My dad has to move from the farm house he has rented for 12 years. The landlord wants to fix it and live in it. My dad likes to collect things to sell for profit. Except he never sells things bc nobody helps him with it. I tell him there is only so much time when i come to help him. There is so much to move. Ive tried to find an auction house but cant. My dad only wants to sell if he gets what he thinks his "antiques" are worth. I make breakfast burritos for his freezer. I help him with paper work. I live 100 miles from him, but go every month at least. I found these very nice wheelchair accessible apartments, rent off of income. But he refuses to live in an apartment. Says he cant move closer to me or he will lose benefits, we live in different states. I used to live closer before i got married. I used to work and care for him at night. I burned out and didnt take care of myself. He has benifits to hire people but he only has one employee bc he runs others off and says its bc he cant find anyone. He wont hire an agency bc he did once and they were no good. He has to have control. He thinks he has found a hudd trailer on land he wants to buy. I understand and try hard to support his want to live on his own. I worry it will affect his Medicaid/Medicare. His case worker cant say one way or another. I get so frustrated he wont try the apartment. The land will require snow removal, he wont have close neighbors like now. Who will do that. Sometimes his wheelchair looses power or he gets stuck. He wants land so he can keep all his stuff. Old construction trailer he wants to use for storage. Truck, car, motorcycle, and jet skis, the list goes on. My dad wants to fix everything but cant bc of his injury. C5/c6 quad. Im trying to get a plan together, but i feel so exhausted after talking with him. Im trying very hard to help but its hard. My 2 brothers cant help. One lives in another state and doesnt want to help and one is in jail. My husband will help me move things but to where! I cant force my dad to sell things or move to an apartment. Im worried he will wind up homeless. My house is not wheelchair accessible. Trying not to pull hair out

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First off: DO NOT move dad and all his junk in with you. Just do not do it.

We all could make a list of stuff we want to have/do/own...etc. An adult understands that just because you really, really WANT something, doesn't mean you get it.

Your dad is acting like a kid and "wanting" everything to be his way, and it just simply cannot be. He's a quadriplegic? HE MUST have some help, right? Or is he chasing everyone away with his attitude?

He can't safely live in a trailer in some remote area when he's wheelchair bound. You see that. He needs to be in a safe, wheelchair accessible housing where he has access to the basics. Sadly, it probably cannot be on the farm. And he can't keep all his junk, either.

Have you posed it to him like that? He sounds a tad difficult to deal with. He CAN live "alone" but within reason. Like in a group home, or an ALF. There are options.

You can facilitate all the help for him that you can muster, but if he chooses not to accept it, you can't force him.

In the bitter end, you can call APS and report his as a senior in danger, or whatever the terminology is. If he will not work with you, sometimes letting the state step in is an effective tool. A wheelchair bound, quad living alone on a farm...nope, that's not going to work.

DON'T help him to stay there. And DON'T move him in with you. Start looking for some assisted living facility and prepare yourself for the inevitable anger that will come. I'm so sorry, aging, uncooperative parents are so difficult.
Helpful Answer (14)

Your dad is like my folks, legally competent but screwing things up more every day. You and I can't force our folks to anything. Old folks lose executive reasoning. Add that with macho stubborness and it's pretty hopeless to do anything with them.

I do what little they will allow then step away. Your dad and my folks will have some crisis/disaster that will force the issue.  About all you can do is keep on eye on things (any neighbors or contacts in the area?) and when he's found half dead in his stuck wheel chair call APS.  Work with them getting him placed.  DO NOT MOVE HIM IN WITH YOU. That will end badly.

It's so hard not to worry but after years of this I'm getting pretty hard hearted.

I'm guessing all this old man junk/hardware belongs in a junkyard. You and your hubs should not spend one minute messing about with that mess.

I know old guys like this. They have their beloved personal junkyards, live in old filthy places and there always the smartest guy in the room. My greatest fear is becoming one of these guys in my 80s!
Helpful Answer (10)

Oh I love how elders think their stuff is worth a fortune, and in reality is good for goodwill or the landfill. My FIL saved 20 years worth of magazines.. crap. he brings tons of old glass wear to the river house.. said he paid lots for it..(Old chipped corell etc) while I am trying to empty the place out.. (behind his back) And I grew up with an antique business.. so I know todays values! You won't win! So try to just stay strong, and keep offering options to him.  And as to the wheelchair adapted apartment.. good idea! My daughter bought a handicapped condo because it was laid out better and on the first floor, and it's a blessing when mom visits!
Helpful Answer (9)

Adding up all the "he wants" issues, you're in a situation that many have faced. Your father doesn't want to change, and his wants exceed his physical capacity. On the scale of equal wants and demands, your side is at the bottom because your father is demanding so much.

It's understandable that he wants life to go on w/o change and to believe that he can handle things that have probably long since become ungovernable. To admit that he's not in control of them is probably too much for him to conceive or accept. And it's a challenge for you or anyone to deal with these obsolete desires.

This can't work if you accede to his demands and perceived needs. I've found that it only does after a lot of frank talks, some resistance, but more importantly but sadly, when the parents reaches the point of being severely compromised physically and recognizes how much help he/she really needs.

There are tough and more gentle ways to deal with this. I'll only offer what I've found works; there are others here with more experience and insight on this problem.

Sometimes taking "sick time" can work as the parent realizes the son/daughter carer is human too, and gets sick too. Sometimes it doesn't work and the parent gets angry and resentful.

You can provide a list of what you and can't do, and it's non-negotiable. Ask him to provide solutions to what you can't. It may seem cruel, but you're shifting the obligation of maintaining all the stuff to him, and excluding yourself. This may just cause a stalemate though.

E.g., you can suggest difference methods of getting rid of the antiques - list different places that might take the stuff, provide estimates of the cost of delivery or pickup. I suspect he'll reject all of them though. But then, you have the right to remind him you've tried to offer solutions, he doesn't accept them, and there's nothing more you can do. Period.

It's hard to put a parent in that situation, but sometimes it's necessary.

But emphasize what you have done and can't do, and stick to your guns.

Sadly, there may come a time when your father falls, or has some kind of accident, and is forced to deal with his limitations. That might prompt a more realistic evaluation, but he may dig in his heals and resist even more b/c he doesn't want to deal with losing his mobility.

I don't know at this point that there's anything you can do except stand your ground, and recognize that he's trying to manipulate and control you, and giving in will only be a win situation for him. Then he'll expect more.

You're already stressed from trying to find solutions, knowing that he'll reject them.

This isn't much of an answer b/c there's not that much you can do when he won't cooperate, but I wanted you to know that you're not alone in this dilemma.

WindyRidge faces a similar situation. I'll PM him and ask him to offer perspective from a man's point of view. He always had good advice, and as a man, I think he's more able to not feel intimidated or tricked into feeling obligated and responsible for some of our parents' more inflexible demands.
Helpful Answer (7)

We often say "you'll have to wait for a crisis, such as a fall, to resolve this." But your Dad's crisis is here now. His rental agreement is not being renewed. There is no choice but to move SOMEWHERE. Your first priority is his safety and his is his independence. Not a lot of room for compromise, but keep trying.

Since your dad is of sound mind (is he?) he gets to say where he will live (within his financial means). I don't think that APS could interfere until he actually moves and is having trouble. But you might call them and explain the situation and see what they suggest.

If he moves to somewhere you consider unsafe, maybe he should hire his own movers.
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Thank you!! It helps to talk it out!! I will stay strong!!
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Yes!!! My father is like this!! We went today and found a water pipe broje downstairs. Called landlord. My husband and son clean up the mess getting water up. My dad wants to save the ruined smelly rug!! What!! Like almost a fight bc i said no. He will not budge. He has a skeet machine just needs to be fixed. Im like when the heck are you going to use it? Now he has an open sore on the back of his leg above the ankle. Its getting cleaned by his cna. But its bad and larger then a baseball. I said ok you goung to doctilor monday then? Well no bc they will just give me a tube of neosporin like i have. I dont know what to do. We did what we could and left after several hours. Thank you for listening!!!
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I actually understand his not wanting to move to an apartment. You lose a lot of 'freedom' in an apartment. I lived in one for 25 years and would prefer to never do it again.

You have 'wide open spaces' when you live on a parcel of land. The neighbors don't hear if you sneeze.

Is is possible to get a piece of land (1 acre) and move a handicap-accessible trailer onto it? My dad had to leave his house and move into a trailer on my property and he loved it! I placed it so he didn't have to see my house every time he went to sit on his porch and he had all the privacy he needed. BTW, I was not allowed to co-sign his loan for the trailer - they gave an 85 year old a 15 year mortgage for it, all on his own income. He was in it for a little more than 3 years. He just had to put down a bigger down-payment which amounted to about $6000 if I remember correctly. And the payments were cheaper than rent, coming in at under $350 month.

Just another option to be considered.
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What a situation! I have no brilliant advice, except to remark that it reminds me of a letter to a columnist seeking advice. Elderly parents always had a huge garden while all the kids were growing up, and now the kids were all busy adults but the parents still wanted that garden. They were unable to rototill, dig, plant, hoe, or anything else, being in their 80's, but they demanded the children drop everything, come over, and plant/water/fertilize the huge garden. And of course, pick the vegetables, prepare them for canning and freezing, and do THAT, too, just like in the good old days.
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Tell him the new location is too remote from neighbors and assistance, should he be in need. Additionally, you will support his location of choice only if it meets specific criteria such as being close enough to neighbors to get help if needed, good roads/access for emergency vehicles, ramps and doorways that accommodate his wheelchair etc. then let him find an acceptable location - his life, his preferences, makes it his job to find his new home.  Do not let him move in with you.  I took care of my parents until their deaths, but they were not in the least demanding and I did not have a husband.  Given what you have described it would likely be a devestating decision to bring him into your homes to live.

As suggested by someone else, you may have to become sick and inaccessible for him to comprehend how much he leans on you. I do not know how much time you have before he must move out, but if you can be sick for the next scheduled monthly visit he may be less inclined to run off his hired help in the future.

This will be a rough road. Set limits and expectations. If he has money to put a trailer on an acceptable lot, let him. If he can't put all his collections on the property, he can rent a storage unit for some items and sell what he must. You have a solution for him, if he does not accept it he will need to find something he prefers for himself.  Stand firm and set boundaries as far as what he can expect of you.
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