Dad (90) chewed me out several weeks ago and I haven't seen him since. Now, he says we should just "forget it" and move on. Advice?


My parents ages 90 and 88 are still in the 6 bedroom house where we all grew up (5 sisters). All of us, except 1, are married, responsible adults with families. One sister, who has always been a train wreck, has been living with them for years. Our home was always pristine- immaculate. Since sister moved in it is going downhill. When I went there to interview home health aides for Mom, the odor of dogs was overwhelming, my allergies kicked in too. I remarked that there was a bad smell (as I have remarked many times) . The next week my father called and lit me up "How DARE you come into MY home and say it stinks etc..." The real problem was that I criticized the fair haired daughter that can do no wrong. My Dad and I have not had a cross word since I was a teen, but this time around he said some things that devastated me and after 5 weeks he finally called again and said we should "forget it and move on"

He is 90...I get it....but I have been gutted by this whole thing and really don't want to go over there. I don't know that I can "forget it" yet I know he is not going to be here forever, so I have the guilt thing going too. I don't know what to do...Advice would be most welcome.



We have gotten the cleaners, etc just after we bought my mother home from rehab- so it helps. It had reached the point where I could not be inside because of my allergies.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to DeePascal

Her parents are allowing her sister to get away with being a slob. If APS came in they would say they are allowed to live the way they want.

I think your Dads call was an apology. But you deserve an "I am sorry". I would have said the same thing if I walked into my parents home and it smelled like dog. Actually, I have done it. Mom lost her sense of smell. (early sign of Dementia) Living with it day in and day out your parents may have gotten used to the smell. But, I have friends with dogs and have never smelled them. Your sister is not keeping them washed.

I did have a disabled friend with a lab mix. Her apartment smelled. When she went to rehab I volunteered to clean her apartment. Because she had a hard time cleaning, there was dog hair around the edges of the carpet and in corners. Most of the smell came from there. So I vacuumed really well. I then got a powdered shampoo and let sit over night. Vacuumed it up and by the time she came home the smell, was gone.

Ur profile says Mom has Parkinson's. As such, she probably can no longer clean. Maybe she secretly would love a cleaner house. Maybe you can suggest to Dad that you and other siblings give the house a good Fall cleaning. While you are all there, pull sis aside and you all tell her to take care of her Dogs. If she is living there rent free cleaning the house would not hurt her.
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Reply to JoAnn29
DeePascal Aug 27, 2018
Thank you JoAnn29. You hit the nail on the head. My Mom always kept that house immaculately and now she can not. We have had to get a live in because my awful sister was ruining the place.
You are right- that call was an apology, in his own way.
I really appreciate your response.
I don’t have a specific resolve for some cases (not all) the challenge may be for us to find our own unique answers to our complex problems when it involves parental aging...& that may involve support from professionals or clergy or no one ‘cept those involved...sitting down at a table...& having open communication...putting historical anger aside.

My Dad told me in the midst of his bout with try to live your life without argument & enjoy it...anything less...wasn’t worth it. He passed away June 9th 2018. I’ve started digesting that advice...& thinking about how to employ my relationships with family & those that I encounter in public.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to KEBYSM
JoAnn29 Aug 26, 2018
Wise man and sorry for your loss.
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Seriously, get over it. If that's all you have to complain about in regards to a parent after all these years you have been blessed with a relationship many people could only dream of. Appreciate it and be kind to the parents who reached out to you.
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Reply to vegaslady
DeePascal Aug 27, 2018
Vegaslady- I think you were channeling my Grandmother ! LOL You make a great point and I appreciate the perspective. Thank you.
You have to forget about it. Maybe they need to hire professional cleaners, carpet cleaning, etc. When you go over do you have to be inside?
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Reply to gladimhere