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I have two 70-year-old parents that are in constant finger pointing. Of course, I'm in the middle. I recently went through a divorce so now I'm a single mom with two teenagers. Parents live next door and each one of them has decided to use me to complain about the other. Both claiming that the other person is not thinking or in the right frame of mind. I am desperate for advise on what to do. How do I know who is correct or what if both of them are starting to have signs of dementia?

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I can certainly relate to this, as my parents do similar things. My parents never quarreled much when I was growing up, but, when they hit their 70's, it picked up. Sometimes, it's unreal. It's over silly things like my dad going outside, just when she put dinner on the table or my mom putting up too many Christmas decorations. lol They each accuse the other of being difficult. I can attest that both are correct! lol

I try not to take sides, but, what I do is point out how we have to be understanding of the other. Like Mom, daddy gets distracted easily, so, just put the dinner on the table. If it's cold when he returns, he can warm it up. Stop stressing about it. Or with Daddy, I'll say, let mom have her Christmas. She loves it, she's not going to change, so let's just try to be happy and not ruin it for her. If I end it with strong support for them, they usually take it well. Still, it can be frustrating.
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Dear Debra,

Sorry to hear what is happening. Its hard to be in the middle. I'm glad you were able to have some boundaries. I wish I did but instead I let the anger and resentment overwhelm me.

Its hard being home all the time. I hope your parents can find some activities that interest them. Before my dad passed, he loved going to the local McDonald's to meet with his retired friends for coffee and a chit chat. Maybe a seniors day care might be something to get them out of the house and socializing.
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I would do the same thing with them that I used to do with employees: "Come on Sam, you and I will go talk with Joe and see what he says about it." It's the first step to seeing if they are "playing you."
Jamie
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Thank you for all the suggestions and advise. I have started to put boundaries up with my parents. I have noticed that i feel resentment towards them because our conversations are focused on negatively and jealously. They are both stubborn and dont like to socialize much especially my mother. She worries and finds pains, or health problems. They're outgoings involve going to the doctor offices monthly.
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Debra, retirement isn't easy, I bet your parents are getting on each others nerves. I remember when my Dad retired, Mom was so frustrated with him as he was constantly shadowing her because he was so bored. Her normal housework routine was being interrupted.

Your parents need to find things to do, places to go, people to see. At 70 they are still quite young by today's standards. Maybe they can do volunteer work. My parents did that and what a difference that made in their lives... "working" made them feel younger :)
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Take yourself out of the middle by refusing to hear complaints about the other parent even if you have to leave or hang up the phone. Sounds like each of them needs to be evaluated by a doctor separate from each other. You have your hands full enough being a single mom of two teenagers.
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