Mom has Alzheimers and reviles me now. I am the one closest to them who takes care of their needs. I found them in home care part time which they like. Pop treats me mentally lousy to stay on her good side. If I hear one more person tell me that I have to understand that he lives with my mother and not me and that I should accept all the mental abuse from both when he is sharp as a tack I am going to scream. I am going is how it plays out.....Pop HATES to ask me for things but has to.....when I bring a prescription or pick them up it is as though I am being punished for helping. When I leave them I am so hurt and betrayed I could just explode in my car. But you will say I have to always be nice and go along with it all. Is that so true? My Mom has an excuse but my Dad? All I do is try to help and I am treated like the scum of the earth.

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I am being called on more and more to help my elderly parents. Being with them is often an exercise in "walking on eggshells" . It is very difficult for me to just ignore their bickering and criticism of each other and nearly impossible when it is aimed at me. Here are some things I've found to be helpful.

-I try not to engage. If language becomes abusive I just plain ignore what was said and I change the subject or I leave the room. If it's a question I give short neutral answers.

- On the "bad" days I limit the amount of time I spend. That means doing my chore and going home as soon as I am done.

- I know it's not my fault that my folks are like this but I AM aware of certain triggers that make them worse so I try not to initiate touchy subjects. That's hard because some things need to be addressed sooner or later.

- I am well aware that time spent with my parents is draining to me. I make sure I give myself some time to recover after. Maybe a hot cup of tea and a half hour with a good book. If there is no time for that I will at least sit quietly for a few minutes and do a few breathing exercises.

-Finally, I am trying to only do what is needed and combine trips when I can.

I'm sorry you are having such trouble with this and I'm sorry for the hurt it causes you. I'm impressed that you are aware that your Dad is lashing out because he hates to be in a position of needing help. Have you ever said anything to him about that? Maybe you can include him somehow when you are helping or ask his advice. If he feels like he is still needed he might feel less angry. One more suggestion. If you have someone in your life that you trust and knows how to give a really good hug, take advantage.
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carmste, you are not the scum of the earth. That is the first thing you must keep firmly in mind. The way they are treating you is Not Your Fault. You do not deserve this treatment. I think sometimes when we are treated like dirt over and over we begin to wonder if we are dirt. Resist that urge with all your might! You are a wonderful, caring daughter.

Mom cannot help her behavior. You know that. Somehow I guess you have to learn to let it roll off your back. You DO NOT DESERVE IT, but she can't help it. I am very glad they have home care besides you. Could they increase the home care so you can detach yourself a little more?

As for your dad, it is hard to know how much he can help himself, but I'd start from the assumption that he is in control of his behavior and have a heart-to-heart conversation with him, when you will not be interrupted and the two of you are alone. Tell him that you are very glad you are able to do errands and small favors for him. It makes you happy to be useful to them. But his behavior toward you is unacceptable. If he continues to be disrespectful every time you do a favor you will have to stop doing favors to protect yourself. The next time he treats you badly, say "I guess my presence is upsetting to you today. I'll try again another day," and leave the house.

If over time you come to realize that your father can't help his bad behavior any more than mother can, you are truly in a hard spot. More hired care and less direct contact would be one approach to that.
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I, too, question how much ranting/raving/hollering I can tolerate from a sibling I am care manager for. He's in 90s, very independant, self-centered, hard-headed all his life. Family lives far away, I'm nearest him. I'm only person in family who can help, but my life is being shattered by his loud ranting, raving. I can do nothing right. He has care givers, & only wants to "handle" them himself. He expects everyone to jump when he hollers. I'm not sure how long care givers will last because of his disposition. Any suggestions?
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