Depression era mentality, working spouse to death, farm equipment safety, unwilling to decide to retire, etc, etc? Can you share your challenges of that mindset?

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People who are used to being very active need to remain so or they'll literally fade away. The trick is to find ways they can continue to be active, but not as much so, and with the assistance of another, without admitting that they're getting older (just as had for men to admit as for some women!).

Do you think your father would be willing to, for example, share his knowledge with a 4-H club, or young farmer, who could help with the chores? Approach it not so much that your father needs help, but rather that he has SO MUCH experience it would be wonderful if he could help an up and coming would-be farmer.

It could be a gradual shifting of work intensity, but your father could still continue to do what he's able to do.

Having been through this, I know though that sometimes men feel they can do anything and refuse to acknowledge that they're slowing down. It's hard to get them to accept they can still do a lot but help others and themselves simultaneously.

Assuming your father is in farming country, I'd check with scouting and 4-H groups to see if they could figure out ways to get training for their youngsters and members while helping your father.

The other aspect is that sometimes it's necessary to realize that these kinds of people just aren't going to admit to any slowing down and are going to push themselves until something drastic happens. The key then is navigating the recovery and reconciliation of health restrictions without becoming depressed. Unfortunately, sometimes people don't change unless they're medically forced to.

The Depression Era mentality is a different issue. Having lived through that, I don't think they'll ever get over the fear of deprivation again. It's hard for us to imagine how terrifying it must be to have no fuel and no food and probably no hope. I've eventually just decided it's not a challengable issue - there are bigger issues to battle.

Good luck; you're facing some tough issues, and probably a tougher father!
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I saw on your profile that dad is in NH? I grew up on a small farm in WV. This is a description of my dad who's now 85 and finally slowing down, but until a year or so ago he would fire up the old chainsaw and cut wood. He has since given up most of his gardens, gave away the old ferguson tractor and doesn't do much scary farm stuff any more. I don't think its because he realises he has dementia, it's more like it takes too much effort and concentration to get the saw or the tractor started. He just can't remember how and moves on. His scary, crazy thing now is burning brush. OMG, but he stretches out the hose and can only make small piles now. Dad was a skilled electrician for 50 years, but now the simplest tasks can be baffling for him. Even with his dementia he still seems to have a basic self preservation instinct, but that could change for the worse.
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Tough old Bird. Wants to die with his boots on. Pretty typical, sounds like my dad who preferred his demise to be shot by jealous young husband when he turned 90. Dad worked every day and dropped dead with a quart thermos of coffee still in his hand. Be happy if yours goes this way too. May you live so long and die so quick.
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