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My father (85) has had three strokes. He is able to eat, use the restroom, dress himself etc. He lives with my husband and me. I have noticed lately that he is not motivated to do any exercises, go outside, or go to functions. He would sit in front of the couch all day and watch tv if we let him. He now has my husband pulling down his bed covers and now covering him up. We bring him his food and place a tray in front of him. Then he will tell us to get him a napkin or take the tray away when he is done. I think he should get his own forks and spoons and napkin as he is perfectly capable to do this. He should pull his own covers down and cover himself up. We should make him go outside and go with us places instead of him dictating our lives. I told my husband we should not ask him if he want to go but tell him he is going . He is becoming a hermit. He also had the use of his left hand after his strokes but refuses to put the work in to get the use of it back. His arm and hand muscles now have atrophed to the point that his fingers are biting into the palm of his hand and that makes me very angry. What should we do ?

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I can tell you emphatically that you all are doing too much and it will come back to bite you. My mom has been in the nursing home for 30 days and can again do all her ADLs and is getting muscles back. For two years we have waited on her to the point that she could no longer do anything and docs were ready to put her on hospice!
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I agree with EkkeMom, they need to do something or they give up. My frail mother still likes to clean the house and help with the laundry.. every day she askes what she can do today. She wants to be helpful! She has about 2 good hours a day.. but she feels useful. yes we sometimes make her get out of the house, but she enjoys it once she is! My FIL was with us for several days awhile back ( on a vacay) and he expected to be waited on hand and foot. This time we didn't jump through his hoops, and he was much better! I'm OK with the "tucking in" as he may be lonely.. but he needs to do some things for himself or this will get worse!
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I think you might be a little hard on this lady and to bring in her age is really uncalled for. I've been told by the caregivers for my Dad that they NEED to have chores, things to do. Otherwise they stop doing for themselves and decline more rapidly. If her father is closer to her husband maybe he ca be recruited to encourage Dad to do things and rewrd him with time and attention. He might be feeling tossed aside.
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OK, so this is your father-in-law and not your father. Obviously father and son are very close. If tucking Dad in at night upsets you, there is something wrong. That kind of anger just doesn't make sense. See your MD.
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I think he likes your husband better, they have a more relaxed interaction. I'm guessing you are 52 and going through menopause. Ask your MD if this is the reason for your anger and anxiety. If he says "probably, yes" then get the medications he recommends. Your father senses your tension and shuts down to avoid dealing with it.
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