My dad complains about not being able to go out to his yard so we suggest he go outside to the lovely grounds where he lives now, but he doesn't want to. He complains that he can't drive to go out to eat so we suggest he go downstairs to one of the three onsite restaurants be he doesn't want to. He complains that taking his meds is too complicated but he doesn't want to talk to Dr about med changes. He wants the services of assisted living but doesn't actually want to go into assisted living (one floor below his current apt). Dad does have Parkinson's.

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I'm assuming this is a recent living change?

We had to force my mom to accept move from independent living to in with me across the country. Because of her verbal expressions, I called for psych eval. She's been seeing a psychiatrist for almost a year now. He specializes with terminal and degenerative folks. Underneath all her complaints and sudden nastiness was great anxiety and depression. This psych dr has bee. a godsend. I urge you to have your dad evaluated for anxiety and depression.

One thing the pych dr taught me on how to address the complaints, which were more severe than your dad's current ones, is to point blank respond with "Do you feel like harming yourself today?" Boy, did that trigger a perspective response. I think our parents don't realize the impact of their own words on themselves and those around them. That line of questions made my mom think and process her thoughts, words and eventually accept her reality. I'm not familiar with Parkinsons, but my mom has post polio syndrome, CHF, leukemia, osteoporosis, then had a stroke last year, then fell and broke her femur. She's 90. It's been a difficult transition. But these days, she smiles more and we try our best to love on her as much as possible, focus on the joy-potential of each day, interact with her while still carrying on with our daily lives, and encourage her.
It's no cake walk. There are bad moments and bad days. Sometimes I've had to just walk away when she's negative. I report it all to the psych.

One thing I've learned is I can't do this on my own. My mom needs psychiatric care, and I need self-care.
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As you get older, it's hard to change. So, it's typical that he's not going to like the new things that are somewhat like the old things. Try to consider that the same will probably happen to you too. My advice: agree that things are different. And if you can stand the complaining then let him. But, if the complaining bothers you, like it does me, tell him to knock it off. I see no reason to listen to negativity. It's not good for you and it's not good for him. Focus on the positive; whatever that might be.
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He may be grieving the loss of his garden & his independance to drive, choose a resturant& manage his own meds. He may need his feelings validated. Then he may be able to adjust & 'make the best of it'.

You have good suggestions for him. If you lay them out again quietly with no pressure, he may just pick them up like it was his own idea! Everyone likes to feel in control & choose for themselves after all.
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I dealt with this with my mom. It does get to us when it is consistent. Sometimes I heard complaints from morning till night! If I made suggestions she would be argumentative about every detail. I stopped making suggestions, because it only gave her ammunition to use against me.

I had empathy for her situation. She was once a vibrant woman that participated in life. It broke my heart watching her deteriorate due to Parkinson’s disease. Her favorite comment as she suffered more and more was, “It’s h*ll to get old!” My response to her was simply, “It surely is, Mom.”

What specifically is complicated about his meds? My mom had to have her Parkinson’s meds adjusted from time to time.

It does seem like its a hobby for them to complain and it can drive us crazy. Walk away when it gets to be too much. I would go into the kitchen and fix my favorite tea.

I learned to relish in the simplest joys in life. I know that isn’t a solution to your problem. I know that ‘tea’ isn’t a life changing solution but I took any solace from wherever it came from.

Hoping your situation improves. Wishing you all the best. Take a little time to relax and become refreshed so you won’t be burning the candle at both ends. I know that it is easier said than done in some circumstances but schedule it in if you have to.
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Isthisrealyreal Sep 2020
When I get the "It's h*ll to get old" I always say, "Beats the alternative!"

I don't hear it much anymore. 😁
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Indeed they do want to vent. They have reason.

The lovely grounds are not his yard.
The onsite restaurants are not his familiar haunts with his preferred dishes.
He may be looking at the meds issue with the jaundiced view that whenever you ask a doctor to solve one big problem you tend to get three little ones instead. Sadly, this may well have been based on experience. Prescriptions do, after all, tend always to lengthen.

He is uncomfortable and perhaps feels a bit defeated. On top of that, he has Parkinson's :(

I should begin by recognising the valid feelings behind his complaints. If he feels listened to, he may be more prepared to listen to possible solutions in return. If you are worried, though, that he is showing a kind of depression that is just not like him, mention it to his doctor.

There is a knack to this, by the way - you don't go behind his back, and you don't specifically ask his permission: you say, e.g. "I'm going to call Dr Kildare and get advice. You're not yourself, and anyway I'm sure you're due a px review." If he forbids it, you don't call, you monitor and record mood changes and come back to the subject in a week or so; but he probably won't try to stop you.
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Dad also just complains without taking suggestions. I think maybe they just want to vent
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