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Friend wants to take dinner to my dad. We would eat with him, play Christmas music and talk. Probably wouldn't be more than 45 minutes. He doesn't want this to happen. Seemed very upset about it when I told him we were planning this. I am tired of putting forth the effort when all he does is say "no" and complain. He has no friends. Only people he sees other than me and my family are his home health nurse and physical therapist. Yes, he is depressed and takes 2 antidepressants. Refuses to increase dosage as doctor ordered.

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Thank you for validation, AmyGrace. You are correct, Dad has never been a social person so now even less so makes sense.
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Just let him do his own thing. It sounds like he feels safe and comfortable being alone. My mother was the same way. She was always been socially inept and for years has been depressed too. She is uncomfortable around other people and once she lost her hearing and got dementia she was unable to comprehend, so she is lost if she is with more than one person. Even at Christmas, she would sit on the couch, never move, cling to one person. Even in independent living she never socialized, eventually would eat lunch with a couple of women, but never ever invited them in, would never go to the restaurant if those "safe" people weren't there. A visit to our house was a "cat on the hot tin roof" experience and in the morning she was by the door at 7am ready to go home. If your father has never been particularly social as he ages he will become more so. If this is totally out of character for him, maybe you should check with the doctor. But after 20 years of dealing with Mom, I can honestly say that nothing we tried helped her socialize.
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My own Mother Who is 86 years and suffers from Al/s never wants to go any where, plus She's not too comfortable with People, Family or Friend's calling to visit. I accept this simply because. I can understand that Mom is happiest within Her own domain. She has the re assurance of knowing where every thing is, eg: the bathroom, the kettle, TV etc.
Of course when We look and feel at Our very best We would have the confidence to go any where or meet with any one, but Our Love one no longer feel this way and are happier to withdraw Themselves and remain in the shadows. I'm sure when We are old and dependent We will feel this way too.
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Why not just take the six year old and a special treat to share with GGpa and limit the time to about half an hour. Let him know the exact time you will be arriving and be on time. Another idea would be to host a small family meal on another day so he is not overwhelmed by noise and excitement. The minute he wants to leave take him home. This is about something pleasurable for him, that way he will be prepared to do it again. host something at your house but let him go back to his room as soon as he wants. family gatherings are not the same for him now his wife has gone and he may prefer to hang on to the old memories and pretend these celebrations are not actually happening. Please don't force him to do something he does not like and will cause him unessesary anxiety
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The holiday gatherings might be overwhelming for him; but some one-on-one time with the six-year-old might be very special.
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Well Parstsmom, that is a good idea, but it's his Great Grandchildren, my DIL is trying to preserve the memories for, and they are 6 and nearly 2 years old. They do make pictures and cards for him, and their Mother is very good about taking and giving him lots of pictures, to give to him, and to have for their own memory books. She is just wanting to continue having him involved in their young lives as long as possible, which is such a wonderful thing! I can't blame her for being disappointed when he doesn't with to participate in holiday gatherings. So we will force him to, as long as he is capable of going, if only for the little ones! Thanks for the suggestions!
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Stacyb, would it work for you to take your grandkids, one at at time, to visit your dad and ask about things he did as a kid? Just short periods, but often enough for them to have memories. Maybe they could write them down when they get home and even illustrate them if they like to draw--and bring the pictures to show him. Or even have them draw a picture and build it from his descriptions.
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My FIL, who has lived with us for 11+years, is very reclusive, and according to him, he is very happy to just sit alone in his TV room, watching TV, all day, every day. He states that he is not depressed, and actually, I believe him. It is a struggle to get him to go anywhere, other than the Dr's, and he even opted out of the Thanksgiving dinner, my DIL so lovingly put on. Siteing, worry about the roads, the fog and potential black ice on the roads, even though there really wasn't any true concerns of this. Truthfully, I feel he just wanted to stay home and watch the football matches, but it did upset my DIL, who wants him to be present for the memories of G-Grandpa, fof her children. I can't blame her, but it is difficult for him to get out, and then rely on others to help him to walk, use the restroom and serve him up dinner, and then he of course always wants to leave early, again worrying about the time, the roads, his medication schedule, and cutting into others enjoyment. So, we let him off the hook on this one, but will press him into going for Christmas, if only for the others who don't necessarily understand these concerns. He's nearly 86, and he took care of his ailing wife for many years prior to her passing, so, I truly believe that he likes his little life, and as long as we can manage him in our home, the best that we can do is to allow him to ljve the life he wants, and on his terms.
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Thank you all for your input. "careisgiving", I think you hit the nail on the head with your last 2 sentences. That is my dad as well. God bless you all.
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I know it's hard for you to see him in this manner but there's only so much tug and pull you can do. He's consciously making the decision to go at this own speed. At least he hasn't given up completely and is still working with the physical therapist. Maybe he's just in a rut and wants his space from everyone while he's processing the realities of his illness or what's ahead of him in terms of quality of life. We all get stuck in a rut. It's normal. My father (now deceased) had all his faculties and was very stubborn up until the end. He came from nothing and was self-made. He refused to let anyone (me, the doctors, the nurses, etc) tell him what he should and shouldn't do. He was hell-bent on conducting his life the way he wanted to and not what the rest of us thought what was best for him.
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How old is your dad and has he always been like this? I find with my mom (who's 96) being with other people is now stressful for her. She is trying to be social, but her cognitive abilities have declined to the point that I have to be careful not to overdo it.

Today a very sweet friend wanted me to bring my mom to her home (she's married). My mom just couldn't handle that and I'd be so worried for her, I wouldn't enjoy the visit either. My mom can handle about 10 minutes and that's it. So depending on your dad's personality/cognitive abilities, and overall personality, it might be more difficult for him to be social (which seems easy to you) than you know. I'd let him be who he wants to be...unless he's complaining about being lonely.
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My father was reclusive. He had what we would now call Asperger's that got worse when coupled with dementia. Being around people was something he did not want. He didn't even want to be around family other than my mother. Holiday gatherings were very hard on him, but we did them because of my mother. If it had been him alone, I would not have put him through it. It was not enjoyable for him in any way.

We can wish things were different, but sometimes we just have to accept the way they are. It may just be depression with your dad, but unless you feel the visit from your friends would be therapeutic, I would forget the idea. Maybe you could have dinner with them, then bring him a plate he could enjoy.
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The more you try to get dad to be someone he's not, the less you see YOUR friends. Let it go.
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