Hi, I am new to these boards. I came here to try to help myself. My parents are 82 and in the last year or so have really been showing thier age. Mostly little things like forgetfulness. They can't hear, their eye sight is going. In the last few months they have been making decisions that make no sence ( to me) My mother has a pace maker. she is on tons of meds ( cummidon) SP? The doctor recently changed one of her meds and it didn't agree with her and it sent her blood pressure way up, she did n't feel like eating and it made her dizzy. She got scared and had my dad take her to the hospital. They live 150+ miles from the town with the better hospital ( where I live) They came to town to the ER, they ran her through some tests and released her. My husband and I only live about 20 minutes from the Hospital. Because it was about midnight when mom was released, my parents decided to drive home in the has macular and dad has cataracs, niether one can see at night. Mom came to town again a few days later with the same symptoms and they told me what they had done...the only excuse my mom could come up with...I couldn't do that to you, meaning call me late at night., My husband and I are also EMT's with our local fire Dept. We get up in the night for total strangers! Then mom and dad were at my house visiting while my daughter was in town. They are showing signs of not taking very good care of themselves. They stink, thier breath will knock you over. My dad has dentures and thinks that putting his teeth in a glass of water, is good enough. My mom is a control freak. Always has been, but lately, she is impossible. When she was in the ER she ask to see the doctor that put in her pace maker. We made the arrangements and she went, but then because he was making her do things like have testing done, she cancelled the next appointment and I ask her if if could be rescheduled and she said very clearly, no..I can't reschedule. When they are at my house they demand breakfast...not just cereal, they want full out bacon, eggs, toast the works. My dad is also a diabetic, so keeping his schedule is VERY important to them I try very hard to meet thier schedule, but I just can never do it quite right. I don't normally make coffee in the morning, I forgot to make some this last time they were down and I heard about how a person could die of thirst. I know my moms hearing isn't the best, but I would be standing there talking to her and she would interupt and tell me "huh?" She was not tracking or listening to what I was saying, it was as if it wasn't important to her. My dad has scheduled his catarac surgery for the middle of when my parents were leaving I ask my mom...We will see you in November...she told me " I don't know" what does that mean? After they left I felt like I had failed to meet thier expectations. Like nothing I did to try and make them comfortable while they were visiting was any good. Another problem for them is, my husband and I own a small construction business. We have been busy this summer, so I haven't talked to them much, but my mom calls once a week. They don't like the fact that we are busy, we can't spend as much time with them, they don't like the fact that we have a camper and motorcycles and like to go on the weekends. They hate our involvment in the fire dept. ( too dangerous) They want us to come to thier house EVERY weekend. Nothing we do is right in thier eyes, so they are bossy and demanding when they come around. When my mom calls to "chat" She is so sickingly sweet..everything has to be sunshine and flowers and nothing is ever wrong. My life is pretty stressful and mom doesn't want to hear anything about it. But, I am supposed to listen to her. I have figured out that she likes to dump her problems on me. I don't know how to tell her this is not acceptable. I also know she acts different around me, then different around other family members or neighbors. We have a son who is a handfull and mom and dad seem to think they need to be mad at him, on my behalf. So they get in the middle of situations that are non of thier business. I know I am no different that others who have posted here. But I could use some advice or suggestions of where to find some help, this is all pretty new to me and we are just starting into it and from my view it is already bad. Thanks for listening.

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Your attitude or your parents'? Both, I suspect!

Some more-or-less random comments on your post:
1. Your parents have changed. That is hard to accept, but it is true, and you have no power to turn back the clock.
2. Driving at night was poor judgment. Not calling you late at night was poor judgment. Demonstrating poor judgment is one of the ways your parents have changed. You'll need to keep an eye on this!
3. Your parents don't like everything you do. That is pretty common. Sometimes it is a serious source of conflict (they don't like your choice of boyfriends and later of spouse; they don't like your religious views; they hate your political activities, etc.). Someetimes it hardly matters. It is important to remember that you are an adult and are entitled to do things your parents don't like. Reminding them of that, gently, may make your feel good but probably won't help. If they go on about the subject, it is OK to say, "I really don't want to talk about that again," and change the subject.
4. It is really common for parents to act differently around one child or to have different expectations of her. I think that is small consolation, but at least you are not alone.
5. You need to guard against your parents butting into your life too much, while at the same time being willing to butt into theirs when needed for their safety and welfare. This is because they need to recognize you as an adult, and you need to recognize that some of their adult skills and behaviors are regressing. Most of us have a difficult time with this role reversal!
6. Are there practical ways you could help them? Do they need/would they use hearing aids? Could you assist in making that happen? The cataract surgery will do absolute wonders for your Dad. Will he need a ride to and from that? Should he stay with you a few days while he needs frequent drops in his eyes?
7. Many clinics and insurance companies have nurse help lines to perform on-the-phone triage. Find out if there is something like that for your parents. Then try to convince them that if they panic in the middle of the night to call and talk about it with the nurse. He or she may tell them to just stop taking the med and to call the doctor in the morning. Or if they get told to go to an ER they should call you first. If no nurse line is available, try to convince them to call you, trained EMTs!
8. Keep a sense of humor. Maybe Dad didn't mean to be funny with his dying of thirst comment, but you can react to it as if it was supposed to be a joke.
9. Your parents are getting old and crotchety. Try not to take that too personally.

Good luck!

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