How can I convince my parents to get more help?

Follow
Share

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

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
17

Answers

Show:
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
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No not at all, just have some very close friends that are
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Is one or both of your parents alcoholics? That puts a new light on your problems.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions