How do I handle my fathers frustrations, and anger, as I help him through the process of finances?

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Mom has alway done all the paper work. Now that she is at an Alzheimers unit, Dad needs help with all the paper work to get onto medicaid. I have made all the appointments, paper copies and application information's. Dad is angry because there is one more trip to the bank he has to make. Its too much he says. I offered to call the bank myself, but he declined and begrudgingly said he would get it done. We live an hour apart, so I can't be there to do it all. How do I deal with all this anger?

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Wisconsin: As a result of your last post, I think you are on the right track. You are right that anxiety and stress can really take their toll and I realize that you have been on the road a lot in the past month or more, dealing with the issues your parents are confronted with. I'm sure you are getting a glimpse of what it can be like for so many of us who deal with the needs of a parent or spouse on a 24/7 basis. Right now, you are getting the necessary things done and that is great. While it's overwhelming in many ways, take a big breath and understand that it could, and will at sometime we worse. Prepare for it. You dad still needs people and family and so does your mom. It's a journey and you are not even half way. My heart and prayers go out to you. It will be hard to have the social life and freedom that you use to enjoy. It will be that way for some time in the future. Best wishes, lots of hugs.
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While I agree with the prior responses, I suggest, though, that you be careful to not become your father's "punching bag," in other words, that you are the person on whom he unleashes all his frustrations and anger. It can escalate and overwhelm you to the point of raging and abuse. It's unbelievably difficult, if not impossible, to undo that pattern of behavior, and you'll end up being resented and part of what your father lashes out against. I know of what I speak...You're walking a tight-rope of sorts. I wish you well and hope you find a healthy balance with strong emotional boundaries. You're going through a very difficult time yourself, especially with your mother's health situation and also need loving support.
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Thank you all for your responses. I am on the bank account, though I felt I needed to inform him of what was needed. I also offered to handle it, but he preferred to do it himself. I understand his frustrations and upset to the situation, the entire family has had this experience. My sister whom is the POA for my mother and other family members have been supportive, I guess its just a difficult time for everyone. I certainly will make sure the process is completed and give Dad his space, as he prefers to be it that way ( as not to be bothered). I have been to see him on financial matters 5 times in the last month, & will be there again this weekend, which really doesn't leave a lot of social time. So after a hot tub and good nights rest, I'm feeling better. Anxiety and stress can really kick sometimes. Thanks again. Wisconsin
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Wisconsin, go ahead and validate your father's anger and frustration. Give him a place to put it so he doesn't unload on some random bank teller tomorrow. Do your best to help him, and some of the ideas already submitted are great. What he needs from you now is what help you can give him, plus a reminder that you still love him and respect the difficulty of his situation. God Bless you all, including your mother.
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A POA with your name added to the bank accounts is the way to go. Online services such as bill pay, monitoring balances & printing bank statements will eliminate the frustration & anger. I do understand why he is angry & frustrated, his entire life is upside down. Plus if your dad has dementia, it cause cause even more difficulties. I went through a similar situation & my dad lived an hour away too. God luck to you both.
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It would really help you to be signatory on his bank account also if you have durable POA take that paperwork to the bank so you can pay his bills if needed and set up online banking to monitor balances. Good Luck!
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As jeannegibbs says, he has a right to be angry. His wife, who he depended on to take care of the paper work can't do it anymore. He misses her and he is angry that he can't do it all on his own. In my family, I have always done the paper work and taken care of the financial details of our lives. As we get older, it is a concern. What if something happens to me. Wisconsin, you are only an hour from your dad. That is close. Go see him, not about the paperwork, but just to let him know that you love him and it's ok that he is adrift at this time. Love is very healing. Share his pain.
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I say let him be angry and frustrated. Sympathize. Just be sure the steps get done. The process does not last forever -- although it certainly seems like it. I remember my own anger and frustration when I had to go through the application process. I had a particular friend I could email all the outrageous details and we'd be indignant together. I got through it, and so will your dad. He is lucky to have you to help, and to listen to him. Hang in there!
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