My dad was hospitalized for a month last summer. One doctor said he had a stroke and my dad still denies that he did. He was also diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica so there was rehab, alot of work to regain mobility.

I moved over 2000 miles in 2011 to be within driving distance of him and left a great job and good friends because I felt it was the right thing to do (I signed POA doc in 2007 and am only child with no spouse).

Before entering the hospital, Dad asked me to move back home and move in with him and be his full-time caregiver. I did this in 2009 for a year and I helped him get organized but it was disastrous on many levels. He was hostile, etc. so I moved back to where I was.

The problem now is that he was better for awhile but overall was...and is...increasingly narcissistic, belligerent, insulting and hostile. He dismissed 2 doctors and all home care and now is even saying he doesn't want me to help him anymore. He said he had vision problems last week and jumped in the car and drove 2 hrs to a specialist....I was horrified!

My attorney and all my support team recommends that I do not move back home. Living with him is out of the question for my own health I have learned. My attorney said I was entitled to reimbursement for caregiving related expenses, travel etc. My father is wealthy and even though I am POA he doesn't allow me to touch any money at all.

We quarreled over the phone last week, he hung up on me and withdrew the funds I was expecting and said he no longer wants my help. I was hospitalized last summer as well for burnout and lost my job because of it. I found another one but I am very poor and struggling to make ends meet and fulfill POA duties. He has always been very stingy about money and
balks at paying for some home care even though he could afford it.

What responsibilities, if any do I have here? Not sure his driving 2 hrs with vision problems was safe...and yet it is to the point where we cannot have a civil conversation anymore.

I feel like my life is coming apart. I had a part-time business which is very important to me (which he constantly belittles). I know he's sick and I enjoy helping him but I am sick of the abuse and am scared I'm going to lose my ability to hold a job and take care of my apartment!

What should I do?? Please don't say I'm crazy or bad...I'm trying SOO hard!!!
Thank you

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Let me tell you from my experience with my father, my self, my husband, and my siblings were all working full time just to take care of our father and his issues. I once told my father that he had four full time staff, and I remember he laughed. My father never realized how much work that we were all doing, and I am not just talking care-giving. He was living in 30 years of hoarding, and it took us 4 1/2 months to clean up, he had 12 rental properties, that had rents to collect, and maintenance issues, he had huge debt, legal issues, health issues, and even when we got all of the houses sold, and got all of the big issues taken care of, we got him through, strokes, Parkinson's under control, cancer removed, and much more, he still could make all of us feel guilty, and we kept his home clean, took shifts with the caregiving, shopping, doctor's appointments, financial, and found ways to keep his mind active, crossword puzzles, computer, etc. When we told him that we could not continue doing everything, our heath, relationships, and well being was tired and we were overwhelmed, he could not or would not see what we did, he would have days that he was just an ugly person, so we found an Assistant Living Facility, he refused, he wanted to stay in his home, why not, he was having everything done for him. So we decided to "step back" we told him that we would make sure there was food in the house, and we had him do some things for himself, we let him be by himself more, always having a cell phone for our help. He did this for one week, and told us that he needed help, we told him that we could not be there with him 24/7 anymore, he had to see it for himself, and we realized that we had to treat him like a child, almost, step back and let him see for himself. He moved into the Assistant Living Facility and he has been there for 5 months now, and he loves it, we now can visit him and have our own lives, so my point to you is: You have done what you can for your father, unless he see's for himself, until he realizes what you do for him, he will have no reason to change. Not in all cases, you do have to make YOU the first priority and not in all cases, you may have to step back and let your father come to you for help.
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The timing of this is so great. I have been struggling with this same thing. I have a mother who for my entire life has been narsicisstic and mean- so much so that my brother could care less about her. I have the POA and the trustee. She had a stroke in Sept that left her aphasic and with short term memory loss. She had suffered a lot of health issues prior to the stoke and had a caretaker who was wonderful. I had to place her in assisted living (she is only78) and she is really mad at the world and me. She can't make decisions ( per 4 doctors) and I took over bills, care, trust and her 3 properties. I live 3 hours away and spend half my time at her house dealing with her appointments and such. My job as a realtor has basically gone away. She fired her caretaker who had been taking her to appointments along with the speech therapist and tried to fire the doctor as she wasn't telling her what she wanted to hear. My husband thankfully just retired and has been helping me with this. Both my lawyer and CPA told me to pay myself and my husband for what we are doing. This has helped with the resentment of my brother doing nothing and my lack of income. I was feeling guilty for a while but just recently got it set up as a payroll from the trust with taxes etc so it is all on the up and up. My guilt was I should just do this as it is my mother....but after her hitting us a few times - I got over it. There is a point of when this goes from responsibly as a "child" to a job that we need to be both compensated and protect ourselves phycologically from parental abuse. We have found that when my mother gets abusive we say we are leaving until she treats us properly. It helps. Hang in there and thank all of you for being here!
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You are not crazy, or bad. Quite the opposite, and I salute you for everything that you are doing. This is a crazy hard job, and it sometimes makes us feel as though we have no options or solutions, and that we are faced with brick walls every where we turn.
Trying to work and take care of an angry old man who is agressive and resentful and pushes every attempt you make to help away ....yup, I can absolutely relate.
I can't say what your responsibilities and obligations are, only you can answer that. But I can say, take a huge step backwards and really look at the situation: you have an obligation to your own health, your own earning capacity, your own ability to pay your apartment and so step one is putting YOU back in the picture. It sounds like dad has taken the whole picture and made it all about him, and there is no you left in there at all. Put yourself back in the picture and make decisions that work for you as your first action step. Stop making decisions that force your life (whats left of it) to revolve around him.

He needs help for sure, but are you able to enforce it when he won't let you or anyone else care for him? Can you enforce your position with POA and get him admitted into a home? Is there any way you can get his medical team to enforce the next step if they know he has no caregiver? I don't know the system there in the States for this type of situation.

But ... I read your post and your cry for help, and I just wanted to reach out and tell you that he is lucky to have you in his life caring for him even if he doesn't realise or show it. HUgs and love to you today, xxxx
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When ljdh0709 wrote "YOU matter just as much as your father!" I wanted to shout "Hallelujah!" Yes, we do matter as much as our loved ones. I am trying so hard to learn that concept. It isn't a bad thing to take care of ourselves, too. Without us, our loved ones would be lost...and in end, so would we. Very, very tough lesson to learn!
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Unless you fear being taken out of his will, your dad needs to be trained on humility and gratefulness. ... Whenever he's rude and nasty, walk out. Come back a couple of hours later. Or plug in your iPod and listen to Creed or Betty Blowtorch while doing a crossword. Let him rant and rave. If he acts up on the phone, hang up.

He probably believes that along with that wealth comes a license to treat people like s___t; particularly the ones he thinks are sucking up to him just for his $. There's no need for him to respect others who don't respect themselves enough to draw the line.

Take your life back.
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Call his doctor about driving and anything else that you feel might be a safety issue...let the doctors make the decision
about what he should and should not be doing.

Contact the attorney regarding any agreed payments that you
were supposed to recieve in order to maintain your living expenses and get the attorneys advice.

Start your biz again if you can....dont even mention it if to your father if he devalues it.

Let your Dad know you did everything humanely possible to help him and that you now also need to have time to meet the responsiblities of your OWN life as well as his. Maybe you can spend less time with him so you can start taking care of yourself and see how that goes.

(take a few weeks off and rest as much as you a few relaxing things and
hang in there....YOU matter just as much as your father!
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efinnegan, I know how that feels. I worked for a hospital in ICU nearly 10 years. while they offered sick pay, they would give an "unsuccessful" evaluation if employees used more than 5 days for personal or family sick days taken (that's right... punish the caregivers). I am grateful for the hospital experience. I think it has prepared me for caring for my aging folks. However, after moving in to care for them full-time, I could not continue to work long hours. The opportunity for change presented itself when I had surgery and ended up on disability myself. At this time I realized that the stress of caring for my folks and caring for critically ill patients was killing me. My disability lasted 3 months, so I resigned my position (I now lived over an hour away from work, and my folks needed full-time care). I felt HUGE relief. Unemployment said they would not support a claim because I left my job 'for no good reason.' I was told that my folk's insurance would not cover any care I provide them... so now I'm stressed again. The fact is, I still have to live. I need to pay for car insurance, gas, medical expenses, bills, etc. I just picked up a merchandising job where I can sent my own hours. I'm told it will be about 15 hours a week. Probably not enough, but its something. I will worry about my loved ones while I'm at work anyway, but I also have flexibility like never before. I wish there was more financial help available to those of us who are caregivers. Too bad health reform will never address these issues. I think leaving the hospital job was a case of choosing my battles. I do not regret the choice at all. Being adaptable is so important and I am pleased to do what I can for those I love. My heart goes out to all of you who do not have your loving care reciprocated, I have been blessed in that regard. Remember to fill yourselves with love and life as well as rest. You CANNOT care for difficult people when you are empty, it will kill you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
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Sounds like your dad does not want to give up any control, I understand that only too well. You need to take care of yourself first. I think he would benefit from assisted living, can you get a geriatric manager to step in and help you? You really need to get rid of thinking you are "crazy" or "bad". These are very shaming feelings with a healthy dollop of guilt for a side, feel these feelings, label them and sit with them for a while, then let them go once and for all. You are responsible for yourself first, if he wants help he has to play ball or he must deal with those consequences. He has not been diagnosed with dementia so he is capable of working out something that works for both of you.
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These answers are all very supportive and helpful and I find that they have made me feel better since I am a very similar situation except that my mother is becoming more bedridden every day and I must work as I am sole support of the family and maintain the house.
It is my employer i find so disheartening. There is no understanding, no support, no help. No one cares that I am showing up every day exhausted as previously noted. My job is very demanding as i am a nurse practitioner in a very busy surgical practice. I fell pulled apart by so many people who need me, yet I should be home with my Mom. Yet, if I do that, how do I keep the house and pay the bills?
I came home from work last night, got Mom something to eat and drink, gave her a snack and her meds. helped her change, lay down on my bed and woke up with the alarm at 5:45 this morning, hitting the snooze button because I still felt completely exhausted. Don't know how much more I can take. Need a job with fewer hours but still make the needed pay. i am 58 and feel like I won't see 60. The best years of my life have always been given away to someone else's needs.
I think the key work here is EXHAUSTION. How can it be helpled when there are no family members and no support systems. My boss told me that if I took time off i would have to document every hour or I could be "terminated for stealing time". I never take lunch, work on weekends when needed, and get a whopping 19 days a year off for sick time and vacation accrued at 5.5 hours each pay. The answer is probably pretty clear. Get a better job. how does one do that when they are raising their elderly and ill parent?
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being a caregiver does not mean you have to or should give up your life. It hard because of the guilt sometimes you feel, but unless he is deemed incompetent by a court he has the right to make very bad choices. Being POA does not mean you are responsible for a competent (but making bad choices) adult. Take care of yourself first, sometimes the sr. has to fall before he will let someone help.
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