I am my father's primary caregiver and I live with him and my mom. He suffered a stroke in 2016. He has vascular dementia. A caregiver comes over 5 days a week to give him a shower, etc. After the caregiver leaves, my dad becomes more demanding calling me multiple times, especially at night and in the early morning. How do I stand up to him? I feel like a slave. I have my own health issues. Any suggestions?

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TG I never had to take care of my Dad. Loved him but Mom waited on him hand and foot. I took him to see a vascular surgeon. He wouldn't use a walker. The cane he used was useless. He just about made it to the Drs. office. I told him next time a walker, or I was not taking him. He used a walker the next time. Of course when we got home, he said "take it back". (I worked for a VNA and we had a durable equipment loan equipment.

You have to stand up to him. That incident was the first time I did. If there is something he needs, tell him that is what the caregiver is for while she is there. Is he capable of doing for himself, tell him that. "Dad, ur very capable of getting that for yourself". Maybe set up a timeline, "Dad after 8 pm I am no longer available until 9am the following morning" You are not to call me unless its an emergency. This is my downtime and I need it.

Go on your retreat. See how your parents have done. This will be a good time to implement some new rules. "Well it seems Dad u and Mom did pretty well. My time away gave me time to think and things need to change. You make me feel like a slave and thats not going to happen anymore. I am here to help but I am not here to be at ur beck and call".

Enjoy your time away. Pray and rejuvenate.
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Reply to JoAnn29

You can move out or place them in AL, otherwise, remember that No is a complete sentence, have boundaries and stick to them. He can't walk on you unless you are laying on the floor, stand up and be counted. You are entitled to some peace and happiness in your life.
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Reply to DollyMe

Change the way you are using the hired caregiver. First off, your father does not need to be showered every day. A shower every other day is good. Old skin is already dry and fragile.

See if the hired caregiver can come later in the day and take over some of the tasks your father does need done. What does he want early in the morning? To use the bathroom? A bedside commode may be necessary at this point.

You also will have to learn to say "No, dad, that is not the plan for today/tonight. Today/tonight you will XYZ".

Help your mother figure out their finances because his needs are only going to increase. Start planning now. Discuss with your mother what to do in the event he lands in the hospital for whatever reason. Now also is a good time to get your mother's important paperwork - living will, POA, will - done.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

Could you consider altering what your caregiver does? Older people don’t normally need a shower every day, and one overnight a week might work better. What happens if you don't go when he calls? Have you tried ear plugs?
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
Adr6824 Jun 13, 2019
Thanks for your help. I am going to buy ear plugs
Is your mother OK to help with boundary building? I'm afraid if you live with them, then him repetitively calling on you is going to be part of the frustrating package. If your mother is able, she should be stepping in and giving you a break. In the mean time if you can swing it, take at least 1 night for yourself and find a hotel and stay there for a full 24 hours. You need a night to yourself. If he is calling you to help him with things, are these things your mother can help him with when the caregivers go home?
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Reply to GIAGIA
Adr6824 Jun 13, 2019
Yes, despite my mom's own health issues, ( legally blind in her left eye and hard of hearing), she helps me as best as she can. I am planning to go on another retreat for at least a week. Please pray for me.
My mother died last year of vascular dementia and was plagued by “sundowning” for many years. The negative behaviors started around 3:00 and lasted until she went to bed. It sounds as though your dad may be going through the same pattern.

The best way we handled her worsening condition was to increase the hours and days of caregiving to 24/7 and taking mom to a new “doctor”- a geriatric psychiatrist - who could prescribe appropriate medications to help stabilize her mood swings and help her sleep better at night (and not keep napping during the day). We also took her for multiple walks during the day initially with her walker and then in her wheelchair so she could get more sunlight and a change of scenery.

Sadly, your dad may not even be cognizant of what time of day it is or that he’s called you several times already. Full time caregivers would keep your dad on a consistent routine and reduce the dark, lonely hours he’s by himself.

We found that in-home care was so much less expensive and more individualized, caring and attentive than a nursing home or other facility. I would encourage you to leave dad in his home and extend the caregiver’s hours - at least until your dad is asleep and to have a consult with a geriatric psychiatrist.

None of your choices is easy to make but you need to take care of yourself so that you can enjoy a positive relationship with your dad.
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Reply to sscoale

So hard. If not for the stroke, VD etc you could say "Hey Dad, what the... give me a break" whatever. But the guilt.... he's changed, he can't help it.

I actually have no advice, but I sympathize.

My Mum, stroke, what certainly looks like VD, very demanding + OCD. But I don't live with her. Also she can no longer phone me as stroke knocked out some vision. Used to. So deaf but would call, tell the news or nag & hang up. Now can't so now I can feel guilty that I enjoy she can't phone!

You mean calling you like calling out? (Not phone I presume..?) Is it possible to use some carer time to go out & do something you enjoy? It may refresh you enough for the demands when you return? Is he anxious whenever he can't see someone or nor occupied? (My Mum frets big time due to her lack of vision if people are out of sight).

Would you feel comfortable telling him what time you will be asleep & not able to respond? Is he needing to pee & needs help or just wants company?

All I know is YOU need your sleep to be a good human & carer!
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Reply to Beatty

Unfortunately the stroke and resulting vascular dementia affecting his brain and taking away his ability to process things prevent him from understanding and he can’t help it.
Maybe you can see if you can get more home health hours and maybe some family help. I know that is hard to do .
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Reply to sandy1955

You're going to have to take care of your own health, else you'll be good to no one.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Does he have long term care or coverage that someone can come in the nights. There are services that are offered 24/7 care. Medicare can pay for nursing care if he meets the level of requirements as prescribed by his physician.
I hope this helps.
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Reply to Marshhen

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