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My Mom has AZ and my father is taking care of her. She is 84 and he is 93. My brother and I live far away. My father does all the cooking and is still driving. He is starting to have health problems. They don't want "strangers" in their house. I convinced him to have a home health care worker but after a month he let her go saying there wasn't enough work for her to do.Then I convinced him to try out a cook, but he didn't like her in his kitchen( and really he cooks better than she did) They will not move to assisted living and won't move closer to my brother or me. They want me to move in with them. I have a husband and a job that I really don't want to give up. I feel really guilty but am also angry that my father would expect me to do this. I am very stressed with worry and guilt. What can I do? I would love suggestions. He is still very sharp and still drives and pays the bills, ect. He is very tired and Mom needs a lot of attention. I tried getting her to go to day care but she won't leave my father. At this point they are not open to negotiation. They just want me there full time. ( I wish I had a few sisters) They have a maid that comes in four days a week and would be willing to do more than clean house but my father won't let her. I haven't really told my father that I will not live there permanently,I know he will be really angry at me. I just keep coming home every few months for about a week. How can I convince him to get live in care or at least a professional to come in during the day? Any ideas? Thanks, Martinaa

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OMG!!! IT IS AMAZING HOW DESPERATE THEY ARE! I WONDER IF I WILL GET THAT WAY. ANYWAY I AM GOING HOME TOMORROW TO SEE THEM AND I REALLY LIKE THE PHRASE" I AM UNABLE TO DO THAT" IT SOUNDS GOOD AND STRONG. I HAVE JUST FOUND OUT MY HUSBAND HAS GRAVE'S DISEASE SO IN A WAY I HAVE A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR NOT MOVING THERE. I CALLED IN SICK TO WORK THIS MORNING, WOKE UP WITH NAUSEA AND DIARRHEA, COULD THIS BE STRESS? THANKS EVERYBODY FOR THE SUPPORT, I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT IS GOING, MARTINAA
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just wrote out a post and lost it so will say Amen to what has been written. It seems that your dad is trying to put off the inevitable by leaning on you inappropriately. As far as saying "No" , what I have done with my narcissistic mother is say that I am unable to do what she is asking of me. You do not have to explain why either. - just you are not able to do that and, follow up with a list if other resources. suggestions of what you can do - like help them find what they need,. My mother gets mad (what's new) but then eventually finds her way through it, and gets the help she needs. She is 99 and still quite capable -does her own finances still. One lady here, havng worked through this issue said "My mother (parent) still has my love, but she no longer has my life", or words to that effect. At 74 I am older than most caregivers and I would caution you about the effects of stress on you. It has taken a toll on my health. Like madge, I have PTSD from childhood and need to protect myself. This I can do only by detaching emotionally and to do that you need to grieve the loss of the relationships you never had and needed, or which have changed from being healthy to being unhealthy. I have given up the hopes of much of a relationship with my mother or sister as they are toxic. There is a website about daughters of narcissitic mothers which may help you to understand your dad's behaviour, and give you ways to deal with it. This is not easy but it is doable and you deserve to keep your life intact, and can do that, and still be a responsible daughter in terms of assisting your parents to get the help they need. It does seem that many elders will not accept help until an "incident" happens - a fall resulting on broken bones or something like that. If you have made suggestions and done what you can then I hope you would feel no guilt should this happen. Your dad is capable of making his own decisions and has to bear responsibility for them. (((((Hugs)))) Draw your boundaries and keep them and come back and let us know how it goes. Joan
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I forgot to mention, when she called she always played the "I'm dying" or your father is card, and you need to come home right now. One time I did come home (1000 mile trip) and found no one was anywhere close to death. They just needed someone to go to the grocery store and take them to the doctor.
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Martinaa, I think we must have the same parents. When I was married, my mother used to call every week and beg me to come home to take care of them. They didn't want anyone in the house, and didn't want to live anywhere else. The only option they could see was for me to give up my life to take care of them.This went on for several year.

When my husband and I separated, I did decide to move home because it made sense. I gave up my home, my furniture, and all my friends to move back to a place I left 35 years ago. One of my worst moments when I returned is when she said that it was good my marriage had fallen apart, so I could take care of them. The supreme selfishness of that one remark will be with me forever.

And no, my mother (and father) are not ogres. They are just so self centered that no one else matters.
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I am an only child and had to move home to help my parents due to situation, finances -- too long to go into. However, my mom didn't want help either and I just bluntly told her "I'm doing enough and it's not fair to expect me to give up everything, including work -- this is not open for discussion". She still grouses but I put it to her: "So you want to never leave this house again -- we can't call someone in on the spur of the moment if you need to go see a doctor and we can't leave dad alone - so, the alternative is never leaving this house again" -- that did the trick -- just a quick, hard nosed fix (done out of love and their best interest of course). Parents do sometimes become stubborn like children and so we have to act like parents sometimes and lay down the law and/or threaten to move out -- that works too.

Good luck.

Kathy
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This will suns harsh, but hear me out.

Don't worry about telling them "gently." Just tell them. Tell them straight: "I am not moving in. My family at home comes first. I am sorry that you don't like this choice, but it is the choice I am making. I love you and want to help you find other options...and there are many. None include me giving up my life, and sacrificing my family, to move here."

When he gets mad, when he tells you the only other choice is that they live unsafely/miserably, etc. you tell them this, "I know you prefer to think that. But my moving to YOUR home is not good for me or my own family. You have other options, and here are three I can think of (offer whatever number seem like true options). I am making notes for my own old age so I will not forget that my children have the responsibility to raise their own families, and that their home is not my home. So I thank you, on behalf of my future self."

My dad always stops fighting me when I put it in terms of what he is teaching me not to do. Maybe yours will, too.

Finally, the best argument that helps...and is true...is this: "having one of the kids live with you (notice its "one of the kids" not "me") may seem like it will give you peace of mind and empowerment in the way you had when we were children, but you will still have all the problems that frighten you and enrage you now. So let's go after those problems directly, and not pretend we can turn back time."

If they spend the whole visit mad or trying to work you, tell them you will cut the visit short. Then do it. Do it for the grown up You, who needs to know she is a grown up, and for the Little You, the you get parts of yourself, who didn't stand up to Dad even when she knew she was right. Help her grow up and into the body and spirit of an adult woman, and this whole things gets easier.

The problem with being gentle...as you have always been, I'd bet...is that it keeps the door open to them to work you. So they will. Close it. Firmly and with love. And leave early if you need to. It will never happen again that you will need to leave early. Good luck!
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Thanks Myra, I need to remember things like this. There is a support group where I live and I have thought about going but since I don't live with them I didn't know if I should go. I am going to call the group contact person today. thanks again
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I agree that you should stand your ground, you are entitled to have your own life and not feel guilty about it. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, and caregiving takes its toll, your mother may outlive your father. I would continue to look for resources, look at facilities and bide your time, the situation will have to change, whether your father wants or likes it, it is inevitable, your mom's Alzheimer's Disease will progress to a point where she won't be able to walk, toilet herself or even swallow, so look for resources and try to be prepared as best you can so you aren't looking for help in a crisis. Have you looked for a caregiver's support group? Good luck.
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No not at all, just have some very close friends that are
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Is one or both of your parents alcoholics? That puts a new light on your problems.
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Hi, I can't afford therapy, though I would love to go but I go to Al-anon which is a twelve step group for friends and family of alcoholics or addicts. I think I would be in the "crazy house" if not for the support and education from this group. It has helped so much in so many situations. We don't talk specifically about elderly parents but it still gives me guidance.
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Martinna, please get some help with your self esteem. You can't fight this on your own. I know exactly where you are coming from. When my Dad was alive I would go home to visit my parents and promise myself he would not provoke me into a fight or argument. It never worked, he played the same old games and it was his intent to make me feel bad. It wasn't until I realized the reaction to his comments comes from a place far deeper in myself than I could possibly control. It took some understanding and education on what some call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom. You know it is there with war veterans, rape victims, etc. but what you don't realize it is there with verbal or emotional abuse victims as well. I am not saying you were emotionally abused, as I was, but you are reacting to what you know. You need to change your reactions and that is no easy thing. Knowledge is
power. To understand them and how to react differently.

No I would not move in with them. You will become 16 again, believe me. And just say "No". What can he do? Disown you? Not a chance. Be strong and good luck
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I guess I am not the only one from a dysfunctional family. I love all the comments because they remind me not to get into denial. Living in my dysfunctional family it was never "good enough" so why would I ever think that living with my parents now would be good enough; they would still not be happy no matter how much I do. All to often I start thinking that if I just move home and give up my life that everything would be alright. So this forum really helps me to be more realistic. Those old unhealthy messages are so strong. You know like, family comes first, take care of everyone else and then yourself, be the good girl, be superwoman. It is so ingrained in me I still have the guilt.
So, I am going to see them this week. How do I tell them I am not going to come live with them? How do I say it? I know its a crazy question but I want to say it as gently as I can. And yes, he is going to tell me I am being selfish. I guess there is no easy way? I am scared, still that little girl afraid of upsetting the parents. I am 60 but when I get there I will feel about 16( wish I looked 16) Thanks, everybody!
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Your poor brother, good riddance to the girl friend. Is this really what your parents want? Has your Dad always been demanding? I have found that parents and siblings never really change. It is just childhood all over again

In my family I live 10 hours away and brother lives 6 miles. He is a nice enough guy but always the favorite. So when Mom made her POA she left me off as an alternate. I am concerned because if I need to do anything for my brother or if he dies, she has no one else. She too is difficult, but in a different way. All our lives she wouldn't help pay for anything, weddings, college, car, nothing, we were on our own. Every penny had to be saved to pay for "her" nursing home care and my father as well. He died before he could use any of the money. She lives like a mizer. No dinners out when I make that 10 hour drive, barely heats her house, minimal lawn care, no internet service to keep up with grandkids, has a cell phone only because my brother provides it, and now the house needs painting and she won't do that either. My brother is getting very angry about this. And by the way, she has close to a million dollars.

Here's the irony, she hates people and can't sleep outside her home. has given us orders that she does not want help to come into her house, she would rather go to a home. She used to talk about going to assisted living until she found out how much it cost.

Basically when the time comes my brother with take over and she will be livid. But we are both prepared for this. She is selfish and difficult. And in the end, she will not want to go into a nursing home either. It is all a ruse to just hoard her money and not accept responsibility for her two children. She hates that I educated my three girls (one Ivy League) and never really can say anything except "not everyone was meant to go to college", isn't that great......

So, I am making a list so I don't behave this way toward my girls when I get 81. Keep it in a nice safe place and pull it out and read it as I age (that is if I can still read...ha) Hang in there these things often work themselves out. Let us all know how it goes.
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Martinaa, I'm so glad to read you are going to hold your ground. It's the best thing for you AND them, even if it's what they prefer. You can't give up your own life, and all the other lives that disrupts, in order to help your Dad remain in denial about where they are in life. My Dad, too, wanted me to move in with him. I spent 16 months going back and forth, a week there and three weeks home. It didn't help him enough and it was at huge cost to my business, my family and my sanity.. We eventually brought him to move in with us. That's a whole 'neither kettle of fish. But it's a compromise he finally made when I said I couldn't and wouldn't come back down days after I'd just left. Saying NO enough times will get through, and when your Dad gets mad about it (and he will) know that it isn't personal. It will feel personal, but the anger is really at this hard part of life. Sending love to you all...
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Thank you so much for your response. I have heard similar comments from a friend. My brother lives five hours away and has dropped everything many times to go and help them. He has become very stressed and angry too. He wants me to go there and live because he is tired of driving to see them all the time. His girlfriend broke up with him because he was always leaving to go see our parents. I guess in time they will become more willing especially when my dad can't drive anymore. I want them to be happy but not at the expense of my relationship and my brothers. Its hard to hold my ground but I know how unhealthy it would be for me to move with them. I have a husband and job and dogs and cats that are like my kids. I guess things will unfold gradually. thank you, Martinaa
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Martinna, I know your parents need help. Your Mother will only get worse. So something will have to give. Don't let it be you. At some point either your Mom or Dad will no longer be able to go on as they are now. Don't move in with them because you have a family. They are being unreasonable. Many people on this site have posted with situations exactly like yours. Eventually, the parents have to accept help. What your father is wanting is selfish on his part. At some time, everyone will need some assistance if we live long enough.

Also, you have a brother. What is his part in this and why must it be you to make sacrifices. In many families the women take on way more than the men. That needs to change. A mediation between you, your brother and parents is needed. Your father is very old and may be speaking out of fear. But I feel parents can become childlike in the their old age and sometimes you need to be the parent. Be kind but firm and tell him what you will and will not do. He will, at some point, have to give in. He just won't be able to keep going. Right now he is trying to manipulate you, don't let him. It would not be good for you or probably your parents either. Good Luck to you.
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