My Dad doesn't want to admit he needs help. Any advice?

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I drive my dad everywhere he needs to go. He needs a walker and oxygen. He refuses to get a handicapped plate because they are for "people worse of than I am." However, when he feels bad, he tells me to park in a handicapped spot. I won't do it and it makes him angry. Also, when he talks to other family members he overstates his ability to get around. He is embarrassed by his lack of mobility but it's getting progresivley harder for me to get him around. Suggestions?

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It was in fact your name that reminded me of the Jody calls. I'd forgotten about them for years. I think I'll get some out and take them to Dad's.
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Thanks, GardenArtist. Great idea. I will bring over some 2lb dumbbells for my Dad and some heavier ones for me. PT time for us both! I've been neglecting my own workouts lately - not good for either of us. And by the way, I was named after "that" Jody.
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Another thought...to improve his mobility, perhaps you can get home PT. But don't go for just any PT. Put on Jody calls, work out with him, and bring him back to the military life he probably remembers and embraced so well.

When my father was recovering from a long illness, I put on a tape of Jody calls and we both marched/walked around the house (him with a walker). I worked out with him. But, boy, those Jody calls really bring out something special in a retired military man!
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"Retired military." That says it all. It is doubly hard for them to acknowledge they need any help - sometimes it really takes something serious and a good wake-up call, unfortunately.

Something you can try is the military "keep yourself in good shape" approach. If you can convince him that doing some of the things he rejects will actually help him maintain his strength and self sufficiency, it might be an opening.

But couch it in terms of what he should do NOW, which is quite different from what he did when he was on active duty. He probably adapted to changing military and political situations when he was in the service, now he needs to adapt to changing life situations.

Maybe he can draw up a battle plan (for old age) and create his own implementation strategies.
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Thanks, everyone, for your answers. My dad is retired military. A classic "do everything for yourself man." I have talked to him about the handicapped card, and, in context of it helping me, he has agreed. When he needs it, he will use it.
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This is true. In my state, there is a card you display on your rear view mirror when you park in a handicap space. Otherwise, it's not visible.
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Your Dad may be struggling with feeling a loss of control over his life, with his loss of mobility. Many states offer handicapped placards that are placed on the rearview mirror. If he would apply for one of these, he could choose when he wanted to use a handicapped space and when he did not. In this way he could maintain a feeling of control, yet have the option of convenience on the days that he really needs it.
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I like Sunny's comment about picking your battles, but sometimes you just have to make it happen. This is my Dad to a T. I never know any more what he might fight about or what I can slide by.
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Maybe, I'm not fully understanding the problem. Is it that he refuses to get a handicap plate? If so, then I would get the application and sit down with him to fill it out, get doctor signature, etc. I'd just proceed and say this is what we need. It makes sense and we are getting it. Politely, but firmly.

I have found that sometimes with seniors, they are just not open to new ideas. They can be very resistant to common sense ideas. I'm not sure if it's pride, dementia, stubbornness, or what, but if all else fails, just make it happen. I have found that begging, convincing, providing information, etc. doesn't work that well. I pick my battles and when it's a biggie, I make it happen, without a lot of drama. Later, they see the value and that it was needed. Don't say I told you so. lol
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Try asking for him for his help. Ask him to help you. You drive him around everywhere and he's very lucky to have you but in order to make driving him around easier and more convenient for you ask that he agree to get a handicapped tag.

You do your part in helping him, now he has to do his part in helping you.

When my dad got stubborn and dug in his heels I'd turn the situation around as I described and ask that my dad help me. We all develop little tips and tricks when caregiving and this approach I always referred to in my mind as the "help me help you" approach.
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