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I am the Caregiver for my 87 year old father. In addition to being a caregiver I work from home and Im a single mother of three children. We moved in with Dad about five months ago after he had a fall in the house. In the past months, My brothers were taking care of my father when he first got out of the hospital. Then they came up with the brilliant idea for me to move in and help take care of him I was against the idea from the beginning and expressed that to my siblings. Every day is filled with arguing. My father needs so much attention even though his physical condition has improved alot. He has a home health attendant while I work but that doesnt stop him from calling me upstairs to answer the phone, check his grand prize mail etc. I work from home full time 50 plus hours a week and Im required to have a quiet environment, Numerous times I have to tell him to be quiet because hes either yelling for me or has the TV at full blast. He sees me and the Home Health Attendant as his personal servants. My father cannot have a simple breakfast...he has to have a gourmet meal EVERY morning. He and the Home Health Attendant will go food shopping and he will always want something that is not in the house which means every time I go out, he wants something from the store or a favor done I find myself constantly rushing back home. I have no privacy nor time to just bond with my children. 24/7 is spent catering to my father and his whims. Not needs. He is not content to find something to do with himself..He spends his time arguing and being suspicious of everyone. Its exhausting. He doesn't have any friends nor does he socialize. feel like I have too much on my plate and every day is the same . If I go out on the weekend he gets back at me by snooping through basement which is basically where I sleep. If hes not doing that hes going through my daughter's rooms. Most days I'm in tears of frustration.

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I look forward to sending you house warming wishes, you are trying so hard to make your situation better. Be strong and good luck in bearing with it in the meantime.
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I found my Father's CNA' on Care. It costs $30 to join for 1 month. A cheap way to find a good CNA. We have 3 and they work 12 hour days and split up the 72 (week) work schedule however they want it. We pay them $10 hr. cash and they love it. They get there at 10 and leave at 10 after putting Dad to bed. I would start looking for another caregiver.
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Argh, I'm sorry. It's all so painful. So much of me wants to be rational, but like you I tend to be emotional. I made crockpot stew for dinner and he said it tasted like broth and meat, not like stew. (probably from being in the crockpot) I told him he hurt my feelings and he said, "if you can't handle what people say without getting your feelings hurt all of the time, you're not going to have anyone left talking to you." This on my wedding anniversary with my husband in bed with flu like symptoms... I mean, what are you supposed to say? I just shut up and took the dog for a walk. He watched Jeopardy and went to bed. Everyone says I'll adjust but I just don't know. I don't know if I should suggest he start looking at Senior Living.
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Im still very angry about yesterday's three hour drama. Ive been quiet today and have stayed completely away from my father. Once again he gets on the phone with my sister to discuss me and how he is glad she spoke to me about MY behavior. Im livid with her right now. My father sees her as superior to me in every way...looks wealth you name it. Although she doesnt live here she pays for the HHA and whatever extra things he needs done. For some reason he thinks Im also on her payroll and therefore I answer to her too. Yes Im an emotional person, high strung you name it. Ive said Im not well equipped to be in the situation and I never wanted to be in it in the first place. More and more I feel back in the same role I was in growing up and Ive noticed that Ive fallen back on food as comfort, just like when I was a kid. Just gives them something else to talk about... Although my father claimed this morning that he needs me here, he thinks hes doing me and my "poor" disadvantaged children a big favor. Im going to continue to look for an apartment because I know its a matter of time before the next blow up....
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You are not in this alone. You need to sit down with your sister and tell her that she is making it more difficult for you and that if she doesn't knock it off that you are walking out the door and leaving her to deal with your father.
Your job is hard enough as it is. You should be receiving support from your sister rather than criticism. My siblings don't help me but they don't talk shit to my mom about me. I wouldn't tolerate that and you shouldn't either. There is no call for that.

If your father doesn't respect you, your children are going to see you being treated like "a dog" and they will begin to mimic his behavior. I have seen this happen. Do not let your father take that away from you.
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If it wasnt for this list I wouldnt know what to do...no one in my life seems to understand...and each moment it gets worse. Tonight I had to listen to him talking about me like a dog..telling my sister that there are not arguments every day, that its my fault Im a single mother.... My sister gave him the ammunition he needed by saying that she told me not to go so hyper all the time. Who wouldnt be hyper with three children, a demanding job and dealing with an aging parent...Its like Im in this alone.
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Hi again. I didn't say in my earlier post that I didn't think you should move out. I want to be clear about that. When I was in a similar situation, I did. Believe me, I fully understand. I had to come to terms with the fact that I have a responsibility to my child, and frankly to myself, to provide a healthy, safe living environment. I don't think you are wrong to move out, nor do I judge you in any way. I simply want you to be at peace with your decision, so that down the road you are not overcome with sorrow and regret (as I am). That is all I was trying to say. I think you are heroic for the sacrifices you have made to live with your father, and I also think you should not be subjected to abusive, intolerable living conditions.
I wish you and your children the very best. If I could, I would give you a hug.
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If he can afford assisted living I would suggest that, or some other living arrangement for your father. My mother went thru that agitated/paranoid phase and it was hell on me and my husband, and I too spent many days and nights crying. Think about yourself and your family first and do not ever feel guilty, you sound like a great daughter! Blessings to you.
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You guys are truly amazing. ...I do have an update. Today began with a 3 hour SCREAMING match at 7am.. Well it began with my father and sister having a screaming match on the phone ...then the conversation turned to me because my sister told my father I was planning on moving out.I think it was to get the conversation off her ..anyway instead of taking responsibility for being argumentative he claimed I get all upset because I dont want him to say anything to my children. He says hes going to stop arguing etc. but the truth is he doesnt feel he did anything wrong. Im at the point where I dont want to be near him and I cannot hide my disdain.He also made it seem as if my sister is paying me to stay with him which is not true. He sees me as a worker , no different than the HHA.
Drama every single day.
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@4minis4me,

I know all about regrets; I didn't move in to my childhood home with my mom and instead ended up bringing her to reside in a facility near me, and will always wonder what would have gone better or worse if I had decided differently. (I did not think I could handle her care, and it would have been prety much all on me, whicle I work full-time plus and provide essentially the sole income for the family, which was mod to max assist for all mobility and ADL except feeding herself, and also very negative and critical personality.) See, I stil feel guilty about it too!!

But, this author has a dad who is more physically independent and could keep going strong for YEARS, not months. She's got to move out, she and her kids have no privacy, no control, and no life where they are. Maybe Dad can't help it given his personality characteristis plus his dementia, but still it just isn't tolerable for an indeterminate length of time. She does not have to drop out of his life altogether, but trying to work and live in the same house is going eat her and her kids alive.

There may be even more regrets if the girls are emotionally scarred from living in a battleground and having their rooms invaded daily. Unless dad could go to a senior center daily without it being a maybe-I-will maybe-I-won't fight every day, I do not see how this situation can work. Once she moves out, limits will have to be set on requests between visits or he will continue to drain her dry without a drop of gratitude just because he thinks she SHOULD be catering to his every request on a full time basis - her job adn her kids won't figure into the equation at all in his mind.
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TooMuch4Me, it is much more difficult to take care of your parent in their home rather than in your own. I refused to live with my mother and she ended up living with us.
Your father is similar to how both my parents were. My father passed away in January. Both my parents thought that my brothers walked on water and took them place and treated them nicely. As for us girls we were considered slaves and were abused verbally and physically. SOME of their generation see things differently and if your brothers were raised as mine were, then they are going to believe that the girls should take care of the parents. It’s sad but true.
If your father isn’t willing to allow you to put locks on your door and your daughter’s doors then you should move out. If he doesn’t respect you or your privacy now it will only get worse as time passes.
Since he doesn’t require you to be there all of the time and he does have someone coming in to help, maybe you can get an apartment close by and help the caregiver out when needed. BUT, if you do that, then you need to be paid for your time. Your time is not worthless. Your time is valuable and you should be paid for it. Taking care of someone else’s needs 24/7 is draining and you aren’t going to have time for your own children. I was a single parent for 10 years and I know the strain that comes with that. Believing that living with your father would be a relief to the pocketbook, having the security of your children in a home. It ends up being worse for them in the long run.
As for the health assistant with an attitude, fire her and hire someone else. You don’t need that additional stress.

Take care of yourself and your children. Your father apparently has all the slaves he needs.
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My mother recently passed away. She battled cancer for the past 20 months, and I put all my things into storage and moved in with her for 6 months. I experienced many of the same circumstances and feelings you describe. After 6 months, I moved into my own apartment. It was much better for me (and my daughter) to have our own place and distance ourselves from the emotional and mental anguish living with my mother caused us.
My point is this - now that my mother is gone, I feel really bad that I did not stick it out a few months longer. It causes me great distress to think of my mother spending so much time alone in her last days. While I still spent alot of time with her after I moved out, it was not to the degree living with her allowed. So my advice to you is to think about how you will feel, once your father is gone, if you move out now into your own place. I am not advising you not to (I was in the same boat and I couldn't take it anymore and did), I am just advising you to think of the long term impact this decision will bear. Carrying this regret with me the rest of my life is a terrible burden. Spending most of her last days alone must have been terrible for my mother.
I wish you much peace and strength through this terribly difficult time in your life.
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Sadly, once we move "back home" our parents treat us like children and forget that respect flows both ways. I am my mother's caregiver because the local siblings could not/would not step up to do what needed to be done. They accepted her decline as natural and waited for death. There were no aides or nurses hired. No one, other than another caregiver, understands all you and your children have sacrificed in order to provide the care your father needs. If you don't take care of your own needs, how will you be able to care for your father? I have to agree that your moving out may be the only way to get attention. When we discussed, with my mother, that my husband and I would move in with her, promises were made. We trusted, because "family takes care of family," but so few of those promises have been kept and several have been outright broken. Nothing was written, as it should have been, as it would have been had my mother hired a stranger. Hang in there. Know that you gave it your best shot, but know also that nobody will be there for you if you burn out. Your children need you, too.
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That sounds just like my dad. The paranoia, snooping, raging/shouting, accusations got much less after I got him to a neurologist (he would never have gone to a psychiatrist) who prescribed an anti-psychotic. My father was the same -- wouldn't watch TV, read, do anything to stay occupied. He accused me of thinking I owned the place when I cleared off a couch so I had a place to sit (he expected me to sit on a straight back chair in his bedroom to keep him company). He sat in his room all day and made up stories then would come down and accuse me of stealing, plotting against him, ask me for sex and tell me "lots of people" have sex with their daughters and it's ok and clutching his crotch and telling me how much I would enjoy it-- and that happened after he'd been on the anti-psychotic for 3 months.

How long are your brothers planning on you taking care of him? One of the best suggestions someone gave me was to use my iPad to record his behavior so there was documented evidence. (remember to keep your hand off the microphone so others can hear his ranting). I put up with it for 5 months and simply could not take any more. You can see my other post about "how do I get him on hte plane". He is in a Alzheimers home now, tho i think he's only in the beginning stages of alzheimers -- he's got some other form of dementia whether from stroke or whatever else. The system seems to be so geared towards protecting the elder that there is no resources for carers who are not trying to take advantage of difficult elders.
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Move out now or you will regret it. let those brothers take over.
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Leasha, OMG up at 5am ?? How do you deal with it ? Well at least hes trimming trees and mowing the lawn. My father sits on the couch all day. Every time the phone rings (although we determined I would answer the calls because of his hearing and that he gets scammed so often by telemarketers) he turns the TV down (normally its at full blast) so he can hear who Im talking to...or he follows me to hear the conversation. But when he wants to have private conversations on the phone he talks very low...however with me he does nothing but shout because of his "hearing problem" Being on this site has been a huge help because you all understand. My siblings are now ignoring my emails. They have no clue.
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My dad moved in with us, but I seem to have some of the same things going on that you do. He's okay health wise for an 83 year old, but his thoughts are different that reality. I start my day before work so frustrated and either in tears or with a headache. I told him yesterday we were going out for Chinese food for dinner. He said, what? Seafood? I said, "Chinese Food!" THen he gets mad, I can hear fine, I just can't understand you. He's trimming trees down and mowing the lawn for my husband, so he's happy as a clam. I feel like I'm dealing with the grumpy old man. My brother shows up about once a month. Like your dad, my dad doesn't have any social life. He's up at 5:00 am and always there. Sorry, my trying to comfort you has turned into my own personal rant. It's all just so easier said than done I'm finding...
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Let him bad mouth you, you know you did everything you could for him, he's miserable and is probably never wrong. Let him rant on and on, You know the truth and your children know the truth. I bet your children look up to you with much pride when you are all finally out of there, they will admire your strength and determination to better your life and theirs. You deserve better and getting out of there is your first step.
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Clifford, thank you. Its as if you were looking into my home. One of my siblings offered to talk to our father once again. I said there was no amount of talking that could change anything. How many talks can we have that always wind up with him shouting "HOLD IT HOLD IT WHO IS THE OLDEST ??" I only agreed to move in because my siblings assured me that they he understood how things need to be. When we first walked into the house, he declared that I was the woman of the house and that he would stay out of the way..I would be in charge of running the house.." That was all for show.... But its all water under the bridge, Im really trying hard to look for a place. Lesson learned. Trust myself. I knew this would be a disaster. Im sure he will do nothing but bad mouth me once I leave.
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I have to add my input on this, I am very fortunate that I don't have the issues so many of you do with parents, now having said that I need to tell you how much I admire each and every one of you. I could never do what you do. I have read stories on this site for a while now and so many that I read break my heart. Your ability to reach out, support and help each other is amazing and it makes me feel good that so many truly care about each other, most who are complete strangers. Tomuch4me I know why you let your siblings talk you into moving in with Dad, they used the fact that you had lost your house to convince you, they knew you were vulnerable and probably feeling very low at the time so they offfered free rent in exchange for taking care of dad. You need to get out of there, if for no other reason then to save your sanity and your relationship with your children, they see you being bullied every day, they see the stress you are under and although you may not think it is affecting your relationship with them now it is, they don't want to be there anymore than you do. Your obligation is not to your dad or siblings it is to you and your children. Get out as soon as you can and don't tell your family you are leaving and then not leave because when you do that they see it as an empty threat and don't believe you will ever leave or they will try to talk you out of leaving by coming by and having the "talk" with dad who will be all agreeable to them but once they are out the door nothing has changed and dad is the same nasty hateful person he has been all along. I can't stress this enough, for yourself and your children get out, even if you can only find a one bedroom apartment take it, save your sanity and let the siblings have the pleasure of dealing with Dad. One more thing, please don't feel any guilt over your decision to get out, your siblings feel no guilt for having bullied you into moving in there so don't you let them or anyone make you feel guilty about caring for yourself and your children, if there is any guilt to be felt it should be your siblings for doing what they did to you. Good luck, we are all here for you.
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I do not think I can last even a couple of weeks here. .Im very seriously considering going to a hotel at least for the night thats how fed up I am Working from home and trying to handle coordinating appointments for him gets to be a bit much especially when he is following me when Im trying to conduct business. For the average person it probably wouldnt bother them but for me its fills me with anger. Today I thought he would go out and at least I would have peace and quiet for an hour or two. So I told him you dont need to hang around the house, all of your business has been taken care of . Since I said that he decides that he is going to stay home. He just sits in that one spot on the couch until 8pm at night, watching...staring. He is actually in better physical shape that alot of people his age, but he is content to be waited on hand and foot and do nothing. We are having other family members over tomorrow and Im not looking forward to it. Hes put on an act !!! Pretending he loves his grandchildren so much ...pretending hes a kind person...It makes me sick. Even though the HHA drive me crazy at times, they see exactly what I see.
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You are most welcome, toomuch. I too am delighted that you are looking for a place for yourself and your kids.

How do you remain sane? Start practicing detachment and get out as soon as possible.At times I have imagined a brick wall between me and my mother. I even had climbing roses on it lol.

I see you wrote that your brothers came up with this idea and you were against it from the start. I am not sure I understand why you went along with them, against your own feelings. Please from now on, do what YOU think is good for you and do not let others run your life. It is your life, and up to you to make the decisions for yourself. This arrangement may have been good for them, but it is certainly not good for you or your kids. I have a few more things that may help, following on from what I posted before...

Try not to take the behaviours personally
Treat others and yourself with love and dignity
You can only control /change yourself – your emotions, your behaviours –do not take responsibility for the others feelings or behaviours
Realise it is a process and that you will make mistakes and get “sucked” in, but that you can learn from your mistakes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stop Walking on Eggshells - a book
When someone in your life has borderline or narcissistic personality disorder
by Randi Kreger
Remember it's Detaching "With Love"
It's important to remember the "with love" part. Detaching with love is not a way of treating someone one else, judging them, controlling their action, or implying approval or disapproval. If the world were a store and someone came up to you looking for the auto parts section, detaching would be like saying, "I'm sorry, but I'm not the sales clerk. I don't know where the auto parts are; perhaps you can find a sales clerk at the customer service counter." It's not saying, "Let me find out for you," and it's not snapping "Do you see me wearing a uniform? No? Then leave me alone!"
Detaching is a method of setting boundaries to protect yourself. It can also mean that you give up the notion that you can control their behavior, and you stop allowing them to control yours. It’s hard. It takes practice. But for many, detaching works
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Letting Go - Author Unknown

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring;
It means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off...
It's the realization that I can't control another...
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more

You can't let that person (those people) run your life, not even if it's only emotions. At some point you are going to have to say "No, you will not tell me what to do or how to live. I will make choices for me and live my own life. You do the same FOR YOURSELF and stay out of mine!"

God luck and keep us posted. ((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))
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I'm SOOOO happy to hear you're going to take care of yourself and your children and get out of your dad's house. You can hang on, now that you know you're leaving. Just imagine a *personal protective shield* that you immediately raise each time something happens. Laugh to yourself about that image and count the days until you can go somewhere else. And keep us posted!!!
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I want to thank you all for your encouragement. This has helped me so much. I informed my family that I am actively looking for an apartment. In fact there is a small apt near me thats available. Im hoping to get a call back. You dont know how much I needed to hear what you all have said otherwise I would have kept trying to hang in there...The question is how do I remain sane in the meantime
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Emjo I pasted your suggestions on my desktop. Thank you for these. I need them not only with dealing with my father but also in every area of my life.
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toomuch - please detach from your father's abusive behavior and focus on your own needs. The more you remain enmeshed (codependent) with him, the more energy he takes from away from the changes you need to be making for yourself. Please take some steps towards an independent life. Each step taken makes the next one easier.
Here are some guidelines for detaching,

Accept that others are responsible for their own choices
Anger –deal with it in a healthy way
Blame –don’t blame and don’t accept blame
Consequences – face them and see that others experience them
Decide what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do
Detachment is not a feeling so much as a choice of behaviours, though the feelings should follow the behaviours. Detachment means you can maintain positive behaviours towards to others –kindness, compassion,
Don’t enable,
Focus on yourself
Forgive, but don’t forget the need to protect yourself
Grieve the relationship as it was, the hopes that you had, the mistreatment you received,
Refuse to be manipulated e.g, emotional blackmail
Respond, don’t react
Separate - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, socially from others behaviours/feelings
Set boundaries
Say “No”
Space –create it between you and them

Try some of these -they help. (((((((((hugs)))))))))))
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Yes I am !!! I was talking to our HHA today and she was saying I have to stay because hes my Dad. I told her he will always be my Dad no matter where I live and I have children to think of .
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Are you looking for a place to live?
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Sigh Blannie, Im so sick of the nonsense... Yet another argument today revolving around home repairs...Im sitting here shaking with anger...We have the yearly maintenance of the furnace, the repairman told me what he was doing. My father second guessed me as always asking if the vents were vacuumed..I told him I watched the man, he starts screaming at me in front my daughter and the HHA saying "How do I know if he did it..." I told my siblings that they need to handle the coordinating the repairs from now on and they did not respond. He has done this every time there is a repair that needs to be done.
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So you've tried every reasonable option. None of them work. You have ungrateful/oblivious siblings. So it's up to YOU to change the situation. Leave! Take your children with you. Reclaim your life and your happiness. Let your siblings and dad figure it out without you. You can only be walked on if you LET others do it. Reclaim your rights!
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