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I've been taking care of my 92 year old Dad for a little over 2 years in my home. I've taken on his care and all his responsibilities, sold his home upon his wishes, and take care of all his needs. Since I work full-time as a teacher, I've hired caretakers to be with him while I'm at work. I am not married and have no children. Most days we get along pretty well. Today, however, he woke up angry with me and refusing to take his medications. He tells me that I am the problem and that he doesn't want to live with me. I have a brother who lives 5 hours away but his wife won't be so tolerant of Dad's moods. They also have been known to take advantage of Dad financially to the point of wangling 10s of thousands of dollars out of him. Dad wants to go live with my brother and called him up to tell him that I refused to let him (Dad) visit my brother and his wife because I thought they would "kidnap" him. Nothing could be further from the truth. I called my brother to let him know about Dad's medical problems - the life threatening edema he would get if he refuses one of his many medications that he doesn't like - the fact that he is getting bed sores because he refuses to lie on the one side of his body that would let the sores heal, the many trips to doctor's offices for one thing or another, etc.
I personally feel let down by my father. It is one thing for someone to be ungrateful for the care they are getting but it is something else when they accuse the caregiver of meanness which is what he has accused me of. This hurts terribly.
I waver between feelings of anger at his accusations and feelings of depression that this man I've loved and respected all my life (I'm 58) obviously has no love or care for me anymore, let alone any appreciation for anything I've done for him. When my mother died 22 years ago, I spent 20 years visiting him, taking care of his needs, every chance I had given that I lived 4 hours away. Then he fell, broke his pelvis and after rehab, came to live with me. I nursed him back to health and he can still walk with a walker and take care of many of his own needs. His judgment is not what it used to be, however, and he is a definite fall risk so he really needs someone who loves him to watch over him. I've not wanted to put him in a nursing home or assisted living because I really do care for him. I was afraid to let him visit my brother fearing that my sister-in-law would place him in a nursing home and then get access to his savings. She may well do so now. With taking care of my Dad for so long, I haven't many friends to call who I can confide in who understand the situation. The one close friend I do have advised me to let him go and let happen whatever will happen. She reminded me that the stress of this and situations like this is not good for my health and that I deserve to have a life of my own. Somehow, I don't know how, I still feel guilty that all the care and love and patience I've had and given have not been enough. I just want to cry. I feel like I've failed. Can anyone help?

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Pretty sure that it's his dementia talking when he gets mad at you . Unfortunately as the disease progresses people no longer show good judgement about their own health and resent anyone "telling them what to do" ie take their prescribed medications, because they think they know better. They often develop tempers and resist efforts at help, similar to the way a child will refuse medication.

It's heartbreaking for the caregiver who has given so much of themselves when this is not recognized, especially by a parent. I really know how hurtful and frustrated this makes you feel, because my mother is the same way. She doesn't have anyone willing to take her, but that doesn't stop her from berating me whenever she gets angry about something.

Other relatives and even doctors don't spend enough time observing people with dementia to recognize the spectrum of behaviours until it is bad enough to be very obvious. That being said, if you get a good geriatrician, they can often diagnose through interviewing you as well as the patient.

The bright spot is that you will finally get some relief from the stress when your Dad leaves. I suggest you take some time to enjoy yourself because I doubt your dad will be gone forever; he'll be back when he gets mad at them, or they've spent all his money. If things are not able to be pieced together or you find you can't take Dad back, then assisted care would be a good option. Then you could resume your good relationship with him since you won't be the one giving him his meds.

Anyway, I hope it all works out for you and give yourself some time to adjust -- you've been caring for him so long that it will take awhile to come back to yourself. Try spending some time thinking of something new you would like to learn, taking a course, reading some good books, starting a project you've been wanting to do, and being kind to yourself. You deserve it!
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Sounds like your dad has Alzheimer's - and the docs also dismissed my mom's years ago when I knew otherwise. Now she is in a memory care facility. Please read up on Alz and you will see that your father's behavior is a result of this illness.
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As a teacher, Catmusician, I hope you have the summer off. Go to a festival, concerts, join a book club, take a short cruise, ride a bicycle, join a service club, get an online dating account......etc, etc.etc!!!! Sounds like you need and DESERVE some R&R!
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Hello Mincemeat,
I can't tell you how grateful I am for your honesty and your comments. I can see you absolutely know where I'm coming from. Fortunately, I do have POA as well as a trust established for much of Dad's savings with the money in a bank account in both our names requiring both our signatures on any withdrawals. My brother can easily hire an attorney and switch POA to himself. We'll see if that happens. For the moment, Dad also wants me to continue to act on his financial behalf (he's not dumb, only demented...) so I will continue to have his checkbook and my name as well as my brother's is on his checking account. Dad's taking his credit card to "help them out" so there will be a lot of action on that, I'm sure. There are a couple of very large annuities so I'm guessing those will go - possibly toward a house for my brother's wife. A few months ago she wanted to purchase a 200K+ house even though their own house was mortgaged to the hilt just so she could be closer to work so she could leave at lunchtime and take a nap in her new house... She's crazy, I know. But my brother loves her and does whatever she wants no matter who it hurts or how much it costs. I feel for Dad coming into this situation. My sister-in-law is also a screamer. She screams until she gets her way. Dad knows all this but is so resentful of me requiring him to take his meds that he would rather move into this insanity. I feel that I'm done. It will take a while to get used to this and letting go. I know that guilt and a strong sense of responsibility should not be a motivator but boy, they sure have an impact. I feel for you having given up so many years and all for nothing. I've heard from a number of people that that happens pretty frequently. My heart goes out to you for all you've lost in your life due to the unfairness of all this. Thank you for helping me look toward a better day. I plan to keep that thought in my mind as this all goes forward. Thank you again and yes, I hope to keep posting. Reading what others have to say about their situations helps me keep my situation in perspective.
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Cat, if you are still on the fence about a nursing home, here is a good article to read from Aging Care website.... hope this will help you. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/I-promised-my-parents-I-d-never-put-them-in-a-nursing-home-133904.htm
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Your father is a "show timer" like mine. In time, my brother, the "golden child" came to see that all the "narrative" was all bullshevit and 'cover up' for his dementia behavior. He apologized to me and said he was embarrassed that he did not realized things had gotten so bad. It has taken me years to be believed and validated by other absent siblings who did not want to believe in the crazy and dangerous behavior.

You are not alone in this..I too am the dutiful daughter. I moved my husband and children back to the family farm 29 years ago. I have given my entire life and in the end, all the free labor, putting myself and family last and 6 years of intense caregiving was not recognized. My father and his dementia will no longer speak to me. It is heartbreaking. I, too have let personal friendships die due to lack of attention and reciprosity. My point (after my usual ramble) is this:

IT IS NOT TO LATE FOR YOU!!!! It will take a few months to get over this, but take this as a gift! When you have been caregiver for as long as you have, let brother take him. It will be all sunshine and butterflies for a while and then the dementia person will come out.....and then your brother will be on the phone to you in a flash. If then you need to place him in care, let your brother be the bad guy!

Do you have POA? If not, you may consider getting conservatorship if your brother has issues with $? Possibly consider keeping some copies of financial info so that you know the state of his accounts before your brother takes him?

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Thank you everyone for your good comments and suggestions. My brother lives 5 hours away and because of old sibling rivalry is most eager to discount what I say. Under these circumstances, he may have to discover for himself what is going on. I don't think it will take long. It is deeply sad. I wish I could involve Dad's doctor but Dad will be too far away for him to help. If my brother is willing to talk to me about Dad once they've been together awhile, I'll be more than glad to help him in any way I can. I too am coming to the realization that maybe a NH would be a good way to go. I am one of those that promised Dad that I would never put him in one of those places. I would hate to break my promise but he is taking my options away anyway. It's tough. I've been seeing the slow decline for some months now but didn't know what to do but hope he wouldn't decline quickly. I had taken him to his doctor some months ago about something else and mentioned how Dad would not be able to recognize where he was at times and didn't recognize me as his daughter one morning, but the Dr. just brushed it off as old age. Dad even took one of those tests for dementia and came out with flying colors. He can pull it together when he wants and does an amazing job of covering the holes in his thinking. It is just when we are at home that it all comes out. Emotionally, I'm hurt beyond description at his business like way of packing and getting ready to leave. My brother is coming this afternoon to pick him up and take him to his house in Dallas. I live close to the houston area so it will be a good 5 hour drive for them on the highway. I can't imagine how Dad will do considering he complains bitterly of his back hurting every time we get in the car to go a few miles. It is hard to let go of the worry for someone when you've had that uppermost in your mind for more than 2 years. In fact, I've cared for him even before he moved down to Houston from his home in Tyler two years ago after falling and breaking his pelvis. For 19 years before he moved here, I would drive up to his home and stay with him, doing work around the house, taking care of him, etc. on every holiday and many quick weekend trips. This was all after my Mom died. Dad has been the center of my life for 21 years and it is hard to be just pushed aside. I want to do the best for Dad but I can't now because he won't let me. Perhaps if my brother puts him in a NH it will be for the best after all. My heart just breaks over all this.
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Excellent point by mincemeat about non caregivers blaming the caregiver.
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Freq Flyer gives good advice...but make sure you also share the comments and behavior with your brother. Non care givers take a long time to accept the crazy comments and behavior of the parent and tend to blame the care giver first. Stay strong and ask your physican for help with the mood swings.
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Cat, in your profile you say you are caring for someone who has Alzheimer's/Dementia... is that person your Dad? If so, read up on every thing you can about this disease and the different stages.... sounds like Dad has mentally moved into another stage. https://www.agingcare.com/Alzheimers-Dementia and scroll down to the various articles.

With Alzheimer's/Dementia it is not going to get better, sadly it will become worse, much worse. Your family needs to sit down and discuss what would be in Dad's best interest. You shouldn't fear that Dad might move into a nursing home, especially one that deals with memory issues as everyone there has experienced all the different stages and know what to do. You have done your best, don't think otherwise.
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