Being the caregiver, arguments happen whenever issues need to be dealt with, including their participation and decisions. With the arguments , there are no solutions, and things stay the same, the way the have had it for the past 15 years. They say one thing, and do another. They put up a front for others to like them, to get their way. Did not like cooking of a new hire aide, so they did not want her. She worked 2 days. Mother was angry while I was showing aide around the house, her being jealous of my being around another woman. Aide saw that and thought that was strange.

Big arguments happen when I call out their behaviors, about their negativity, for a small example the aide, and how they don't want anybody to know what happens in the house, when no one else is around. They've tried to enmesh their life into mine, father stating "you", while he's yelling at me during arguments, when he's actually talking about what he's doing himself.

Without communicating, avoiding decision making, they like to keep the "status quo". Like other's have said here, my folks say it's "not fair" when they can't have everything just the way they want. And I am not what they going to get. I have enabled them, aided & abetted them yes, going from being raised as the "Good Son", now being the "Bad Son", the one they don't know and understand, to have my own independence and to get things done because father has always expected to have things done for him. He has always made poor decisions, and no decisions.

Yes I get the part about the freaking inertia. My parents refused to make any decisions either. Infuriating and made added stress and misery to my life dealing with their crap.

Step back and let them do what they do. After awhile I realized arguing was not productive. I let my mother drive her bus and stood back. Finally one of them fell and went into the NH with the other following soon after.

And my mother does not think much of me either and I don’t give a flying you know what what she thinks of me anymore.

It just gets so old after awhile. What love I had for my parents is gone at this point. The people they were who I actually loved have been dead for ten years.

Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Hothouseflower
buffyintexas Feb 20, 2024
well said. i get it all. i’m sorry you went through this but sounds like you got to the end result that was needed. hugs.
More background on mstrpl's situation from his last post:

I'm the caregiver because I've lived with my folks (both 93) since they retired in Florida, shortly after my accident/head injury. the rest of my family stayed up north. I don't use my money, just my time & effort.

To give a better view of the situation, I'm on disability due to a head injury 40 yrs ago, almost dying + coma, and after going through years of suffering through the after effects of the head injury and surgery, I gradually reconditioned myself to be functional, and more self sufficient. My father was angry that whole time with my getting myself better. Over the years I went to mental health support groups, and was a participant, later on becoming a group facilitator there. Mostly because we all became comfortable with each other there. After my injury I learned how to calm myself, and that extends to others I'm with. Everyone, even my family was used to that over the years, until I had to change. I could list many instances, basically when I speak up for myself, even the smallest example, that's when they get angry. What kind of people get angry, when you are trying to get help for yourself? Threats for calling my doctor, and asking me, if I'm taking my medication, when I speak up myself setting boundaries.
I pay 800/mo in rent, also used to pay for a new car used to go shopping, easier to get in & out of, for doctor visits, and personal use. Previous cars were 21 & 14 yrs old, father said they were still good cars. He was angry because he did not want me to have a new car, while he knew my old car had technical glitches, his was 21 yrs old. I cleaned & maintained those 2 old cars. Traded in for an affordable one. I clean, do laundry, the shopping, trips to the doctor, landscaping & tree trimming, house & pool maintenance & repair, roof cleaning, everything to maintain the household and property, mainly because both parents don't want to spend the money to have it done. They've always complained about how much everything costs. (They grew up with little, potatoes to eat, an outhouse in the back).
A few years after my head injury, and after their retirement, my folks said they'd have the inheritance to me after they pass, and my 5 brothers and 2 sisters were all accepting of that, because they had their own lives, and I missed out on mine.
When things were not so good, starting a few years ago, I went to my sisters house, 2500 miles away, to see if I could get my medical insurance there, yes, and I also got 2 of my brothers to start their will. The older brother has POA, and my other brother is a back-up.
Either way of looking at the situation, I learned how to do things the hard way. live and learn.

It sounds like you're living in a dysfunctional family situation. With perhaps some dementia going on with your elderly parents. Unhealthy dynamics where you're unheard. Why do you stay? You get disability, can you not move out to your own place? Or do you feel obligated to stay and care for the folks and do SO MUCH for them that they do not seem to appreciate? Do you not deserve a life of your own? Perhaps you are unable to move out due to your head injury, I am unclear on that, although you seem very functional to me.

You cannot change stubborn, willful elders who act like toddlers. But you CAN change your response to them. It's really all you CAN do.

I wish you good luck and Godspeed figuring out a better life for YOURSELF now.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to lealonnie1
AlvaDeer Feb 13, 2024
I believe this answers my question. The OP lives with the parents.
Their lives are enmeshed and they are all over one another's business, and no one is happy about it. It's now an engrained habit.
There are many on disability who do live by themselves in efficiency or in a room; there is tremendous freedom in that. One cannot live with others, be they parents, children, brothers and sisters, or roommates without many issues; when things descend into habitual constant bickering no one wins, nothing changes and no one feels respected or regarded.
It is up to the parents then, what the rules are for the house IMHO.
And the OP has the choice to stay, or to move and pay rental somewhere where life rules are the ones made by the person living in the apartment.
"father has always expected to have things done for him. He has always made poor decisions, and no decisions."

Respectfully, you yourself say this is who he has always been yet now you expect him to be someone else? It's not going to happen. Expectations are premeditated disappointments.

"Stubbornness" is the early symptom of dementia. They resist because they probably have other problems that you cannot yet see clearly, like memory impairment (which starts gradually), hearing impairment (which they may be covering up or not realizing), cognitive impairment (also happens gradually) and fear of losing control/fear of change. We adult children have a very hard time seeing these symptoms because of our familiarity with them,

So, where to start?

Are you the PoA for either of them? If so, do you wish to continue to be? Please note that being someone's PoA does NOT obligate you to provide hands-on care or be directly involved in the management of their affairs.

If you (or someone) is their PoA, is that authority now legally activated (which means is the criteria stated in that document met?) Often it requires at least 1 medical diagnosis of impairment.

If you (or no one) is their PoA then getting them to do anything in their best interests will be very difficult. Even with legal authority, it is maddening to try to get an uncooperative adult to do what is necessary. And you have 2 people.

If they don't have assigned PoAs then the option is a court-appointed guardianship: either a family member seeks it in court, or APS/their count social services pursues (and gets) it.

There are ways to "finesse" your interactions with them to be more productive and peace, but you will need to stop thinking of them as "stubborn seniors" who would cooperate if only they'd *listen* to you. No, now YOU need to be the one that changes: YOU need to realize their cognitive impairment prevents them from being any other way and YOU need to employ those strategies if you don't want to lose your ever loving mind trying to help them.

The ball is in your court to decide if you want to continue to push 2 boulders uphill for an undetermined number of years. It will only get worse if you don't choose to change your approach. Been there, done that as have so many responders and long-time participants on this forum. Please take their advice to heart.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Geaton777
newbiewife Feb 13, 2024
Mentions in another post that Lea pasted in here that an older brother is POA. Sounds as though his siblings are supportive.
"Calling out behavior" isn't discussion.
It is the beginning of an argument.
The only real question here is whose house is this?
If it is your house, there is no need for discussion. The rules are YOUR OWN.
If it is their house, there is no need for discussion. The rules are theirs.

This is simply the forming of a bad and circular argumentative style of living.
It is a choice.
It takes two to argue.

If it is your house and they are unable to abide by YOUR RULES then they will require placement in their own home.
And the opposite also holds true.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to AlvaDeer

mstrpl: While they want to believe that everything is status quo, they present a different picture.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Llamalover47

Look up You Tube videos on Narcissists; sounds as if your parents are classic examples; at the very least, they have a lot of narcissist traits. I learned so much from the many videos on the subject last year, that I can now deal with most anyone who comes into my life. Some I don't let IN to my life, once I've identified them, others are family and I've learned to deal with them. The videos were like taking a class in school - SO helpful!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to CharlieSue

They are sucking you dry and will spit out your bones. It’s not your fault they got old and didn’t plan for it.

Do you live with them? Even if you do, it’s time to walk away. Let them fail and call APS on them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Southernwaver

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter