My father is 77 years old. He lives alone (hasn't been married for 45 years), walks with a cane (from surgery 3 years ago), and as far as I know - does NOT have dimentia.
For the most part, he means well... but he's not happy and that has become a reflection of his personality. He's angry and unhappy most of the time. I think it's because he's lost his independence (he was forced to retire from his part time job 2 years ago.) He drinks A LOT - in fact, I'm pretty sure he's an alcoholic.
Lately (out of boredom I'm sure) he has reached out to be daily (for most of my adult life, I only heard and saw him once a week). I feel sorry for him and the life that he lives (although I have tried endlessly to help him to change like introducing him to community programs where he lives, encouraging him to go to PT - with my help, try out transportation services in case he doesn't want to drive, and just have his own life,) He has refused everything. I don't understand him - although for all I know, he could have been this way forever (considering our past once a week relationship). Lately I've been talking to my father everyday on the phone - sometimes several times a day. In addition, I drive to his house (1 hour away) 2 - 3 times a week JUST to have lunch and then try like hell to fill the time with running to the grocery store etc.
I'm losing my own life little by little. There isn't a morning that goes by that I don't think - should I go to his house and sit with him? I feel guilty doing anything else even if I'm pulled in another direction. HOW can I pull away and help him try to find his own independence again? He wants nothing to do with any new suggestions, new hobbies, or new friends. Whenever I say to myself - you can't do this anymore... I feel so guilty - like I'm walking away from a wounded animal on the street, but I really don't think he's a wounded animal - I just think he's become spoiled and dependent. Help!