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I am so overwhelmed. My dad, 72, was admitted to the hospital after falling following him refusing to eat, drink, or get out of bed for 10 days. He and my mother live together, though operate fully separately as he has been incredibly emotionally abusive, an alcoholic, withholding of any form of home care or assistance to normal daily life for at least 30 years. He has been refusing to work on PT yet is nearly immobile (for no medical reason beyond him being 300+ pounds and refusing to do any form of physical activity for the past 10 years).


My mom is falling apart from the burden of medical care for someone who has cared so little about her and us kids for as long as I can remember, I am falling apart from trying to stay calm and rationally figure things out. My mother is in hysterics about this bankrupting her, about my dad blindly assuming we all will care from him after him treating us like garbage for forever, about how this will turn her or me into a 24/7 caregiver for a man who doesn’t even know how old his daughter (me) is and has openly told my mother he never even liked her. My mom is a tiny woman and physically cannot help him, even if she wanted to. He is so stubborn and mean and I don’t know how to navigate this at all. I of course want him to get care, but I need my mother who has already been through so much abuse from him to be okay. Any thoughts would help so, so much. I’m 32 and don’t know where to turn next or how to help her.

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Tell them he is not safe to come home, period!

We live in a day an age that your dad doesn't need to agree to a divorce, by the way psychological abuse is grounds for divorce.

He deserves care, but that doesn't mean any of you have to provide it. Stop going to the hospital after you tell them none of you can take care or help. They will push, guilt and bully you all trying to make you take him. Nope, not gonna happen. Disconnect from everything and let him and them figure it out.

Get mom to file while he is in the hospital and get her moved. He can't keep abusing you all if he can't reach you.

These are the consequences of treating your family like garbage, trash has been hauled away.

Do not lay down for him anymore.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Your mom needs an advocate. Can your mom afford to hire a social worker to speak on her behalf? The hospital social worker's only focus is to get a safe discharge plan in place for your dad. Your dad is her client. Your mom needs someone to help her make sure that she isn't the "safe discharge" plan. Check out aginglife.com. They work by the hour. Maybe you wouldn't need more than a few hours to have someone give her the guidance she needs.

The words you need are "He can't come home. He can't possibly come home. He can't receive the care he needs at home." Repeat frequently.
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Feelingdown Nov 18, 2018
Thank you Marcia for the suggestion and details — I was unaware of both those things. It would be great for Mom to have an advocate. My sister lives out of state and I have been in talks with my company for a massive promotion and transfer to an amazing role on the other side of the world, and if my mom gets hit with being the forced caregiver, I couldn’t possibly leave her. And she certainly wants me to have this amazing work opportunity, and I want it...but it wouldn’t work out! Again, all for someone who deserves care of course, but from us? This might sound horrible, but that just isn’t fair!
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Your dad is in the hospital?

The person that you and mom need to talk to is the hospital social worker. Find out who has been assigned to dad (this may be part of "discharge planning". Tell them that dad can no longer be safely cared for at home,

In addition, ask for a geriatric psych evaluation while he is "in house".
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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It truly concerns me that you intend to move Dad into a comfy condo close-by and for all intents and purposes, devote your lives to care taking of this toxic person. He expects this from you, so even though (as you say) he’s never been much of a father, you will be treating him as though he were a yearly winner of the Father of The Year award. And in return, he will continue to be angry and abusive toward you all.

If it were me, I would do this for Mom and not for him. Protect and support Mom and help her get out of this situation. She no longer needs to stay with him “for the sake of the kids”. Do as the others have suggested and explain in graphic detail to the social worker exactly what kind of person your father is. Make certain she understands. He needs an evaluation and to be placed in a facility who can provide the care he needs.
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Ahmijoy Nov 18, 2018
And, if as you said in another post, your father has bone cancer, trying to care for him at home would border on the insane. He will not cooperate. As his health deteriorates even further, so will his mental state. You are not a medical professional, are you? This will be what he needs. Have your sister the attorney file for Medicaid for him if possible. Or let him become a ward of the state.

You can’t make your father like you by sacrificing yourself for his care.
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The social worker is pressuring your mother to take him home and solve her problems. The longer your mother talks to her, the easier it is to interpret something that she says as an agreement. Your mother needs to say ‘no he cannot come home’, then stand up and walk out of the meeting. If you are there, you do it too and get your mother to come with you. If you can, take your mother away on a holiday (or put her on a guided tour), so that she has something different to think about and to replace all her constant thoughts about your father. Tell your father that now he is sober, he is in charge of working out how to organise his life – but not by going back home! See if you can give each of these strategies a try.
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Tiger55 Dec 14, 2018
For sure agree with you MargaretMcken.
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Feelingdown, any updates?

Is everyone supporting the big NO, HE CAN NOT SAFELY COME HOME!

How are you all doing?
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Feeling down; once he gets to rehab, you need to talk to the SW there about what is going on with your mom. You may need to take her to see a psychiatrist to get her on meds for her depression and anxiety.

Please try to relax and "let go" of this unfairly placed burden. Your dad is being cared for.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I think you should stay away from this until you have your anger under better control.

I don't mean "bad person, stop being so angry." I mean, first of all put on your own oxygen mask by getting help with how you are feeling. If you go to any of the major cancer or blood disorder charities, you will find helplines for families and caregivers. Call one of them.

Leave your father's discharge to the social workers. What matters in this situation is what your parents want, and the social workers will guide them.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Hi everyone. Thanks for the replies, and apologies on my silence. A lot has happened and I’m trying to...digest it all. On Monday dad had a bone marrow biopsy and the oncologist says it is Myeloma, however she can’t meet with us about staging and prognosis and treatment until TUESDAY bc of the holiday and then she doesn’t work weekends. Dad was supposed to be transferred to PT rehab home on Monday but didn’t end up going until last right. The hospital nurses have told me he is relatively amenable to PT, but he can’t walk at all unattended, and no more than 3 feet while attended. He is coherent, no stroke, but his small motor and speaking is...off. I have only seen him once throughout this ordeal, I am so angry at the burden he is shoving on us. He apparently was told 8 mos ago that he had concerning levels in the blood and needed to go to an oncologist for review, but he didn’t and didn’t tell anyone. Of course. And he doesn’t at all grasp how much of a burden he has created! Never an apology, never a thank you, more like pissy that we wouldn’t be at the rehab center immediately following his transfer. My mom still cries ALL THE TIME and when I try to reason with her about dad coming back home and her taking care of him and how that is A VERY BAD IDEA and explain why, she gets mad at me and basically yells that it isn’t my decision and she promised ‘in sickness and in health’ blah blah blah. You have to understand, the Stockholm syndrome involved with a lifetime of living with an extreme addict. I know healthy distance and am trying to maintain that, but my mom is going to be sucked down in the wake with my father bc she won’t be reasoned with. He can’t start chemo until he is healthier, but I have no clue how my mom could even fathom emotionally and physically taking care of an immobile, very large man, on top of chemo. I’m so out of sorts, I can’t sleep or eat, so SO angry, and so extremely worried.
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Reply to Feelingdown
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I can’t figure out how to do a direct reply to an earlier post, but yes — my sister is an atty and has been talking to other legal counsel about the situation and the various avenues it can go down. Does anyone have words of wisdom on what I can say/do for my mom to help her or alleviate the stress and sadness as much as I can? Despite being an often cruel man, my mother of course feels like she needs to do everything and I cannot allow her to be strong armed into a situation where if it was reversed, my dad would 100% walk away and never exert any effort to assist her.
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anonymous594015 Nov 18, 2018
"I cannot allow her..." If you read this forum you will see case after case where the seniors are making decisions for themselves that make their lives (and the lives of their children/caregivers) harder. The discussion is often "how can I make someone make a different decision". The short answer is..you can't.
You and your sister should write to the social worker who is putting together the discharge plan and state clearly that you don't think your dad will be safe at home. Don't get into past abuse and what he would do if the situation is reversed. Say he's too big, his primary caretaker can't do it and there is no other family who can help. Concentrate on the fact that HE wouldn't be safe at home.
All you can do is present your mom with options. I hope she makes the right decisions for herself going forward. This is hard to watch. Come here for lots and lots of people who will sympathize!
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