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I started caring for my 77 yr old father about 9 months ago and he is now living with me. Due to his health and some minor cognitive issues he can't live alone, drive, attend doctors appointments etc. I'm 37 and I'm finding it difficult when I have to tell him no or when I have to intervene in some of his decisions. Most of the time it is due to him being impulsive, not great at budgeting his money, being stubborn, and other times he is just unable to think clearly. It's like a mix of his normal behavior and his decline in health adding to his inability to make rational decisions. He is constantly trying to do things he is physically unable to do. He has a limited income, no savings, and was blowing through his social security check in a few days. He had always been very independent and a bit stubborn. I know this has been a difficult adjustment for him. I find myself having to constantly tell him no and he even says he feels like I'm acting like his mother. He will be passive aggressive at times and it makes me feel guilty. I never talk down to him or treat him like a child. I really try hard to make him feel included and informed on all decisions.
This is my first time posting so it's a bit of a rant and a request for any advice.

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If you father is incompetent you ARE the parent now. When I hit that realization it became so much easier to pay bills, arrange for care and look after my dad. Thankfully, Dad did not argue much, and when he did, I told him I'd leave if all he wanted to do was argue - and I did! At the time he was in assisted living so I was not abandoning him, just removing myself from his argumentive presence. It worked. I was lucky in that he came to understand I was doing what needed to be done. I simply did not ask him for his opinon. It was a sibling who didn't do anything for Dad without being paid who caused the problem, criticizing everything I did and eventually taking everything that was not nailed down. Don't ask your dad, e.g., "Are you ready to go the the doctor's appointment?", or "Do you want to go to the dentist today?", instead say "It's time to go the doctor's appointment" or "We are going to get our teeth cleaned today". Make statements matter of factly and normally, but don't ask questions concerning things that must be done. If there really is a choice to be made, offer only two possibilities, as in ordering food. It's much easier for a person with diminished capabilities to chose between two offerings instead of the whole menu. I hope these small suggestions help you. It's difficult to parent a parent.
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Reply to Daisy9
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lindasanderford May 21, 2019
You are so right! I'm 75 and I hope my children will care.

Hisservent
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you are to be congratulated for taking care of your father. Give him an allowance to spend as he pleases and do not pass judgement how he spends it. Tell him you need the balance to take care of him. Do not expect him to agree . just do it. Part of his care is treating him as a caring mother would. I'm 75 yrs old and live alone but I have no idea how long that will last. I hope to go to assisted living rather than live with children. That's what they will do there and that $30 doesn't go very far, that is all they allow you person ally. Be sure to show him much love but hold onto the money. I'll pray for you and remind you to pray frequentally for guidance. God bless you.
Hisservant
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Oh my. This may sound terrible. But what I've learned? And it may sound SO bad. But take control NOW. We let it go on for WAY toooo long. And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. I completely get the independent and stubborn deal. My Mom is the queen of that! LOL. But what matters now, is his care. Whatever that may mean for you.
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I'd make sure you have a properly executed Durable POA and Healthcare POA so you can act on his behalf. You might also explore if you need to qualify as his Social Security Representative Payee. There's info about it on the SS website.

It's nice that you are trying so hard to keep him involved and not hurt his feelings. That's admirable and may work okay, but, to me, expecting a person with dementia to be capable of processing all of that isn't reasonable. Most develop confusion and are not really able to be involved with the details of their finances. Often allowing the person with dementia to stay in charge, doesn't work and more pronounced intervention must be taken.

Sometimes, it's just not possible to explain and have the LO process, understand and cooperate with you. I'd just have a plan in place. Resistance to help can be a phase that he will move out of. And, keep in mind that as a DPOA, you are supposed to ensure that his funds are spent appropriately and if he's squandering his check, he needs more care. Sometimes, it's a rocky road protecting a parent who has dementia. I'd feel guilty, if I did nothing and let him squander his money.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Perfect title. We do end up parenting our parents. Best of luck to you. Hugs!

You are in a tough spot. Can you work out a reasonable budget including what he needs to contribute to your household expenses!

Do you know what he is spending the money on? Does he keep receipts? Can you show him what he is spending it on? Let him see it. Is he asking you for money? Is he in debt or a bind financially? Work on a plan to help him budget or delegate this to a financial advisor for him.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Laney81, kudos to you for helping your father, recognizing that he's had to make difficult adjustments, and for never treating him like a child. It sounds like he has a lot of problems, including a UTI that can make existing problems worse and can cause even more physical and mental problems. I hope he's getting medication for that. Even so, some problems will not go away and this is a good forum to rant about them and seek advice, as you have done.

      Your father may be resistant to signing the previously suggested DPOAs, but you might want to consider making your getting those as part of your informal contract with him. That said, it may be premature for you to completely take away his independence, even if you get a DPOA that might be interpreted to allow such. Everyone should be allowed as much independence and self-direction as they can reasonably maintain for themselves. While it's often easier and less time-consuming for adult children to usurp their ailing parent's free-will before it's really necessary, doing so could worsen a parent's physical and mental well-being and it sounds like you already recognize this.

      Assuming you don't already have a formal, written contract with your father for you to provide his board, room and assistance, I suggest that you do that. (Even though I had a rental contract with my dad, I didn't actually collect rent, but would have if his resources were being recklessly squandered. I didn't have a personal care contract with him, but probably should have -- live and learn.) Anyway, in the long run, putting ground rules in place sooner rather than later will help you help him.

      Watching the decline of our parents is hard and it's even harder to figure out how to best assist them and then make more changes as they continue to decline. But, there are lots of good resources to help become better educated and contacting your state's office on aging could be a good start. Best wishes in your endeavors to help your father.
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You are parenting your parent. Accept it.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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I understand what you're going through, very challenging. I agree with the previous posts of getting power of attorney and health issues. My mother would fight and hit me. (The hitting I was able to put to a stop to almost immediately).
Bring your dad to a neurologist for testing, also a cardiovascular doctor to make sure there are no circulatory issues that may cause cognitive decline.
If there are any other family members to assist, ask them to . If either of your parents are veterans, apply for VA aid and assistance.
Good luck.
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Reply to tallpetsitter
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Challenging situation - Reach out locally and see if you can find a Caregiver Support group to join.  Your local Area Agency on Aging should have a group or information that can help you.
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Reply to EllensOnly
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Best advice I have is, "put yourself in his shoes."

When you were a child and being told what to do, when to do it and even how to do it - how did it make you feel? I used this logic with my father and instead of taking over, I talked over his options with him and allowed him to choose his own path. I only asked him to allow me to help him if things didn't work out the way he thought.

It worked great for the 7.5 years I assisted him.
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