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My ridiculously immature father, whom I barely know, turns out to be a real *$$. He's rude and shouts at my dear stepmom, and he tries to play me with his dry-eyed tears every single day. He sits around complaining, or shouting at her. He demands to be waited on literally hand and foot. And today, for the third time since I took on their care on Oct 5, I've gotten a call saying he has to go to the emergency room immediately. He's lying.


I have dropped everything in the last 20 days to help them, and they are getting worse not better under my care. My step mom is handicapped, but she's smart and fine mentally. My father is a **ick. So knowing he's probably lying for attention, instead of taking him to the ER, where he only whines, cries and manipulates the doctors when they are in the room, I convinced him to go to the DMV with me to get his piece of junk old pickup registered for the state I've just moved him to.


The emergency room was instantly forgotten! He was fine, healthy-ish, joking with the team at the DMV for an hour, until I drove him back to his new house. He suddenly became a helpless invalid again. I want to slap him! How can a grown man impose on his wife (and me) in this way? He's a jerk and a half.


As soon as we entered his house, he was unable to walk, he had to be helped to his chair, and he started yelling at her. What a jerk! I am thinking of forcing him into assisted living. Let him lie there and see how fast the orderlies rush to his side with every spurious whimper. Maybe after a month of that, he'll appreciate his poor wife. She's in bad shape herself from a mobility perspective, but she holds it together for Mr. Narcissist. OMG!


I am furious at myself for bringing this individual into my own life. He is chaotic and childish. I've lost all sympathy for him already. So glad my mom divorced him when I was 3 and I never saw him again after age 4. I wish I had not intervened in his life or tried to help him. I should have let him die in Missouri on his own. I should have just brought his sweet wife to live near me.


OK, thanks for "listening". I'm brand new to caregiving at this level and I despise one of my "patients".

Oh my! I think you nailed it. Sounds like he is an academy award winner for acting!

At least you are wising up. Take comfort in that. Sure, a person can play on our emotions and we may get sucked in for awhile but stick to your guns with setting boundaries.

Nothing is written in stone. You are writing your own story. Write it your way! He will sink or swim and no longer be your total responsibility.

Your dad doesn’t have to be any of your responsibility if you walk away. Just do or not do what is right for you.

Give dad the necessary phone numbers to contact help (social worker, Council on Aging, etc.) if you wish. Better still, give your stepmom the phone numbers. If she chooses to help him as his wife, she has that option.

I feel for your stepmom. Who knows, she may end up leaving him too. There are gray divorces these days. Women don’t always stay in misery anymore. Why should they?

Your stepmom is the one deserving of help. Maybe point her in the direction to receive direction.

I am curious. What was his situation before you came on the scene? There’s a whole lot of history that I am willing to bet that you are totally unaware of. For instance, who else might he have chased off? For all you know, you may even have half siblings out there that you aren’t aware of and they have washed their hands with this disturbing situation.

What’s up with his dog? Please tell me that he has surrendered him. The dog deserves a chance at a good life. So does your stepmom but she is free to make her own choices, just like you are.

Best wishes to you.
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Why have you taken on the caregiving role for your Father & Stepmom?

Also why are you caring for the others listed on your profile?

Are you paid to be caregivers to these people? Or other reasons?
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Yeah, I get it, I can relate. I have a dad who can't lift a finger to help himself in any way, but when company is around he turns into a charmer. And it used to drive me crazy that the company (like the many visiting home nurses) would suck up to him, offer to do every little thing short of wiping his bottom -- he can do that himself, that and every other thing, if he wants to!

Life is hard and difficult for everyone, and when you don't pull your own weight and you're able to, it can be infuriating. If you put yourself in the "servant" position (which caregiving often resembles) to someone like that, you'll drive yourself crazy imo. Not many people can handle that situation, coupled with the lifelong feelings that go with having a less-than-loving parent.

But you can't let this eat you up. So set some firm boundaries, and come here often to vent if that's helpful. And also realize that you can't tell your stepmother what kind of relationship to have with your father. If she is allowing the "poor me" act to continue, that's on her, and really you have to stay out their relationship, both for your own sanity and because if it's working for them that's enough.
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Your profile says you are caregiver for 5 people. One has dementia and one has a mental disability. Are they your parents? With seniors, the behavior can be challenging, especially if they have dementia. Sometimes, dementia causes them to be difficult or negative. Before we knew that my LO had dementia, she was described as difficult. Even her physical therapists said she was spoiled and selfish. We were wrong. It was early dementia. Sometimes memory loss is not the first symptom. I’d try to consider that they could have mental issues going on. Anxiety and depression can also cause seniors to have panic or imagined illnesses. If you don’t want to be their caregiver, find alternate care. Not everyone is cut out for it. No disgrace at all. You can be a caring and responsible caregiver by obtaining help from professionals.
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Maybe your father has dementia and that's why he's acting the way he is. Since you're brand new to care giving, it sounds like you're in over your head and need to bow out gracefully. A care giving situation has to be something that's mutually beneficial; in this case, it's not. You are regretting the decision you made and that's fine............get out now before you get in even deeper!

According to your profile, you have WAY too many people to take care of so it's natural for you to feel overwhelmed and panic stricken, I know I would. In fact, I am not a natural care giver to elders and so I don't do it. I know and accept my limitations and recognize them for what they are. You should too. There is no crime and no sin in doing so.

Wishing you the best of luck disengaging from this situation you're in.
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I understand you.
Some of the comments here seemed too harsh to me to be honest.
We are all trying to be superwomen, somehow, remember? we all make mistakes, and overestimate our strengths, still, we all need a place where to vent, and feel safe and not judged.

Sometimes we do things without a "logical" reason. She probably knows she's strong, and that she's needed. There's probably nobody else who can do it, and since these people are still able, she can't force Assisted Living or a Home to them. She's feeling compassion for this woman. I can relate.

Protect yourself, find your own place if possible out of their home, find support, feel free in your soul and mind to quit whenever it feels too much, but give what you want to give, and follow your instincts.

You seem a strong woman, to me.
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I mean no disrespect to you but you may need to reconsider being his caregiver because at this point you seem to be bitter toward him.

Unless, you change how you feel, things may not go too well. js
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I agree with BarbBrooklyn. Caregiving is not the right choice for many. Recognize your limitations in making any difference here, and move away from attempting to give this care.
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Your post really concerns me, for many reasons, some of which you may not have considered.

First in regards to your step-mom: your dad is a manipulator. But, so is she. She might not be doing it on purpose; but she is tugging at your heart-strings with her needs. It seems like you're putting up with a lot of this garbage because you like/feel sorry for her. But she chose him. They're a package deal. If you despise him so much, and you like her, you can offer to let HER live with you - just without him. But if she is willing to stay on board a sinking ship even after being offered a seat in the life raft, it doesn't obligate you to sink along with her.

Secondly: you need to think long and hard about this. Clearly, you are using the "boy who cried wolf" philosophy in dealing with his health issues. I get it. I would be sore tempted to do the same. But, depending on where you live, keep this in mind. If out of 100 times your dad cries "wolf" with his health crises, even if 99 of the times he's full of it, if on the 100th time it's something serious and you refuse to help, you might be looking at elder abuse charges. Every time you bring him to the hospital/doctor/clinic, you not only reinforce in HIS mind you're his primary care-giver, but you're sending a message to all of those medical institutions that you're his primary care-giver!

You need to cut and run from this nightmare. Do not give him anymore aid or assistance. Let any medical people who call you about his health issues know - in no uncertain terms - that you are no longer involved in his caregiving, you don't care to be notified, and please remove your name from any of his records. If you want, allow your stepmom to live with you; but understand they're likely a package deal at this point.

You need to seriously start thinking about protecting yourself and your family. I guarantee if he can manipulate you - who knows exactly what he's capable of - how well do you think he'll be able to manipulate strangers who don't know the games he is capable of playing - at your expense?

Good luck! I hope you can purge this person from your life and get your peace and quiet back.
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Why haven't you resigned your POA and called Adult Protective Services?

If someone needs to go to the ER, they need to call 911. Otherwise, it's not really an emergency.

Stop "doing" for this mentally ill, narcissistic jerk. You are making yourself ill.
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So, I'm not really clear as to why you felt the need to take on the care of 2 people you barely know(your sperm donor and his wife), when you apparently(from your profile) are already caring for others. Just who do you think you are? Superwoman? News flash--she's not real!!!

Obviously you have bitten off way more than you can chew, and I believe you already know this, but your dad is not going to change, probably will only get worse, so it's time to have a come to Jesus meeting with he and his wife and start setting some boundaries, and also start discussing some assisted facilities where they can receive the care they need, and you can get back to your life. You owe him NOTHING!!! Life is too short. Do you really want to spend the next many years like it is now with him?? Think about that. You deserve better.

You can never get back those years you lost without your father, so don't let that futile hope that you can, lead you to do things for him that will only bring you more misery. You are better off being his daughter from afar. Wishing you the very best!
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Well..I have to ask why you took this on?
If possible a move to Assisted Living where your step mom can get the help she needs and your dad might actually be fine with all the people there that he can vent to, others that will do his bidding and there are activities that might keep him engaged. (If he is a Veteran he might qualify for Day Care that the VA might provide a few times a week if Assisted Living is out of the question) Or a local Senior Center if they are open might also provide activity enough for him.
But you need to begin to set "rules and boundaries" if he does not "behave" himself while he is with you get up and leave, if he is with you in the car, turn around and bring him home, if you are on the phone with him say."I am not going to tolerate this" and hang up.
There is a group that might help you, they are local to you.
Elderwerks it is a non profit corporation. They provide Educational services and they are a great resource, 1-855 462-0100 Elderwerks.org They do NOT charge for information, referrals, guidance. Hope they can help you out.
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