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He gets overwhelmed with our family (very large) and no one wants to be around him anymore. My dad is still working as a professional and is very successfull in his business. He refuses to slow down and is constantly working. The holidays at my parents are becoming something my siblings and I dread. He is becoming very crotchety and not very nice as he gets older, and we just dont know what to do about it anymore. It is to the point where a few of my siblings refuse to go over there house. He is very thick headed so whatever we say, he takes it personally and tells us all we dont know what we are talking about. He is wonderful in small groups of us, by any more then 6 or 8 people he cant handle it. He makes my mother feel terrible about it, and he threw us all out on Easter because it was too overwhelming for him. We thought at first maybe he is starting with dimentia, but since looking up the symptoms we dont think he has that.......yet anyway. Any comments or suggestions welcome! THank you!

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Thank you all so much, your suggestions are great!! I will probably be the one to have a talk with my dad! I fall in the middle of the children, and am the most level headed. (HEE HEE) :) We all have very loud personalities and there are several conversations/arguments going on at once! Big Irish family, thats what happens. He will never admit he is starting with hearing loss, or even that he is getting old, nor will he change now at 75! So we all have to change how we are when we are around him. We are a very close family, but it's just getting too big! Thanks again all of you for your words of advice, I am going to lunch with Mom tomorrow and I will tell her some of these thoughts.
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Dad sounds like a tyrant! But sometimes they are the best.
I think the hearing problem makes sense. Mine is very mild, but I find myself getting into a temper when it's so noisy and confused.

Has anyone asked him what he would prefer? He might have a good idea.
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This was the case with my family. I solved in two ways; one was to stop all the pressure with having to have the get together specifically on said holiday...have it a weekend or two ahead. You may not realize but your mom might get all worked up for the weeks leading up to the event (even though she's loves doing it) and she is making your dad crazy with all the angst, preparations, anticipation, etc.

If they are alone mostly besides these get togethers then having the whole family descend at once is overwhelming, noisy, intrusive....even though its a gathering of loved ones.

Second option. How about having most family members stay in hotel so that mom and dad have their house back in the evenings. That means -- family doesn't decent on parents until noon or so and promptly leaves by 7-8 pm back to the hotel. This gives parents chance to settle down and get their peace back.

Hey, I'm only 56 and above was my new rule. I'm the hostess for family get togethers, my 2 sons get to stay at the house, all other family members including grandparents, aunts, nieces and nephews have to agree to stay at hotel and we tell them to have brkfst at hotel. I provide lunches and dinner. It has made for more enjoyable quality get togethers.

Ps. My FIL is 83 and gets overwhelmed. I take that time to take him to a quiet room or the porch and the two of us just sit quietly with a snack and a beer or cup of coffee. It helps him have a little peace and he's later ready to rejoin the party.
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I also come from a very large family and there's not a lot you can do about this unless someone wants to talk to him about the way he is acting. It could be he gets overwhelmed because it gets too loud - and he could be in the beginning stages of hearing loss. I have a hearing loss and get really frustrated at family events because I can't figure out what's going on, who is talking to whom, and have a hard time keeping up with the conversation so I wind up feeling left out or lonesome in a room full of people. It's not their fault though - it's just a side-effect of being hard-of-hearing. So if he is in the beginning stages of hearing loss - this could be his problem and why it is better in small groups. And it could be that maybe he thinks everybody ought to meet (including them) at one of his childrens house for a change. Some parents love having the gatherings at their house because they're more comfortable at home - but other parents get frustrated, even though they love their kids and grandkids, for "messing up their home" or feel like the kids don't help out enough and leave them with a house full of dishes, etc. when they leave (maybe mom has griped after everyone left before and he doesn't want to hear it?). And my dad is hard-headed too - I think most dad's are. If we don't agree - us kids don't argue with him and just do our own thing when we leave. But that doesn't mean he should overpower the conversation with his ideas, etc. so no one else can talk. I suggest someone subtly talk to him about Easter and see if whatever is overwhelming him can be worked on. Just a thought. Good luck!!
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Thank you SharynMarie, that does help. The problem is that the grandchildren really only are together on holidays. We tried to continue it for the kids, but we just cant anymore.
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Why not break up holiday meals into groups over a period of a week or two before the actual holiday, then if your mother really enjoys making a holiday meal on the day of the holiday, she can have the last portion of family they have not spent time with over their house. It could be the beginning of dementia but I don't know for sure. Another option would be to have a progressive dinner on the day of the holiday, your parents could go from home to home spending time with each set of family members by having a different portion of the meal at each home.That way your father is exposed to smaller groups. There really are many ways to handle this if everyone is on board because something has changed within your father, whether it is beginning dementia or something else like too much noise, music in the background, a hearing problem, he clearly is being overstimulated by it all.
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