How do you try to help a caregiver who just complains about all the help given to him?

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My dad is caring for my mother with dementia (she also suffers from depression an borderline personality). He is so stressed and keeps saying he needs time away from her so my brother and I hired home health. We are paying for but he complains the helper isn't worth the money (we feel it is), mom goes to adult day care Monday-friday and he complains about the cost of that. We can see his health declining but he refuses to admit it's stress and wont see a doctor. He's even stopped taking his blood pressure meds without an explanation. My mother has always been difficult to live with but my dad hasn't been like this. This is all making me so stressed and depressed. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm heartbroken that my dad won't let us help and we are forced to watch this whole mess kill him. Is there anything we can do to make the situation better?

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When 2 people live together for so long, even relatively healthy minded people start behaving in ways to compliment each other or to accommodate each other's quirks. Add mental ills, and that gets compounded.
That much time in a relationship with a partner with mental ills, almost guarantees the healthy partner starts caving and accommodating the mentally ill partner...a form of co-dependant.
And it makes it harder for that healthier partner to function when the sick one gets worse or dies. The healthier one no longer knows how the rest of the world functions in a healthy manner. There may likely have been a certain amount of isolation behaviors happening, too.
SO it is important to try getting your Dad out of the house, participating in activities with other people, trying to help him learn to have "fun" again..
IT is possible, that by helping him learn to have fun, in small doses at first, again, that he will suddenly choose to start taking the needed meds again, as his joy levels increase, his will to live should also increase.
A Doc can make suggestions, and try to talk him into treatments/meds, but your Dad will not take them if he cannot find a will to live.
Maybe try to get him re-interested in hobbies or activities he used to like?
Take him places that bring back good memories, if that is an option.
Do these things while Mom is being cared for by someone else!
It might be hard to initiate at first, but might get easier with repitition.
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Explain to your dad you are doing your very best to help the aid,adult day care and around the house. Also let him know you understand his stress b/c you feel the same stress trying to help him and your mom and take care of your husband.
Try to get a health care proxy that allows you to ask his doctor questions. Tell him you want him to sign one for both he and your mom incase of future problems, this way you can inform his doctor of things he is doing; like with the blood pressure medicine. After you express this I would let him know the next priority has to be you and him, b/c you both are the caregivers and suggest you two spend time doing things together for relief, lunch in the park, a walk at the zoo, a trip to the library or a movie, to relieve both your tensions. Good luck, when people are exhausted they become complainers without meaning too.
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Everyone he knows, including his doctor, has said he really should see a therapist or try medication. He just waves them off or changes the subject. He IS overwhelmed and that's why we hired home health for some of the evenings to help out. @Chimonger, I never really thought of him being codependent, but I guess after being married to the same person over 50 years, you can't help but to be at least somewhat codependent on your spouse. So how do we make him get professional help? He's not a danger to anyone.
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You are doing a very good job of caring for your parents!
your dad sounds like he is grieving losses--loss of his wife's health and therefore loss of his partner's ability to be as she was, as well as fear of aging further without her.
These things are pretty complicated, but it sounds like his "giving up" and behaving in ways that indicate he wants to just let go and die with her.
When somone has thoughts like that, they need Counseling at least, and maybe meds, to help pull them up out of those deep-"blues".
When someone who is essentially "normal" has been partner with someone with mental ills, it's a sure bet the "normal" person ahs some co-dependent behaviors that really need that person in their lives, too.
Being years with a mentally ill person, one develops guilts and other dysfunctional ideas about oneself, that make continuing on alone, hard, without help. It is too easy to feel one cannot manage alone.
Need professional help.
It is so hard to manage!
I pray you find just the right help to convince your Dad that resuming his needed meds is a good idea. Might he respond to possibly using his knowledge and abilities to help others? He surely has learned some coping skills, living with your Mom, that might be helpful for others to learn?
Perhaps he could volunteer with an agency helping elders and others, with this sort of issues?
It might give him a new focus and will to live, knowing he has a good reason to keep breathing.
My heart goes out to you!
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HI THERE:
HUGS TO YOU.
TRY AND GET A SOCIAL WORKER, CLERGY, HIS DR. OR OUTSIDE PROFESSIONAL TO TALK TO DAD. BELIEVE ME HE IS OVERWHELMED, STRESSED AND PROBALLY DEPRESSED AS WELL. TRY TO GET HIM TO SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH HIMSELF AND YOU....
HOPE IT HELPS.
BLESSINGS....
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tbumpy, You are doing a wonderful job helping your parents. If your father complains there is nothing you can do. He's probably just going to complain no matter what you do. And your brother won't help - so forget him. What I have learned about the elderly is there are few who accept the aging process gracefully without complaining constantly. And there is nothing you can do about it. A social worker once said to me that I now have 2 more children to take care of - because of how they act. I won't put my father in this post as he was the most self sufficient, kind person I've ever known. Even when he was becoming increasingly ill, he never wanted to bother anyone with his problems.

But, my mother is totally different as was my MIL with the constant complaining like your father does even they have or had in-house help. You have to walk away knowing you have done the best you could. You can't make them happy, no one can, but themselves by adjusting to changes and not constantly complaining about them. Blessings to you and take care.
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I do help around the house. I do all the yard work, offer to make meals for them, cleaned their house until they got a maid, help out with my mom when my dad can't due to an appointment he may have, and fix things around the house. My brother does nothing to help out around the house and yes I have talked to him about this. I also have a husband with a chronic illness who is limited physically and run a business. This is why we hired home health but my dad is complaining that it's not worth it even though it gives him a break from my mom. It just seems that my brother and dad feel I don't have anything else to do but take care of everyone and the more I try to help the more complaints I get.
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How much time would you or your brother be able to stop by the house? Maybe in addition to what services there are already maybe your or your brother can attend his doctor appointments with him, help take care of the house and lawn, cook dinner and clean up afterwards. Have one of you become more involved with his finances or hire a CPA to help your father keep assests inline. Check the rules of Medicaid within your state to prevent loss of assests in the future. From what I understand of Medicaid you can transfer assests 5 years minimal before applying for aid. If you or your brother are able to spend some day time through out the week with them then you can decrease the time that your mother attends the adult day care to help lessen the bill. If your father refuses to see a doctor then you can always contact the doctor office and voice your concerns, they could schedule something and just remember that its difficult for some to let someone else take over their life. Remind him you are not taking over just helping and that you are noticing that he needs assistance. Remember when you were growing up how if you didnt take initiative then you werent helping. This is the same senario...wash the dishes just because they are there. You shouldnt wait for him to ask ....this can cause resentment. Good luck to you.
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