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My father fell in his home and suffered a spinal cord injury back in November. I was luckily at home when he fell and called an ambulance for him to go to the hospital.


He had back surgery the next day to decompress the spine and he is a quadraplegic, he has been in and out of rehab for the last 3 months. We are hoping for him to get better and regain some functionality.


My mother and I are arranging for him to come home. We lived in a house with steps and with his current condition , house is not conduisve for him and we are currently about to move into an apartment. He is very homesick and sick of rehab, and we are trying to arrange for his home health services when he comes home.


For the last three months me and my mom have been through a roller coaster ride. I told my parents, that I will become a caregiver for him when he is home and signed up for home health aide classes. Everything, I have been doing has been for my father and cause I love. I have been there washing his clothes, giving him restaurant food (he hates rehab food) and doing a lot of arrangements for the apartment.


Then we were talking how of the blue he said that I took pleasure in seeing him suffer. I was so shocked by what he said and insulted, because it was a jerk thing to say and also that he tried to paint me as a nasty person as I am far from it. I was very shocked and very hurt by what he said,even my mother was shocked.


I know that he is depressed and feels helpless, he has been in and out of rehab and hospitals, he has never been in a hospital before in his long life. I can understand the culture shock, and we try to give him hope of the new apartment which he is looking forward to.


The last he should do is take it out on his family.


I am doing whatever I can to help him as a new caregiver, I am nervous about the emotional conflict and aspect of being his caregiver. I can tolerate things but never nastiness from anybody, if I am doing something noble and supportive for them.


What advice and support do you have from being caregivers yourselves and dealing with nastiness and taken for granted aspect of being a caregiver.


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Electra95, How very sad, you are facing a very difficult time ahead , I'm afraid. Your Dad has probably been a very proud man all his life, and now is dependent on everyone, to do the very basic of needs, and it must be extremely difficult for him. You must try not to take what he says to heart, it's just the frustration coming out. Yes, it is hurtful, but I'm sure he doesn't mean it.

There is nothing wrong with coming back at him, and reminding him of everything that you are doing for him.

It may be, that you are not cut out for this dificult position, and if he is to remain paralyzed, he may be better served in a facility, as hard and harsh as that sounds. You must not get into a situation, where you are doing all the work, and not getting any respite care yourself!

You and your Mom cannot do all the work yourself. It is going to take a team of people and caregivers, to be able to keep him home, no matter how hard you try!

It would be advantageous to you, if you got some counselling, on how to proceed forward, in learning how to care for someone so dependant on you, and the angry, frustrated words, that will come out of his mouth, directed at you, but really, just him being angry at the situation.

It's the old: You always hurt the ones you love, situation, and he may not be able to help himself. It's going to be very dificult for you, and yes, you will need to develop a thick skin.

I have Nephew, currently on Hospice, dying from Cancer, and right now, as he faces death at age 47, he is striking out at the very ones, who are there caring for him, in the most intimate ways, but he knows not what he is saying, and how much his words hurt.

Proceed with caution, and guard your heart!
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Does he truly believe you enjoy seeing him suffer? Probably not. Just because he says it, does not actually make it true! He is currently paralyzed and facing an unknown, scary, and uncertain future.

I would suggest a visit with a counselor to learn how to empathize in a non-personal way. "I feel that I've gone above and beyond. I'm sorry you feel that way. Is there anything that particularly makes you feel that way? You sound frustrated with your situation." Etc.

This is an extremely difficult time for all of you but the one who is paralyzed will be effected the most. People can get frustrated or depressed and take it out on anyone caring for them - family or paid help. Use distraction as much as possible to keep his mind off of what he has lost.
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My mother tells everyone she meets how abusive and uncaring I am . And, yes, she has also accused me of enjoying seeing her suffer.

When I was young, my father became disabled and when I would do things for him, she always put a spin on it that made me look bad. She has always claimed that I am, in one way or another, out to screw her out of her money (or my brothers out of their inheritance)

I just know that I am doing the right things and for the right reasons and let her meanness roll off my back. I have become and efficient caregiver - not warm and loving, just efficient. And when she complains about that, I can only shrug and remind myself that she is getting the best out of me that I can give right now. If she wants warm and fuzzy, then maybe she should have given warm and fuzzy sometime in the last several decades.

And, I agree with the above. Have a thick skin or bring in someone else. Sadly, is most likely won't get better.
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My dear, you might be a wonderful caregiver, but if you are going to be thin-skinned about your dad's insults, you would be better off hiring professional help and not going down this road.

For whatever reason, some elderly, with dementia, pre-existing mental illness or both, take out their frustrations on the family caregiver. They are often the very essence of politeness to the rest of the world and only torture the one caring for them.

You either decide that you are going to do this task for its own sake and not because it will make your dad love you, or you get out of this situation and arrange in home care for your dad.

I would also have him tested for a UTI, which can often cause psychiatric symptoms. I'd also have him seen by a geriatric psychiatrist to see if his meds for depression and/or need to be started or adjusted.
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