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I was added to my 85 y/o Dad's care team 3 months ago bcause he loved how it felt to have his daughter taking care of him. Daddy and I have always had a great relationship and could always talk about anything. But now that I'm in a caregiver position, sometimes out of town just he and I, he second-guesses me constantly, and seems to assume I have not learned ANY life skills at the age of 52! Most of the time I tyr to deal with it humorously... or I simply remind him that "I'm 52 years old!"... but it gets really freaking OLD havign someone assume you don't know anything. I'm not a blithering idiot and he knows that... but when he says "Well, I don't know what you know" I wanna scream! How about assuming maybe I know how to navigate the basics of life! Ater all, if I'm that dumb, I have no business taking care of him 24/ when we're out of town. He also feels no qualms about yelling at me... especially to "hurry up" which GALLS me to no end considering I end up having to do all the packing, loading, unloading, etc. It takes all I have not to blow up at him... I just try to gently remind him... but last time I tried to let him know it upsets me to get yelled at, he stewed about it for hours, and then came and picked a fight with me and claimed he never did that. Well, jeez. I know when I'm being yelled at! I tried to explain that I understand parent/child dynamics are at play here, and he interrupted me and mockingly said, you mean CHILD/parent and totally missed the point of what I was trying to say. I'm not used to anyone picking fights with me and I am a lifetime conflict-avoidant. He and Mom, who passed away last November, used to bicker constantly. I think he misses that, but I am NOT having it! Now I dread spending time with him because I feel a really important trust has been broken. I love my Dad so much and I don't want to start resenting signing up to help him. BTW I only get paid $125 a week, so that's all I got for 8 days of 24/ care. My husband and teenage son, not to mention all of our pets, are feeling very neglected. I just can't win. Someone is always disappointed and feeling neglected. Thoughts?

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My mother has been on my case life long with "you need to do this or that, you shouldn't do whatever, it's about time you did ..." and so on. She's now in a NH with Parkinsons and dementia and bashing me over things that don't even exist. The other day it was "I think you're crazy to have white fitted carpet in the house with dogs". Umm, I don't have fitted carpet and have no intention of having it, white or otherwise. A life long narcissist, she'll never stop and I'm all she has to take it out on. Today she's going to Walmart on the NH bus and residents can only go if they have someone to escort so I'll follow the bus in my truck, push her around then flee once she's loaded back on again. As I have done life long, I avoid her as much as possible.
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bls0901 - That's great! "Try telling him that you forgive him for trying to hurt your feelings."

pjnalty, it is tough.
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Since I got my sense of humor from my Dad, I really do try to lighten things up when he gets too bossy or "yelly", but he sees that as me clowning around and so then he gets out the verbal cattle prod!! Just like when your 5 y/o is foot-dragging...
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A psychologist friend of mine told me that the bad habits a person has when younger become more pronounced when they get old. That is certainly the truth when I deal with my mother. My mother was an only child and used to getting her own way all of the time. My father allowed my mother to run our house as she saw fit so everything was done her way. Now that she is 84 yrs. old and has dementia she acts as though she rules the roost when she is at my house. She does not say please if she wants something, but she will say "do you have anything to drink" and when I get her hand her something she takes without uttering a word. She never compliments my cooking, but she will eat whatever I serve her. She does not remember the name of her care giver at her assisted living home but at least she does not ask to go back to her house anymore either. My brother just passed away last week and we did not tell her because she doesn't remember him anyway because he was adopted at 3yrs. of age and moved away 25 years ago. I gave her a piece of left over pumpkin pie last night and when I handed it to her she asked if I had company for Thanksgiving, she was my company! I just responded yes she was my company and she said that she had not had Thanksgiving dinner this year.....The dynamics of our relationship have certainly changed. I try to ignore the hurtful things said and treat her with dignity. There is no need to argue with her or get mad at her because she will not remember anything that has happened 20 minutes later anyway. I just sigh and move on.....She is doing the best that she can.............So is your Dad. He is set in his ways and can not see that he is wrong, Is life is different now from what he was used to. He still needs to "roar" once in awhile to feel in control, let him roar. Take breaks when you need to or just walk away if he is out of line. Try telling him that you forgive him for trying to hurt your feelings. He is still your dad and he does still love you!!
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My husband does this, and I try to ignore it, with limited success. Part of what he is doing is thinking out loud. He doesn't trust himself, so he doesn't trust me, either. I know I really should ignore it.

I learned a Buddhist saying that I try to use. "To be patient is welcoming wholeheartedly whatever arises, having given up the idea that things should be other than what they are." When he explains to me how to drive from the town I used to live in to our home of 20 years, I say, "I am welcoming wholeheartedly..." which means that I am kinda ticked off, but holding my tongue. I say it out loud, and he knows what I'm doing. We laugh about it and don't have to fight.

I take it personally, but then I remember not to, and then I let it go. Try not to take it personally. As Jeanne says, he's not going to change. Good luck.
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We will always be their *child* no matter how old we are. I deal with that with my parents who are in their 90's and I am pushing 70. No matter how many times I tell them I am on Medicare.... that I am getting Social Security... that I am a member of AARP... and I recently bought my own cane.... it doesn't register. I am still 25 years old to them.

Over the past 5 years, since my parents stop driving and I became the chauffeur, I am finally trying to learn to find humor in the things they say, no matter how out languish it sounds. It's not easy to do, but I am trying.

I have to realize my parents are living together "alone" in a large house, they have outlived their siblings and most of their friends, so outside stimulus is far and few between. How I wished they would have moved into a retirement community to make new friends, etc. I can't be their entertainment because I still work and have my own household to maintain.
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Thank you SO much!!!
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He is who he is. Eight-five is a little late to expect major personality changes. That doesn't mean YOU have to put up with disrespect, but recognize there are limits to what you can expect from him. He is used to bickering with a loved one. He has probably done it for five decades or more. To him it seems "normal." It only takes one to make stupid statements, but it takes two to bicker. Don't engage him when tries to start bickering.

I understand that is is galling to do all the work and then get criticized. Can he do some of the work? Could he sit on a chair next to the bed and pack a suitcase? He has limitations, but encourage him to do what he can do.

You know that you are not a blithering idiot. You know that you are a competent adult. I suspect he knows it, too. I suspect that this pattern of belittlement is a life-long habit, too. Don't rise to the bait. You know what you are doing. You don't need to justify it or argue about it with Dad. He says, "Don't you even know that you should be doing it x way?" and you say "You may be right, Dad. But I'm doing it the way I prefer."

I don't see any issue of trust here. I see a cantankerous old man who is set in his ways and who probably resents needing to be dependent on a child, of all things.

You love your dad. You obviously are not doing this for the money. Keep in mind why you are doing it, don't take your dad's personality personally. Don't rise to his bait. Tell him, respectfully, some time when all is calm, that you will not tolerate being yelled at, and leave the room when he yells.

Discuss how hard this is for you with your husband and son (without expecting them to solve it) just so they can understand what you are going through and not take your "neglect" personally. The situation will stabilize and eventually be less stressful.

You sound like a loving, caring daughter. You can do this. It will just take some time to learn which battles are worth fighting and which boundaries are worth defending. Let the rest wash over you.
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