gone. I have several siblings two of which live out of town but they don't visit very often.

Today was a snowy cold day in Pennsylvania and I spent the day cleaning and making three meals for my dad. I am semi retired. I work several days a week to get out of the house. He talked constantly all day about his ailments. He does this every day I am home during the day. I answer the same questions over and over. I have to pretend I don't mind or he has a tantrum. He says I am "mad" that he is "bothering" me. I try to have patience anfd believe I have a great deal of it.

After caring for him and listening to him all day, I just walked away because I wanted to rest and he "reprimanded" me. He said he didn't need my help and not to think I had to do everything I do for him, yet on the other hand he said he can't do much for himself and I needed to sacrifice my life for him. These were his exact words. He said some day I would be in his shoes. I'm not a saint but my tolerance level is huge. I try not to show impatience with him and I think I do a good job. He went on and on about how he is old and weak and needs help, yet said I should go out and do whatever I want and not to think about him. He said I wanted him to take a particular medication that will harm him. I told him I said no such thing. I could go on and on. I felt I was being told off, for lack of a better term for taking good care of him. I do things for him lovingly and don't believe I ever show disdain for what I am doing. I showed him alot of attention today which is what he loves yet got yelled at for it. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks

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This really rang a bell with me. My mother goes back and forth between talking about how much I am needed to I'm not needed at all. If I say I won't do something for her and my father, she gets mad about me not living up to my duty to them. Then when I'm doing work she says I don't need to do so much. I'm sure it's some kind of control issue. I just do the things that need to be done, and refuse to do what I said I wouldn't. I try to stay consistent.

The part about your father talking about how you'll be like him in the future also hit home. My mother does that a lot. One of her favorites is telling me that I'm probably diabetic because it runs in the family. I tell her I'm not. She says I should get tested. I tell her my sugar is fine. Then she says I'll probably be diabetic soon. Sigh. It's almost like she's hoping I'll be diabetic.

Sometimes we get into the darned if we do, darned if we don't situations. The only thing I figure is that they are discontent with their lives as they are and feeling some resentment that we are not as old as they are. It hurts their pride that they are not the independent caregivers and bosses. After all, they are the parents. So they lash out. I guess it is a bit like biting the hand that feeds you because they resent feeling dependent. Just a guess. I don't know if there is a way to fix it. I guess the best way is to let them be as useful as they can be, so they will feel like a contributing part of the household. I also try to let my parents have the lead in what gets done, since having control is very important to my mother. I think the feeling of being in control is important to many seniors.

It still stings when they make comments, though.
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