This forum is a Godsend. It is so refreshing to see that I am not alone in my feelings of guilt, resentment, etc.

My 85 year old, legally blind, early dementia, NARCISSISTIC dad just doesn't get it sometimes, and I'm afraid he's REALLY going to hurt himself.

Let me preface this by saying, I'm not the warmest and fuzziest person in the world. I'd rather not FAKE something to make someone feel better which is why I struggle with Daddy.

He FINALLY got the clue that he couldn't do yardwork anymore. He's still hell bent on fishing (I detest the sport, so I won't take him), but he can't see to bait hooks or has the motor skills to even operate a reel anymore.

He still INSISTS on trying to do things himself such as take out the trash (he gets insanely winded and must stop every few minutes). Just a few minutes ago, he burned his hand on his industrial iron. He DEMANDS to still press all of his clothing on this ancient, cleaner-style pressing machine. I have always HATED that he still does this. True to form, he FORGOT to move his hand as he clamped the top of the iron down. Thankfully, I was able to unplug the silly thing and move his hand before it got too bad.

I'm sure its hard to admit that there are things that he can't do anymore, but he won't listen!!! I have tried to let him attempt to do things on his own (that I know he can't do), but it's becoming a safety thing now.

How can I encourage him to stop the dangerous stuff without emasculating him (BTW... he put two ENTIRE bags of Tide pods in the laundry this morning). FRUSTRATING!!!

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Your father has lung disease,
is legally blind,
and is narcissistic.


How long has he been living with you? My first concern is for you. Do you have regular respite? Can you get away often and without guilt feelings? How are you at taking care of your own needs?

Freqflyer has found things that work with her own father ... but I don't think her father has the list of impairments your father does. I got some mileage out of telling my husband that, yes, he could do that task very well and he'd done it well for many years and now that he was retired he deserved for someone else to do it and I was calling a handyman. That didn't always work and my husband "only" had dementia, not the list of impairments your dad has.

Each case is different, and I doubt there are many of us in exactly your shoes.

Have you considered long-term-care placement for him? I can't imagine how you are going to deal with his other ailments when the dementia progresses. Yikes!

For now, I agree with those who say remove the obviously dangerous items. But a washing machine is not generally considered dangerous. Can you make it possible for him to continue washing his clothes safely, perhaps by leaving only one or two Tide pods available at a time? It is really hard to anticipate all the things that can be done in a dangerous or expensive way until they happen. I discovered that calling a plumber because of a depends flushed down the toilet is just part of the cost of caring for someone with dementia. Sigh.

Accept that some "accidents" are inevitable. Try to prevent those with the most serious consequences, and minimize the other predictable ones, and take the others in stride. Above all, take care of yourself and your own sanity. Plan ahead for when it is no longer possible for one person to meet Dad's needs and keep him safe.
Helpful Answer (2)

Remove things that are dangerous to him and lie (yes lie) about knowing where they are. It is the lesser of two evils to lie in such situations because if he injures himself with such things who do you think is going to be nursing his wounds? yup YOU. That will increase YOUR stress and time needed to do more things for him. Slowly remove more and more things from his place, that is what I would do.
Helpful Answer (2)

It seems very simple to me. Either allow him to hurt, kill himself, burn the house down or get the dangerous stuff out of his life whether he likes it or not. Lie, use trickery, whatever is the least painful, but serious adjustments need to be made here. My Dad is 85 with dementia and I had to make sure the chainsaw quit working, and get the guns out the house among other things. There's no doubt in my mind that something terrible would have happened if I had not stepped up to this issue.
Helpful Answer (3)

Get that ironing contraption out of there, tell him it's "broken" and "at the shop" or whatever you have to do. Sounds like it's a major disaster waiting to happen.
Helpful Answer (1)

You are caring for your father, living at your home. I hope you have consulted with a senior affairs lawyer and have your ducks in a row.
This forum is a Godsend. We are not alone in feelings of guilt, resentment, etc. and among e-friends.

Like it or not! YOU must be aware of your liabilities; he's REALLY going to hurt himself.

Visit "Alzheimer's Support by Experts for CareGivers", A knowledge network for caregivers': Organizations and Associations | Government Local, State, Federal, International; Medical Centers, Hospitals, Schools and University's. Take advantage of the excellent forums and resources.
Helpful Answer (2)

There's another way to view this dilemma. If you admitted to yourself that you were losing your eyesight, couldn't do what you enjoyed doing for years including just enjoying yourself, and had to be dependent on someone for the rest of your life, what kind of outlook would you have? What could you do to enjoy yourself? In fact what could you do at all?

Despite the irritation, try to put yourself in your father's place and think what you could do to make the rest of his life worthwhile.

Hopefully you can find some kind of balance that allows him to still feel worthwhile and enjoy life but not with needs that can overwhelm you.

It took a long journey for me to even reach that recognition; I'm still trying to implement it.
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Tinyblu, if I lived closer I would go fishing with your Dad. Really, I found it so relaxing. Both my Dad and his Dad taught me to fish, bait hooks, etc. I can't get my sig other to go, I would need to have EMT's standing by :(
Helpful Answer (1)

Tiny, loss of mobility, freedom, strength and all the other things that people lose as they age is hard for anyone to take, especially a man who's used to doing things around the house.

What you might want to do is focus on those things he still CAN do, and encourage him to do those. Being legally blind, he is limited. I honestly don't have any suggestions what he could do, but perhaps you could jot down chores he's performed in the past, thing he enjoys doing, and try to find some that could still be done to give him that sense of pride that men often need.

Perhaps there's some way he could help at the local senior center. Is there some way he could with his church? It does take some creativity to create these shifts in emphasis on safe projects.

I don't particularly like baiting hooks although sitting on a dock or in a boat is relaxing. Do you know anyone who could go with him, just for companionship, and bait the hooks so at least he could still enjoy doing that?
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Tinyblu, the way I look at it, let your Dad do everything he thinks he can do... otherwise he will fight you all the way.

I am dealing with my Dad wanting to do everything like he is 43 instead of 93... I would say "you might get hurt" and I walk away. Tiny, our Dads won't learn until they really hurt themselves.

My Dad learned earlier this year that he needs a rolloring walker instead of his cane. What happened was Dad fell backwards on his driveway while walking back from the mailbox... got a goose egg bump... took an ambulance ride to the ER, stayed for observation. I got him the rolloring walker and he loves it. At first Mom didn't want Dad to use it outside, didn't want to neighbors to think he was old.... bet the neighbors were thinking "well, it's about time he got one of those".

I noticed in my parent's family room the glass globe is missing from the ceiling fan... good grief, bet Dad got out a ladder to change the light bulb and broke the globe in the process. Bet my Mom handed him the brush and dust pan.

Just keep being a bystander. Remember we are just kids, what do we know :P
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