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Mom passed away 11 months ago. Dad didn't do lonely well so I moved him in with me and my wife. It was part of the plan years from now. I spent the last 11 months running back and forth (7 hours each way) for days at a time. Lost business due to my interruptions. Cleaned out his house and business with little help from my siblings (one of which lives 3 miles away from him and worked for him). Siblings took what they wanted and that was it. Was 2 months until I even got a call from one on how are things going? My wife is a saint, she is so good about all of this, it is taking a great toll on both of us. We just got used to being empty nester's. I turned my house upside down to make accommodations, sold and gave away many of my things to make way for all of his. Gave a lot away to charity. Now that he is here it worked OK living wise, he has his own living room TV, computer bedroom and bath. He has his car, fully functioning. When mom passed he gave up eating well. He'd prod me with what crap he ate each day. I am not the best eater but we do try to eat healthy. He gained weight and is completely doing nothing. He went from running his business every day to nothing. The last 2 or 3 years he was keeping busy with the business loosing money and trying to look like it was working. The only thing he was doing was transferring money day to day spending money to make money. My parents had no plan for retirement. When mom died his money went to half so he couldn't keep up the expenses. So the only way was to move in with me. I'm OK with it but now he is here 27/7. I work at home now regulated to the basement. I got him a great gym membership for 3 months and he went once.I set his banking up, he still uses his old bank. He always says "we have to do this or that" he cant do or wont do anything him self. I have to call his Dr.s find him new ones order his meds. This is a man who tomorrow in 10 minutes could order every part to build a house! I give him phone numbers and tell him to do it but he wont unless I do it. He will make an excuse to go out maybe 2 times a week to get groceries and now I know he is sneaking out to get junk food and tell us he is eating healthy. Sorry for the rant. He asks for a specific meal (he can cook) and doesn't even say its good or bad. He told my wife 'he doesn't give compliments". Its a wonder I came out so different (thank you mom)!
Some is good some is bad, I cant go anywhere my self unless I take the bike he wants to go with me to get out of the house. My wife and I have taken to fibbing a bit to say we have errands to do just to get out of the house. I planned a trip for dad and I back in January as a last big trip. My wife is not pleased as it is longer than any vacation we take together. I cant plan a trip for her an I as he wont take care of the dogs and house while we are gone (his dog my dog). I'm afraid to leave him. My wife has 2 weeks of vacation left and we are stuck here. I feel trapped in my own house. Siblings are no help at all what so ever. No relatives even close. I don't want him to make a long drive again, his friend just feel asleep at the wheel. He wont find a volunteer job or something to do unless I do it for him. He is overweight and cant stand long or walk far (trying to get him to walk every day). How do I not feel so trapped? Plus overriding guilt is massive right now between mom passing and taking this all on. My wife says I shouldn't feel guilty but for some reason I do I don't know why. Maybe because I haven't processed it all yet and we are selling and giving away all of my moms things.. Stressed beyond belief........

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TGengine, dad is not going to learn anything. He either does not want to or he can't. or is too depressed to care or make any effort. Why let him run his finances into the ground? Find someone else to manage for him if you really can't, but he's floundering, and nothing will be gained or learned by no one stepping in to take over where he can't or won't.

You are probably right not to put your name on any accounts of his, you don't need your credit rating to be in the toilet along with his, or to be saddled with his debts when the bankruptcy, POA, and/or guardianship finally happens. Are you anywhere near to being able to get him a comprehensive geriatric evaluation? Maybe soon after your trip? Glad you have carved out a little time for you and your sweetie for now though!
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Good points, Tgengine. I was thinking of joint signatory power if needed in the future. I think the allowance idea is a good one.

It is hard to train someone not to expect others to take care of them, especially as they age and really do need someone to take care of them....sometimes an irony of contradictions, but also a troublesome issue.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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I am on the account but I don't want to co mingle my account with his for various reasons. I have a business, my personal accounts plus I am president of one organization I handle money for and treasurer for another. so I really don't need another account to manage! I was hoping he would act like a big boy and take this on but he enjoys others doing it for him. He wont even open his mail at most times. It is a tactic to not deal with things, he admits it. He did this with the move. He learned this when his mother died when he was 14 and the family took care of him. I have to unlearn him. Mom taught me to be independent but this is crazy. I think he would enjoy having an allowance, he wouldn't have to worry then. I cant be my mom anymore though and manage his money.
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Chase has a feature allowing a checking account to be linked to a Chase credit card. If the checking account is overdrawn, the deficit is added to the credit card. I don't believe there are any fees attached. You could open an account jointly with your father.

I think he's at the point where financial issues are more than he wants to deal with, so perhaps you could present the checking account/credit card option as a way of taking control of his finances. Just be sure if he agrees that you and/or your wife are joint signatories with him.

Chase also has a variety of checking options for former military members. I don't recall if any of them have provisions which offer relief from overdrafts, but if your father is a vet, it's worth checking out.

Glad to hear that father is away on a trip! Great progress. Enjoy your day off!
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Dad took off today for a day trip with a senior group my wife pointed out to him, He set the alarm off in the house before he left the only morning I tried to sleep in. Oh well. Anyway everyone left the house today and I have it back to myself for most of the day. Feels awesome!
Yesterday was horrible, his bank account was over drawn 3 times after I told him not to use it. He has zero desire to deal with it. He waits for his SSI and says every day it will be in tomorrow. He got hit w fees, too bad I say. I have taught him over and over how to access it. I asked him to call the bank. I asked him to make the changes in the account but he wont do it. At this point I have to either let him sink like he has been doing for years or take it all over take his card away from him and give him cash for an allowance each week..... He did this to my mom for years, she would say they have no money and he would keep using the debit card. I take the credit card away from him next week just in case he starts on that. When I told him about the bounced checks he just kinda laughed. I don't think he gets it. There are fees galore. My mom would vent to me all the time about it, no one else, and there were times I had to bail them out. If I leave it up to him it will be a financial mess, he just doesn't care I guess. So it is up to me. I will have a talk tonight when he gets back from his senior trip, which I think is great, he set it up on his own but again I get left with dealing with the finance. This is the last trip I take with him, I have done all the planning, travel, set up, gear, preparation for the trip. I have my things together already, he will wait until the night before to pack and forget a number of things I am sure as usual. Not sure where I got all the planning genes from, but it trickled down to my daughter. Sure didn't get it from my dad. Anyway enjoying a quiet day today and will treat my wife to a late lunch and maybe an adult beverage or 3 for lunch!
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I would have guessed depressed rather than cognitively impaired. He did not really have teh resources it would have taken to recover from losing his wife...I hope he finds something to give him a real reason for living again. hugs!
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One other thought is to arrange for your dad to go away for a few days. Many facilities these days have respite care to give caregivers a break. If he is away you can enjoy your beautiful home with the pool and yard you love. Don't let him hijack your life. You are now in charge not dad. I know this from experience, it's a tough transition to make but we don't have a choice when the time comes. It certainly seems as though it's come for you. Best wishes!
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You are taking your Dad on a big trip and your wife "may" get an overnight trip? Puppies do just fine in kennels! This is a big problem; "relishing" trip with Dad and hate to put dog in a kennel! Your wife needs to come first or you and Dad may be looking for someone to do all that your wife does.

Dad gets an overnight trip and wife gets 10 day vacation. That is how it would work in most families I know!
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I was thinking about the junk food... you know when people get older let them have something to enjoy.... my Mom and Dad have healthy meals, but they still do desert and mid-day snacks.... Little Debbies, low salt potato chips, chocolate chip muffins, anything Entenmann's, apply pie, ice cream, of course not all at the same time, but it is a fun treat that they enjoy at their age [mid 90's].
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Your situation comes as a harsh lesson to make plans and set rules and bounderies before moving an elder or anyone else into your home.
You did all the practical stuff about making dad a private area but neglected your own privacy. Now there will probably be some hurt feelings when you aseert your authority and and try to take back your lives.
Your dad may have been very confident running his own business and a very competent tradesman. but the fact is that he was failing very very badly.
he relied so heavily on his wife that when she died he just did not know how to do things.
I think it is absolutely right to expect and make him do the practical things he is capable of accomplishing for as long as he is able, there will come a time when he needs help and direction and finally he really won't be able to manage to remember which sheet goes on the bottom. tell him up front that you really do still want to have your friends over and be able to enjoy them on your own. Tell him you would like him to join you for half an hour for a drink with your friends then please return to his own area and give you privacy. You will take a plate down to him at ? o'clock and you expect him to leave you in peace. If you are having a big party say at Christmas invite him to join you but the operative word is invite.
Now his wife is no longer by his side he has probably become very anxious and that can soon move into panic. I do think you should help him with his on line bank ing so that you know he is not over drawing and getting all kinds of fees. I would also definitely not allow him to use your credit card or get one of his own. If he has so much cash in his pocket each month he will learn to manage it like the rest of us. It is entirely up to you whether you subsidize things like his car expences but the pay back is he uses it to go to activities on his own.
He should also contribute to the household expenses.
Don't fib to him about where you are going he will find you out. He also won't listen to his own son about what is good for him. I know you want what is best for him but it is his choice.
The older we get the more anxious and uncertain many of us get about things that were easily managed or our spouse took care of. My husband for example gets very anxious about driving anywhere unfamiliar these days and will spend hours programing the route into his GPS. It drives me nuts hearing that woman's voice. I just jot the names of the routes down and stick a note in big letters on the dashboard and take off. If I get lost I just pull over and look at the map. We all have our different anxieties. Hubby won't ask. I will point out a gas station and yes he will pull in but rather than go in and ask he will spend half an hour reprogramming the GPS. It is all a question of personalities and just where our weaknesses are and where we really need support rather that getting away with being lazy and avoiding resposibilities. It is very difficult to redirect a parent but once you get the hang of it and learn to say no kindly with an explanation it will hopefully be accepted.
Take that vacation and go away for the whole week. Take the puppy with you too. you owe it to your wife she deserves a vacation. maybe you can hire someone to come in for an hour or so each day and cook him a meal. that way he wont feel neglected and someone will be checking up on him and let you know if all is not right. Enjoy that vacation and make it a relaxing week doing stuff you both enjoy. may be during the second week your wife is off you could all go some where overnight. If the dogs are a problem in hotels take cages for them and go somewhere where you can get lots of exercise. When you get home start going to the gym with dad it will do you both good.
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Some days are better than others........... I try to keep him involved but it is trying. I have my friends over and I don't want to exclude him but I do like to have our friend time. Its like being a kid again. I hate to do it but I say I am doing an errand so I can go to a friends house. This is eating me alive. He won't take any instruction or responsibility for anything. He does his laundry as we refuse to do so. His banking, he can go online, he has been for months, he knows how to generate a statement and see what he has but every day he asks me to check. I set up a new bank, the old one has to be completed but he was over drawn the other day. for 11 months he doesn't know what comes out of the account? I just ran a list of all the auto withdrawals and his income. If he sticks to it he has $100 a week for expenses, dog food, meds, gas, spending, (eating out, him alone). That does not leave much. Pretty much last month he spent all of that. He has a credit card in my name alone (his name too but my credit) and I have that to zero, I will take it next week on a trip so I have something to put all OUR expenses on for this big trip (I am already relishing going). I have asked him repeatedly to change his SSI to his new bank but he wont do it. Oh well, too bad, I am leaving it the way it is for now, He can if he wants to make changes to the accounts of ask for my help while he does it but I refuse to do it for him.
I have him a membership to a great gym, an awesome gym but he wont go.He cant move much but when its time to get out for lunch he moves right along. Tonight I will have a sit down of expenses. I have not asked for one penny here at my house. Really not too much extra for AC and heat, just a bit more for food but not really as he buys his own things he likes. It is tough, I am at my wits end, we may take an over night if I board my dog which I don't want to do as she is a puppy. Still nothing from siblings..... oh well, John Wayne time......
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You know, one of the things about volunteer activities is the sense of gratification that comes from helping others, as well as the "there but for fortune go I" recognition.

That could help balance out his self image and make him feel very worthy again, a feeling he likely had when he was taking care of your family. That's reversed now, so he needs something to compensate and make him feel valuable again.

I see that very much with my father. His ability to help others has drastically declined, so I have to work to find ways he can continue to do so within his limitations.
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You're welcome to a push whenever you need it! Sometimes we all need that extra effort by someone to keep us focused on self protection.. And sometimes it's a balancing issue within our own psyches.

On the issue of cleaning, perhaps you can add one task a day, or one a week, as he can comprehend it and give him a chance to get used to adding that into his schedule.

"His situational awareness is not always engaged."

Love that comment, and what a delicate yet sophisticated way to describe his situation.
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Thanks for the push, I need it. He talked today about volunteering. I will talk to him about other things as well like changing his bed linens. My wife cleans his bathroom but that is it, the rest is up to him except vacuuming. My mother taught us all to clean help to etc. he never did as he was always working and providing. It get that. but times change. His situational awareness is not always engaged. I wont get into it but its the little things. He has hearing issues but when I talk in another room about something he hears quiet fine.
I am trying to teach him his computer when I can. I will give him numbers to call vs me do it. A bit of tough love is in order. I will take my wife away for a few days. We have a beautiful home with a pool and yard we love but cant enjoy the quiet like we want. My choice I know, just have to work around it.
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I remember when you posted sometime ago about the possibility of bringing your father in your home, then brought him, and the behavioral issues were just beginning, including with his dog which as I recall wasn't behaving very well either and was in the process of ruining the carpets.

You've gotten good advice. You're in a transition stage now where you're becoming the parent and you'll have to deal with your father as you would a child. It's a tough situation and one that's not easily navigated.

I agree that he needs to participate in the household chores. I think the issue though, is getting him to do it. And I'm not sure how that's to be done.

I still think there's a possibility of harnessing and channeling his building knowledge, but you'll probably have to walk him through getting involved.

I was wondering if there's an active Habitat for Humanity in your area. He could volunteer to help as they fix and repair houses for people in need. You'd probably have to go with him a few times until he realized he's enjoying it.

Is he a churchgoer, and if so, does his church have presence in your area? If it's a church that has relief society extensions, perhaps he could help folks in need fix up their houses.

Could you get him to some senior group activities, especially something like a woodworking group?

What about volunteer activities? He could work in a food bank sorting and/or packing groceries. He could volunteer at a hospital working in a gift shop or delivering magazines or books if there's a VA facility or some other long term care facility that might need help.

That in turn might make him realize what a great deal he has living with you and your wife1

Perhaps he's not only still adjusting, suffering some cognitive issues, but perhaps he's really at loose ends because he perceives it's no longer necessary for him to be responsible for maintaining his own house.

Perhaps he also needs to find a reason for living, to put it bluntly.
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Blannie is likely onto something. Sit down and have a real conversation with him and tell him you hoped it would work out and he would continue his independence but thing have to change. Take him to local senior center and introduce him to activities. Tell him you expect him to go there daily and also to have lunch there.

Stop having any junk food in the house. Tell him that is stopping and have wife only prepare healthy meals.

Tell him you expect him to be respectful and say please and thank you to family and guests and that these are now your house rules and you will tolerate nothing less. Make it clear that if it isn't working for him or you going forward that he should consider moving to a senior apt. There are several probably locally that have rent on a sliding scale --so no reason he can't afford.

You spoke about sibs that lived close by and then they didn't call when you relocated dad--now you know why, they likely had more contact with him and saw the signs and were happy he moved away.

Sorry, but for your sanity; put on your big boy pants and practice some tough love or give him the boot. He wouldn't have tolerated such behavior from you, so you don't need to tolerate from him just because he's your dad.

We are not obligated to care for our parents, we don't owe them because they raised us. That was their job.
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P.S. I don't think you say anywhere how old your dad is. But he may be at an age where he's starting to have some cognitive decline. Where he's simply not able to do things he could in the past. Keep an eye out for that, because he won't tell you that, he'll try to hide it. My mom is 94 and I see it every day. Her reasoning and problem-solving skills are gone. Your dad may not be there yet, but he may be starting...so keep that in mind when you're dealing with him.
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Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to do something and your parents (probably dad) would say, "As long as you live in our house, you abide by our rules"? Well, now you're living the reverse of that.

You need to have a good old fashioned sit-down talk with Dad to lay out the rules of the house. He's not a guest, he's a participating member of the household. Everyone chips in. He wants meals? He needs to be complementary to the chef. He does his chores. He helps out the other housemates (you and your wife). Give him some chores to accomplish that will help you and your wife, so he feels like he's contributing to the household. Let him know what he's responsible for accomplishing and then hold him to it.

Just like when you were a kid, "mom and dad" need alone time. Dad doesn't have to come on every outing. He needs to establish some friends and activities on his own. Can he go to church or a senior center nearby, so he can start to have some activities independent of you? If he chooses to sit around by himself, that's OK, but it's not a license to stick to you like glue. If you deny him that opportunity, it may spur him to get out more on his own.

And definitely go on vacation with your wife. MaggieMarshall's suggestions about that are good. If you don't want to kennel your dogs, have a dog walker come in. Surely your dad can feed the dogs if the walker walks them every day.

Your dad has been through a lot of change, so he's needed time to adjust. But now he's had some time and you need to set the boundaries for life from here on out. Be respectful but be firm. And if it's not working out, you can also find him somewhere else to live, where he can live like he wants. Make that clear too. Good luck and keep us posted. Your mom raised a good son!
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I agree with Maggie..Take your vacation now while you can... He'll manage..

Believe me you need to take care of yourself.. If any thing put your wife first!

Take lots of pictures because in the future that's all you'll have left of vacation time..
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TGen, could he build a bookcase for his room? Simple one? Can he read plans? Build it from scratch? If he doesn't want to do it for himself, could you convince him to build a toy chest for a grandchild (if he has one)? Or to gift to someone you all know? Afraid of his using a saw? Here's one that comes with all the pieces ready to assembly....thisoldhouse/toh/photos/0,,20446331_20884009,00.html

Maybe you can find him a "bliss" he can occupy himself with . . .
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Thanks, Yeah I guess you are right. It is mostly the respect thing I guess. Sometimes it is easier to just do than fight. He grew up with people doing things for him and he allows it. He is very independent in many ways, ran his business provided very well for us but mom did everything as far as the things around the house daily chores etc. he loves to build but his dexterity is not there any longer. the biggest thing is getting him to do something on his own.
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Wake up! Your dad is no longer in charge. You are. You're not his child anymore, You're his caregiver. You've got all kinds of excuses for why you're so trapped. But the reality is that you're so TRAPPED because you allow it.

Take a week of those two weeks and go on a vacation with your wife. Put both dogs in a kennel (what did you do BEFORE dad moved in?) or take your dog with you. Most lodging takes pets now. It's doable. For your trip, see if you can order Meals on Wheels. That'll accomplish three things: a wellness check every day; nutritious meals; and an appreciation of your wifey's cooking. Ha! Sans that, you and wifey put together 7 nutritious meals that can be heated in the oven for a half-hour -- with sticky-note instructions on every container. (Make the containers oven-proof, by the way. Glad makes them. Idiot-proof them by covering them with aluminum foil instead of the plastic lid.) glad/food-storage/containers/ovenware-8x8/

Meatloaf one night; stew the next; lasagna the next; mac & cheese one night; roasted chicken with potatoes and veggie one time; chili; etc. Have a loaf of delicious bread in the house and a dozen hard-boiled eggs. Walk him through the program carefully before you leave. Call him every afternoon/evening to see how he's doing.

As for not being able to go out alone. What? Just another indication that you're still his son and not in charge. If he is living in your home? With you and your wife? You're in charge. Step up. Here's a word you need to learn: "No."

Your wife's a saint. "I don't give compliments" is just one more way of being in charge. And rude. He should thank his lucky stars. Now. Go remind him. ;) ;) ;)

I wish you well. You're a good son.
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