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My dad is only 64 but has a variety of health problems. The worst is spinal stenosis which has been causing him to slowly become paralyzed from the waist down. There is no treatment other than in home physical therapy which he refuses to participate in. He lives alone and has a caregiver that comes each weekday for a couple of hours to assist him with meals, errands, bathroom visits, sponge baths, etc. I took care of these things for him for about 1.5 years before I had to get the caregiver due to his constant temper with me. I am his only child, he has no other family or friends around, and he has always been a self imposed hermit. He is very noncompliant with his doctors' advice other than his meds. He has been getting much worse and really needs to be in assisted living but refuses it. Even though I do not have children, his coming to live with me would strain my marriage probably to the point of collapse due to his demanding and belligerent attitude. I feel lost.

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I am so glad you found this place and that you set boundaries-I had to with my late husband when he was mean to me I left the nursing home and went back when I wanted to do so and if he left nasty messages on the phone I stayed away longer-he was in rehabs about 16 times the last few years-good luck and keep us posted.
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MyEars,
My dad will have his own bedroom but will share a kitchenette (for snacks) and a bathroom with another man. Each man has their own separate bedroom with a pull cord that will call the attendant. Each building has 16 residents (8 suites) and dad's building has 3 attendants during the day and 1 overnight. It is simple but very nice, clean, friendly (residents and staff), always smells like food - they cook 3 hot meals a day in the main kitchen and do housekeeping 5 days a week. It is affordable - dad's pension and SS will more than cover it as he is private pay. It is only 8 miles from my house, in a country setting with big trees and a nice large courtyard and best of all - he can have his 2 housecats in the room with him. I worked really hard to find just this right spot. I sure hope he likes it. He moves on Monday. He is currently in a nursing home for his rehab (doing great work in PT too) but he does not like it at all - I think it creeps him out. I could not research the nursing home/rehab centers too much because it happened fairly quickly after his short hospital stay. Fingers crossed for Monday.... Thanks for asking.
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Onlykid,

I'm so glad you have found a solution that works for everyone. Best of luck to you and your family.
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Thank you for your story. I am learning that there are many people with these struggles with their parents. I hope things are getting more bearable with your dad and his cancer is not causing him pain. Yes, having constant negativity is a real drain but at least you can enjoy the benefit of getting to know more about him. Sounds like you too have had to impose some "boundaries" otherwise we would just go nutty. I find that works for me too, after a while...
I have a positive update about my Dad; he is doing much better. He had to go into the hospital with pneumonia but it was a blessing in disguise. After it cleared up, I got him discharged to a rehab center doing lots of intense PT and OT. He had some trouble adjusting, and there was a day I had to just leave and not return for a week because of his temper with me escalated to the point where he was getting too excited. But now he is coming out of his shell, finding therapists that click, and not skipping so much PT and OT. Further, I have an awesome Assisted Living reserved for him, that is just great in a variety of ways - he can even have his 2 cats in his private room! It is close to my home, and I go by there all the time, so I can drop in to harass him and hang out and not have to "do 50 million things." Hopefully he will like it there and make friends like he has at rehab. Unbelievably, he has been a social butterfly at rehab, turtling up and down the halls in his wheelchair, visiting people in their rooms and getting other residents to join him outside on the patio. He can't go back to what he WAS doing for sure. The assisted living home has so much to offer that I think even if we could afford a live-in caregiver (which is a great idea by the way), the benefits of being with people but yet having his own personal space "mancave" will bring him some measure of happiness. Even now, while given the choice of staying in his room to watch TV or being out among people, he has actually chosen to be among people. Maybe he is realizing that isolation is not where it is at.
By all means, keep your dad's situation from impacting your family. I have learned that even though we love our parents, it can be a real threat to marriage unfortunately. That is just the reality of it all. Thanks again for sharing with me.
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I know how you feel. I'm an only child and my father sounds very much like your dad. He is also a self imposed hermit. My dad is not belligerent, he is just unaware of anyone else's needs but his own. My dad moved in with me 4 months ago.
Now for the bad part: I can say that it has put a strain on our family. My dads health is poor. He has stage IV colon cancer and is undergoing chemo. He is very intolerant of any pain and luckily the cancer has not caused any pain so far. My dad is very demanding of my time. He complains constantly of headaches, sore legs, sore back, not going to the bathroom, going too much to the bathroom, etc. There does not go a day where there is not a new complaint. My mom passed away 6 months ago so he is also dealing with her loss. Its funny when she was alive they fought constantly and he was always telling me he couldn't live with her but now he is telling me he can't live without her and that there is nothing but sadness in this life. Talk about depressing.
Now for the good part: There are days when I feel closer to my dad that I have never felt in my entire life. He tells me about his childhood and his life's experience. I have become more assertive in dealing with dad. When he first moved in I did everything for him. Now I refuse to be his maid. When he is screaming from his room that he needs help adjusting his position in bed, I tell him that he is perfectly capable and slowly he has become less demanding. I have always been the type of person that hard a time saying no and finally I have found my voice.
You are right in worrying about the strain dad will add to your life/marriage. My advice is to try to find a live-in caretaker. The cost will probably be similar to assisted living and he can stay in his own home. I wish I had tried that route first instead of having dad move in. It may not have worked out because dad would still call me constantly but at least I could have tried that option. Taking care of a parent is not easy and you have to do what is not only right for your dad but for you and your husband.
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