Dad is 80, he and I have always been hunters. The past few years he goes to deer camp but doesn't even get out (He cooks). The last few years I went (got tired of being the valet) I had to help him put on and tie his boots for him. We had some of the same issue with my grandfather which my uncle did a lot of work to keep him going. So now dad wants to go hunting near where I live and conned a friend to show him a place. The trouble is it is a walk into the woods and dad can't even walk through the kitchen without holding on to something or use his cane. We had this discussion at dinner the other night and it was "I'll use a cane". Right, "good, you will use a cane to walk a mile into the woods and carry your gun and a chair?" as I told him "I will be the one to have to come get you out". He didn't listen. Then it was "did you order my license?" I don't know what to do at this point. I have done everything I can short of telling him an absolute no. If I do I am the troubled son... The family doesn't talk to me now so I'm not losing much. He wants to drive 8 hours to camp. I am against it but I can't stop him. I know just going and not event getting out doesn't bother him, he like to get away and be with his friends but the long drive (he breaks it up and the fear of him falling in the woods gives me pain). I know the family and friends will look out for him but times have changed. So what do I do? tell him no? I keep putting everything off but only for so long. My hope is that he wants to think he is going but knowing how he is he wont go at the last minute. A few years ago I spent a lot of money flying him west on a last big trip for him and me. Cost me thousands. He did about 2 hours of fishing on a 8 day trip.... At least I enjoyed my part but he fell and got hurt the first day..... but he sure went out to dinner every night on my dime! Dammed if I do dammed if I dont.

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"Then it was "did you order my license?"

Let him order his own license.

"He wants to drive 8 hours to camp. I am against it but I can't stop him."

" I know the family and friends will look out for him "

So let him go to camp with his family/friends and let them take care of him. Sounds like it might be a nice break for you!
Helpful Answer (15)

"I've done everything shirt of saying no. If I say no I'm the troubled son".


You say no.

Because you're the responsible one.
Helpful Answer (11)

Ah, old guys, guns, and hunting. Great combo.

I grew up hunting with my dad and uncles and we had the occasional old feller who had no business staggering around in the woods with a deer rifle. I have a couple neighbors like that now. Freaks me out when I see them head into the woods.

And they get killed up here in northern Michigan. Fall out of tree stands, shoot each other, heat attacks, just all kinds of mayhem.

It's like the elder driving thing. Hard to shut em down.

Does dad drive himself? You have to drive him? Eight friggin hours?!

I think you should just say no. Enough is enough. But if he's still independent how do you keep him from going?

What about his buddies. Where are they with all this? They don't mind taking care of him for a week? Maybe tell the other Elmer Fudds that it's all on them. You said no, so good luck with whatever happens.
Helpful Answer (9)

Tgengine, I'm going to be the blunt one to raise issues which were discussed at great length sometime ago. That post was when difficulties were occurring with your other relatives living in and disrupting your household activities.

I believe it was your daughter (or sister ? ) who brought her uncooperative husband and they were sponging off you and your wife, compromising the quality of life. There were pages and pages of suggestions.

It's not my intent to be critical or caustic, but several of us suggested that you really needed to stand up to them, and stop letting them overwhelm and manipulate you. And I suspect that those of us who took this position have been through it, and are writing from experience. Been there, done that.

I also recall your first post years (?) ago when you were considering bringing your father to live with you. As I recall writing in other posts, your approach was so much more different. You were confident, organized, aware of potential issues, and planning well for a potential life changing situation. That's exactly what it was, but it changed your life for the worse, dragged you down until, as I thought, your analytical and thought processes were trapped by the overwhelming obligation you felt toward your family. It was literally a 180 degree shift in handling the situation with perspective.

Some of us have been there; it's like fighting a whirlpool to get back out and think clearly, and make good decisions. It's like trying to stay dry in a rainfall, like trying to stand during a hurricane while being battered by intense winds.

It's very, very difficult, and causes you to question your own decisions and rationality.

And you're NOT alone.

I see those same issues in this current post. You DON'T have to accommodate your father. He's manipulating you, he's guilting you, and he's thinking only of his own needs.

I know you're a good hearted person and trying to please and take good care of him. That's certainly to your credit, and to your father's discredit that he's manipulating you. But this caregiving arrangement is literally like a heavy weight pulling you down and drowning you.

Believe me, I'm speaking from experience. It took me a while to realize I was being manipulated, another while to figure out how to deal with it, and of course there's yet "another while" to continue analyzing and ensuring that I'm taking the best action under the circumstances. It's easier to treat a broken bone or medical illness b/c they're generally quantifiable.

"The family doesn't talk to me now so I'm not losing much." And there you have it. So, do what you feel best. You're apparently the only responsible one.


Think of it this way: when (and not if) something happens, how are you going to defend yourself to authorities?

If your father falls and injures himself in the woods, you'll either have to call EMS or SAR. What will you say when they ask why you allowed someone with balance instability to be walking around in the woods?

If a weapon is involved, and hopefully no one is injured, what will be your answer to that? Why would you allow someone with balance instability to be carrying a weapon?

What if your father loads the weapon, leaves the safety off and it discharges? What if someone is injured? Do you not think that you could be considered for criminal charges?

Would you want to be put on the spot like by law enforcement or SAR authorities? And believe me, they WILL assign responsibility and liability to you. They're not going to understand that your family is exploiting you, that you're battling to maintain your own self respect and balance. They're going to blame you.

Yes, I'm trying to scare you, and you should be scared, very much so! There comes a time when you have to use the words that must be said: JUST SAY NO.

You're the parent now; he's the child. You'll have to blend the bridge of pretending he's still the man father but is really a man child. And it won't be easy. You'll need your own mental "walking stick.

His and his dog's messes around your house are nothing compared to someone in his state wobbling around a forest with a loaded gun. Even if he doesn't go, you need to address these delusions of still being a hunter.

And honestly, other than playing war games on a computer, I'm not really sure how to do this, unless you establish a new set of rules and firmly and staunchly advise him that you won't be responsible, and if he wants to do this, he needs to find another place to live because you won't be dragged in legally to his activities. Tough, yes.

And he's been used to manipulating and guilting you for years, so that makes it even tougher.
Helpful Answer (9)

Here we go again with the "yes...but".
No, TG, no one is ganging up on you or your father because of a gun.
No, TG, you do not "HAVE" to do anything.
Yes, TG, you can do nothing because anything you do enables your father, cheeses you off, and then you come to this forum to complain about why nothing changes.
Learn to say "no" and your problem will be solved. Saying "no" is a skill, which you have yet to master.
Helpful Answer (9)

Someone once asked me what was the cost per pound of the game my DH brought home - I smiled. Because hunting trips are not cheap - gas, food, licenses, ammo, that new piece of clothing or gear. I would think you'll be asked to help foot the bill - this is where you say no.

Getting him a license - you say no. Assisting him in any way with this dangerous escapade - you say no. Stop worrying about whether anyone thinks you're not a good son and say no. I understand that this is a beloved hobby and it's difficult to realize it's no longer possible. But you don't have to enable this.
Helpful Answer (7)

TG, you are already covering his shortfall every month, right?

Cleaning up his pee puddles that he won't discuss with you.

Cleaning up after his mammoth cooking sprees.

Put up with him telling your wife that she has the do for him.

Can you say "no" to any of it?

What if he told you he wanted you to divorce your wife? Could you say no to that?
Helpful Answer (7)

GardenArtist, I am having trouble understanding tgengine's legal responsibility for his father. Has his father been declared incompetent? If not, then I don't see how tgengine can be blamed by the authorities if his father obtains his own license and makes his own plans for transportation to the camp.

HAS the father been declared incompetent? Is tgengine his guardian?

There are many examples on this board of elders who really aren't fully competent, but in the eyes of the law they are because it's a very high standard to meet to become declared incompetent. Why is this any different?

I say tgengine should NOT enable his father in any way (do not help him obtain his hunting license, do not drive him to the camp, etc.). Let his father's family/buddies do it. tgengine will not then be responsible in any way for anything that happens.

What is so wrong with this scenario? And, really, tgengine has little to no control over his father, anyway, even though his father is a freeloader in tgengine's own home.
Helpful Answer (7)

I think the "did you get my license" thing is more of The Old Man ordering TG around, which is what he seems to like to do.

If The Old Man can arrange this trip himself, pay for it himself and get himself there and back, then fine, he gets to go.

But if he gets hurt up there, he gets taken to the LOCAL hospital and TG is unavailable to show up. Let sis the RN go get him.
Helpful Answer (7)

I seem to recall that TG's dad drove 8 hours last summer to visit sister.

Although The Old Man has some reported deficits (balance, urinary, possible dementia, certainly psychiatric issues), he is not being "cared for" by anyone in the sense of needing help with ADLs. He's just broke and entitled.

So, all TG can do is say "no" to whatever his dad is asking him to do (get me a license--no dad, if you want a hunting license, you'll have to do that (and pay for it) yourself).

If his dad pursues this, so be it.
Helpful Answer (6)

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