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Hi, I am looking after my dad shared with my niece and her dad ( my brother in law) my sister died last year and was so good to my dad doing everything for him. I think he is dissapointed now that he is not getting the same level of care. We have a brother who lives many miles away who my dad idolizes but who does absolutely nothing for him . We cant say a word against him and his sons even though they make no attempt to contact him and would not have any ideas about his health issues. My dad is a very anti-social person who hardly talks to anyone except us and expects us all to run around after him even though he would deny this. The problem I have is that I am finding it hard to look after him given the selfish way that I have been treated growing up. The house was emotionally unstable with my controlling and totally narcissistic mother who passed a while ago and he ( and we )dared not say a word against her or she would go ballistic. My dad has some money and is very mean/frugal with every penny. We are always bringing him nice things but this is a total one way street and never reciprocated. However in his will he leaves a third of his money to his son that has nothing to do with him. ( he is totally entitled to do this but its the emotional pain of helping this selfish guy all the time and getting the same as my brother who does nothing and is oblivious) Can anyone help me deal with my feeling and give me some solid coping strategies. I would really appreciate any help Thanks all xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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You don't mention how old your father is or what health issues he has, if any. I get the impression that you and your niece and brother are there for his every need and whim. He has been "spoiled" by you. He knows he can treat you all however he wants and you will accept it. Sounds like he is trying to win the favor of his son. Your brother may be the only one Dad can't control, and this probably bothers the heck out of him. Chances are, if your brother started pitching in and treating his dad like you do, it would only be a matter of time before Dad took advantage of him, too.

If it were me, I would do the basic necessities for Dad. Make sure he is clean, fed and safe. At this point, bringing him nice things may be more for your satisfaction than his. Stop. If he specifically requests something, get it for him, but don't shower him with unappreciated gifts. My son got my mom a beautiful flower bouquet once and she spent days complaining about it to me. She tried to give it away to everyone in her apartment complex and finally I saw it in the lobby when I came to visit. I told him to never send Nana flowers again. I was so hurt and angry I was physically ill. That was it. I took care of Mom, took her shopping and when she went into a facility, took over her finances and handled everything for her. She maintained until she died that moving her to a facility was something I did to her and not for her. I finally made a certain peace with myself. I did it by providing the basics and not blaming myself for her complaints and attitudes. If she directly asked for something, I got it for her but any special little things I did for her were not really appreciated so I didn't torture myself. I had to be a little selfish too.
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"in his will he leaves a third of his money to his son that has nothing to do with him. ( he is totally entitled to do this but its the emotional pain of helping this selfish guy all the time and getting the same as my brother who does nothing and is oblivious) "

This would grate on me, too. A LOT. Stop doing for him. Or demand payment for caregiving. What would it cost for in-home help to do for him what you and your niece and her father are doing for him?

I have NO patience for elders who take advantage of one (or some) sibs, let golden children totally off the hook and yet split the estate/trust equally.
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Thanks to all once again you are all in my heart for your love an kindness.
I work full time out of need! I spend one of my two days off with him always ending with taking him out for a nice dinner somewhere. I live one hours drive away. I often get days off work to take him for an appointment or something. So its not like I am there everyday cooking meals or anything
but we make sure he has loads of healthy food in which is easy to prepare.
He would quite happily let us pay for it and we have done in the past even though he has plenty of money although my niece and brother in law now quite rightly make sure he pays what he owes.
He is incredibly anti social and relies on us all to talk to him in person or on phone as he does not have one single friend and I can never actually remember him having one.
Thanks to you guys I am feeling so much more confident in drawing up and enacting boundaries, hopefully without too much guilt.
I cant tell you how much venting here has helped me. x
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I want to thank you all for your time and answers. I can't tell you how much that helps. It's like confirmation of what I feel. Much love to you.
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I'm sure I speak for all the posters when I say your gratitude for our advice is very heartening. Your father and my mother were cut from the same cloth. My mother, however, would pay her own way and even a little extra when I took her on weekly shopping trips to pay for my time and fuel. Like your dad, though, she was always negative, overly-dramatic, self-centered and a martyr. I mentally kick myself when I realize some of my behaviors are like her's. as time went on (she lived to be 95) and she suffered from dementia, she became delusional and paranoid. It was difficult to maintain a healthy and loving relationship with her when she berated me and became accusatory as well as her lifetime "issues" becoming worse. I realized I had to "grow up" and although I love my mom, I knew that not only had our roles reversed and now I was the "parent" and she was the child, but I needed to prioritize my life and get on with living. I am my disabled husband's caregiver and I am very involved with my own children and grandsons. If I spent too much time being a "good little girl" with my mom, I could feel myself going over the edge and I had to haul myself back up. I'm still learning (with hubby) that no one can take advantage of me unless I let them. Good luck to you! You are in my heart as well. Feel free to send me a message any time. Xoxo
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Are you being paid? Get dad to an eldercare attorney and set up a caregiving contract.

The decide if you really want or need this thankless "job".
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Dad should do as much as he can for himself. Sounds like your sister may have enabled him for whatever reason. I think a lot of people think that it's because it's a parent they owe them something. I hate that the oldest daughter is expected to be the caregiver or even the youngest because she is the one that is left home. You are not your sister. You need to set boundaries. Then you do as much as you are willing to do. If he can afford it, tell him he needs to hire someone for "such and such". I love my Mom and she was a good one but...I am not a caregiver. My brother and I agree what we owe are parents are to have a clean, safe place to live. To be fed, be kept clean and not be abused. In my situation, there is no longer any money so no one is going to inherit. I and my daughter are pretty much the only ones who visit my Mom. One brother lives 8 hrs away and works. The other lives 30 minutes up the road and chooses not to visit. I think both their problems are they don't like seeing Mom like she is. Yes, it's hard but I do it. Unlike a lot of people, I choose not to be mad at either one of them. When we are together, it's like no time goes by and we enjoy our visits. I don't want to ruin that relationship because they aren't here. I don't know why parents seem to be drawn to the child that does nothing for them. You have to get into the mindset that you don't care about what you will or won't get when Dad passes. Yes, it's unfair but your Dad made his choice. Like I said, at this point do what you are comfortable doing. Don't let Dad think you are his slave. If he doesn't like it, oh well. He can find someone else to be his slave. Respect earns respect. Just because it's your child doesn't mean you don't owe them respect.
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CTTN55, I totally agree with your last paragraph!
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CTN: I have NO patience for elders who take advantage of one (or some) sibs, let golden children totally off the hook and yet split the estate/trust equally.


UGH totally agree. And yet here we are. Sickening and abusive in a very covert manner. Add to it that said caregivers are often bashed by siblings.

I think it is so important too read the boards for a reality check to understand that you are not alone and this is sadly common. Validating your pain is important.

The other part is, once you recognize you have company, is there a way to step back and detach from the situation and observe rather than absorb the assault on your good will? Changing perspective has helped me manage until I am able to exit or they pass on.
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What does your father actually need done for him?
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