Follow
Share

He will not consider assisted living. I have suffered two rounds of cancer and my husband has had a massive heart attack in the last 2 years. We are only 50 years old. Our last child just left for college and we would like to have something that resembles a life. We have spent the last 10 years taking care of my mother who had Alzheimer's along with my father who has repeated episodes ending up in the emergency room excetera. We did not sign up for this. My father has been paying for long term care insurance for 25 years yet he refuses to consider assisted living. He insists he doesn't need any help not realizing we have been doing everything for him at the expense of our owm lives for years now. He has crashed his car twice in the last month. This man needs help and we are going to get out and save ourselves. Does anyone have any advice on how to break the news to him? this is a man who lives in California where there is a frighteni, he is the only person in the neighborhood whos half acre lawn is is emerald he called asked if his remote control stops working everything is an emergency and he expects my husband to come running please help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Finished....God bless you on your way to the rest of your lives. My dying husband and I would NEVER want our child to have to miss parts of "living" to be certain that we are. My son-in-law is getting a fantastic recognition in his field and we are so proud. My daughter said...should he buy my airline ticket. I said....you bet...and do we wish we could go, but of course, it is an "invitation only" affair....rather like the Oscars and Emmys. We are proud of them both and so grateful for their help, but with the help of hospice, I am getting it done. You are to be commended AND give your husband this old lady's congratulations on being a man to be admired. God bless you both. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Your father sounds a bit as mine...he knows what he wants and he will do it HIS way...so let him. Mine did it for 96 years.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

finished....wishing you and your husband the BEST possible future!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Finished, when you get moved into that cabin let me know. I will come visit too, it sounds like a beautiful place for you and your husband to spend time together and continue to make some precious family memories. :)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

To all of you who responded to my pleas of desperation, God bless you it really means a lot to me to hear what the general consensus is out there and I have been receiving 99% support from this community to Kimber, gladimhere, Linda 22, life experiences, Rovana, and countless others as I struggle to navigate this website... Not a computer genius unfortunately... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can report that my husband drove two states to see my dad yesterday and of course we have other business back home with our home on the market. I stayed back for my daughter's first day in college in our chosen state. Daddy is unable to dress himself anymore his house smells even though we have a cleaning service that comes in twice a month. He had an empty refrigerator, and what does my husband do but go buy him groceries. I understand the sentiment and my heart breaks for Daddy, but we have got to make a change. I am going to read all of your posts to my husband who I pray survives this time in his life so that we might have a few years together being somewhat healthy. The plan is to move into the cabin in three weeks. We will be one hour from our daughter... Our sons and their wives can take road trips to come and see us and we will visit daddy at least once a month even if it means getting on a plane to visit daddy but we are going to have the talk with him next time we see him. Your words gave me the strength to go forward with this. Daddy refused to let my mom go into assisted living, although we were taking care of her, I think he just didn't want to let her go, but they offered to let him stay with her overnight in this beautiful facility.his answer to the problem was to tell her to sit down and be quiet. we were lucky there was a wonderful facility willing to take her in on two days notice when she began falling and was unable to get up. Three months later she was dead, so many falls on the hardwood floor I'm sure caused internal bleeding. that is a testament to what his answer is for these problems. Not to deal with them at all... To make sure everyone else in the family has to deal with them. the question begs to be asked why did we pay well over $100,000 to long-term care insurance for everything to turn out like this. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt I guess.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

A loving parent would never expect their child to wreck their health, marriage, give up on life, just so they could pretend to be younger then they are or continue to live their favored lifestyle. Age generally brings increasing limitations that responsible adults deal with, without enslaving others. After all, love flows both ways.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

God Bless ALL THE SENIORS...that understand that their children cannot and should not give up their lives, jobs and families for years to take care of their parents for looong lengths of time!! Unless the children could and don't lose their health helping...everyone should make plans for their old age!!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Finished has been caring for both parents, now she and her husband have had two life changing health issues by age 50. They're doing what people do when they deal with cancer and heart attacks - they're re-evaluating their lives and looking at what they need to do for their health. This isn't selfish - it's being a grown up - they need to be able to take care of themselves and each other.

My gma was a practical woman - as her abilities changed, she accepted it and changed her way of doing things. She got help where she needed it, did the things she could for herself. But somewhere along the line, my parents' generation decided that they wanted to make the decisions, ignore the needed changes from age and that we have been expected to make the changes instead to allow them the illusion of independence. Somehow, they are making decisions for all of us and we're not supposed to have input.

Then one day, we're older too and our health is changing and we're saying we can't make their choices possible for them.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Yes there are ways to work things out and still have a life whioe caring for elderly. It is called assisted living whenever a family member cannot provide the one on one care for a wide variety of reasons. There will still be involvement and caring for the elder but it will be a position of advocay with trained cares doing the daily care.

I get really tired of this argument!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Why should finished not pursue a dream she and her husband have of living in the rustic cabin? Dad has resources, dad is choosing not to use them, thus letting the chips fall knowing finished will step in. Why does loving her dad mean that she has to deny her dream to have her and her husband be his daily drudge? She can love him by being up front with their plans, helping him set up what his daily life will look like - whether a move, or services, etc. and by remaining in contact with him and helping as she can. Why does loving a parent mean that the child has to sacrifice dreams, health, their lives vs using other support services to put together a community of help? There is no way I would want my son to kill a dream so that I can selfishly have him cut my grass because I can't be bothered to sign up a college kid for $20 a week. Go live your dream! Help your dad with the adjustment. L I V E
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I have to agree with Nolagal and jfryhospice. To others who say, "I didn't ask to be born" or "my parents had to take care of me because they chose to have me", well, yes they did choose to have you and took care of you by nurturing and teaching you to be independent. It seems harsh to me when I read that children post that they "didn't sign up for this (caregiving)". Barring actual physically and mentally abusive parents, I just can't understand how people can be so cold as to not to want to help their elderly parents in their final years. Yes, they can get increasingly childish in their behaviors, narcissistic, whiny, needy, etc. but the big difference is that a toddler will develop reasoning and grow to be independent. Our elderly is regressing to a toddler stage because of various brain/cognition problems and really need our help.

Think about it -- when you were born, you're totally dependent on others (you have no teeth, you need to be fed, cleaned, watched over, you're wearing diapers, your cranky, whiny, needy, unreasonable, defiant, don't know what's in your best interests, etc. Now your at the end of your life. You are needing to depend on others (you have no teeth, you need to be fed, cleaned, watched over, you're wearing diapers, your cranky, whiny, needy, unreasonable, defiant, don't know what's in your best interests, etc. Life has become a circle.

It's telling that the elderly are revered in other cultures but it seems as Americans, we're finding it an all to common "burden" to deal with the elderly, relegating them to the "forgotten" generation. There needs to be more compassion and empathy in this world.

Nolagal said it best, "there are ways to work things out and care for an elderly parent and still have a life."
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

scottdenny, I realize you are coming from a place of loss of your mother for which I extend deepest sympathy. Your example, however, doesn't match this situation from what I can see. "Excuse me I just lost my mom and maybe look at things differently.when you were young did your dad say go do things on your own or did your dad help you" A parent helps a child because that person isn't capable of doing something for themselves or needs assistance. Good parents encourage their children to be as independent as possible, and help only when really needed.

In this situation the father has other ways to solve the problem which doesn't involve this couple being his caregiver. He is choosing not to use other options. Also, this father does NOT want to do what they suggest, and....unlike a two year old throwing a tantrum....you can't force him to do something or put him in "time-out" if he refuses.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Sherry1anne states, "why hasn't his doctor sent a letter to the state revoking his DL? After a few accidents, I'm surprised that the state has not revoked it." Not that simple. Doctors do NOT want to get involved "reporting" their patients to gov't authorities. Think about it. If a doctor had a patient that was an alcoholic, would he be reporting them to the DMV? I have doctor friends and this very point is a very touchy situation with them. Once a doctor is "known" to report their elderly patients to the DMV, guess what? Patients start to not trust their doctors anymore. It's hard enough to try to get our elderly parents to see their physicians. Plus, the DMV doesn't "take licenses away" from elderly people. Getting old is not a crime (like a DWI). It really comes down to concerned immediate family members to get involved and convince their elders/parents that's it's time to stop driving. Easier said than done.

Of course, the elderly are going to rebel. And why shouldn't they? No one wants to give up their independence. Heck, no one wants to get old. It's especially complicated when the elder is slowing down physically and mentally. You can "suggest" a driving evaluation program to them, but there's no guarantee they will take it. Unfortunately, that's the way the DMV works. When his license is up for renewal, all he has to do is sign the form and MAYBE take an eye test.

My own Mom had a driver's license all her life (always renewed it faithfully) but RARELY drove -- my Dad chauffered her everywhere. When he died 7 years ago, she really thought she was going to drive his car. At that point, she was 80 years old and hadn't got behind the wheel in 40 years. Driving a car is not like riding a bike. She quickly realized that her cognitive skills would not be even close to what she would need to properly operate a vehicle.

That said, taking the keys away from your Dad without giving him alternate options for transportation will make him more "cranky" and isolated, especially when you move away. I know what I've said is counterintuitive. My 89-year old mother-in-law did this gradually. First she said, "I don't like to drive at night". Then, "I don't like to drive anymore. People just drive too fast." Then boom -- my 83-year old father-in-law now drives her everywhere (he's a pretty good driver still). It's when cognition really declines (from age-related dementia or other physical ailments) and they turn really cranky, that they are now not acting rationally. Again, family members MUST step in. Unfortunately, so many children (aka MY siblings) don't want to get involved and they leave all caregiving aspects of Mom or Dad to one sibling. Then that one caregiver becomes the "bad guy". Sad, but true.

Do you have any siblings? If not, I would suggest you make a day to go over to Dad's house (with your husband as a united front) and have a "come to Jesus" talk with him. Remain calm and matter-of-fact with your plans to move out of state. Tell him that your plans are to relocate as of such and such date and you need to know what arrangements you can assist him with before this date. As with any other cranky elder, he will NOT be happy with you. Tell him you will not be available to re-program the remote from 1,000 miles away. Discuss the fact that he's paid for long term care (LTC) insurance for 25 years and it's time to set that train in motion. People this age HATE to waste money. Approach it from the practical -- he's paid a LOT of premiums and he now deserves to use the LTC he's scrimped and paid for all these years.

As cranky/mad as they get, for your piece of mind I would move heaven and earth to get him relocated to a safe environment. If he still refuses, you have two choices: (1) Stay where you are (don't move) and go on caregiving the way you have been, or (2) Decide that your and your husband's health are top priorities and move.

I can guarantee that if you move and your Dad is left to his own devices, he will somehow survive for a while but do expect "the call" (or calls) that he has fallen, had another car accident, isn't bathing, eating right, etc. etc. Anyone with a conscience does not want to leave their elderly parent to fend for themselves (especially when you know they are a danger to themselves and others (i.e. driving)). Your post sounds like you truly care about your Dad but know the toll it's taking on your health. So please make arrangements NOW to get him the help he will need. You know he's going to fight it. Perhaps go to several assisted living places and pick up brochures, arrange a "tour" for your Dad, talk with the admistrative people there. They can give you advice regarding "convincing" a parent to take the next steps in caring for themselves. Stress/guilt is a big physical factor when battling cancer and/or heart disease. You need to try to lesson both. At least if he is looked after, you will be able to rest easy. Do you have his neighbor's phone numbers? Do they have yours? Can they look in on him?

This is a tough situation. Every elderly person I know wants to live at home until they die. Well, sometimes that's not possible for a variety of reasons. It takes a huge toll on their caregivers. I don't know what the answer is. I'm 56 and I know I will plan for MY elderly future. I don't want my children to give up their middle age or their health to suffer taking care of me.

Your Dad is 87. He's of the "greatest generation" whereby they insist that they don't need help, won't talk about "feelings", and just get by to get by. This is how they were raised. Consequently, when push comes to shove, YOU have to become the parent when they start acting irrationally. My Mom is 86 years old and has become like a 4-year old in many ways -- refusing to listen to reason, taking risks (like walking down the basement stairs backwards because it's "safer" in her mind -- ugh), not recognizing unsafe/stale food, not recognizing that strangers who come to the door aren't her "friends", etc. It's maddening. But it's up to us children to take charge now. Again, it's not easy -- it's oh so hard. We can rise to the challenge or not. I have taken on that challenge because my do-nothing older siblings will not and I cannot, in good conscience, leave her to fend for herself. Has my mental/physical health suffered? You bet it has. I have battled the Big "C" myself. But I do it because I love my Mom and no one else will step up to help me. Caregiving is hard -- VERY hard. But it's everyone's personal choice to either say yes or no.

If you've had enough in the last 10 years (and it sounds like you have), then just make the decision, tell Dad, and be done with it. Again, easier said than done. You are 50 years old and, God willing, you will see another 35-40 years. Your health should be your #1 priority. Dad may only have another 5 years (depending on his current health). But again, for your mental/physical sake, I would try REALLY hard to get him situated somewhere safe or arrange for outside help for him BEFORE you make your move out of state or you will feel the pangs of stress/guilt all the more. Stress does a whole lot of physical damage to the body. Good luck and let us know how your doing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I guess it can be seen both ways, some think we owe our parents all the care WE can provide them but then others say, but we didn't ask to be born or whatever. However, seeing that both you and your hubby have health issues, continuing to be caregivers might take your lives quicker than your fathers, so then who is going to care for him. Try to convince him that all the money he put into the long term care insurance is there for a reason, for him to be able to enjoy the comforts of others caring for him while he can still enjoy being around people his own age. And like someone else said, maybe he will see someone he knows. No one wants to leave their own home, but sometimes we don't have a choice. I would let him know that even though you would love to continue to care for him, your health has taken a turn for the worse (fib a little) and that you no longer can help him and that moving will help you in many ways. Let his family doctor know that you will no longer be in the state and that he will be taking care of himself. not sure what good it will do but at least someone else knows. good luck and hope you & hubby can start feeling better in your own. health.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with scottdenny. I don't get how everyone is so supportive of people leaving their elderly parents to "have a life". I am taking care of my mother with Alzheimer and I could not live with myself if I just put her in a home so I could be free to do whatever I want. Yes it is hard but if your parents cared for you and supported you then you need to support and care for them. You should be able to find a happy medium without have to move out of state. How are you going to feel when you are older and your kids can't be bother caring for you. Sorry if this seems harsh but there are ways to work things out and care for an elderly parent and still have a life...I do.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Are you moving because you want to, or to get away from Dad and his "emergencies"?

If you are moving because you have an opportunity to settle somewhere youve always wanted to live, then yes, all of the above answers tell you how. (Won't dignify that Scott fellow with an answer).

However, if you are putting distance between you and dad just to escape HIM, your plan will backfire. Far better to learn to set boundaries while you're in place. "No dad, i can't come over to fix the remote. If you lived in Independent Living, there would be staff to help. We're not available till next week". You have to mean it.

Elders can be lulled into thinking that they are "independent " because their children are running themselves ragged. What if the "kids" die? The senior finds out too late that their independence was an illusion.

The hardest words i ever said were "mom, i can't do this anymore"...responding to her imagined emergencies. It's not easy. But it is, as Bob says, simple.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Interview agencies who provide assistance. Find one that you feel is good.
Then tell dad straight out that you and your husband are going to move to Timbuktoo on such and such a date. Add that the good news is there is a good source for help "if" he needs it and leave him their contact data. Such help could include cleaning the house, cooking, running errands, doing his grocery shopping, arranging for nearby restaurants to bring in food for dinner, and so on and so on.

Contact a reputable landscaping company and arrange for yard care "if" he needs it.

The "How?" part of your question is an emotional one. It is simple to do, but not easy. You simply have to do it and move on. I would not tell him very far in advance....A week or two notice would be best. That way it's over and done with. After you move, daily phone calls from you would be in odrer....Also it would be smart to not answer his calls once you move, but just call him at a certain time each day. You can choose to remain captives or not. That is under your control..
Yes, there can and will be emergencies. He is elderly.. Like all of mankind, he will fall very ill/die possibly in the near future, but you can bet the house that it won't be in 25 years, but sooner. You can choose to realize that and accept and embrace it. I am old myself (79) and not yet afflicted except that I am certifiably nuts as attested to by the fact that I own and regularly ride four motorcycles. My kids have given up preaching to me about the foolishness of this activity, but I just smile and thank them for their concern.

Grace + Peace,
bob
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Scottdenny, I too have suffered the loss of my mother and she was my best friend and also the most accomplished amazing human being I have ever met. It was my honor and my pleasure to be her caregiver for many years before her death from Alzheimer's so you should not assume you are the only person who has ever lost a beloved parent. parents should care for their children and not the opposite.That is what parents do. Why have children if you're not going to take care of them? My responsibility is to my children and Husband. If I allow my father with his dementia to destroy one more year of my life with my hubby, however, shame on me and then I deserve the cancer this stress has brought upon me also I deserve the grief I will experience when my husband has his next heart attack. We were both very healthy when my parents started to decline. My advice to you is to find somebody to love so that your sole purpose in life is not to care for your parents. I feel sure Your mom would want that for you. The very fact that you called me selfish tells me the odds of you finding a mate are slim to none. Make sure you let her know she's signing up for the caregiver program before it gets too serious.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I think you probably had a good mom but not all folks do.

Even then if you do, there is often one child who is treated to all of the abuse and anger when their parent has problems. I can understand why that could be a problem for some. I took care of my mom for many years, marrying around in my late 30s, so I think mom thought I would be there forever. So, that is why the abuse was hurled on me until I told her I did not appreciate the fact that she treated me like a child, and I was almost 60! Things have improved since then, but I always keep my guard up. Also, I feel it is time for another sibling besides me and one other one to start stepping up and helping out. Sometimes, your husband and family will find that they are being taken for granted. So, think about yourself and your husband also.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

First of all, why hasn't his doctor sent a letter to the state revoking his DL? After a few accidents, I'm surprised that the state has not revoked it. You did not say what Dad's finances are. If they are good, he can pay for a live in if he doesn't want to go to any kind of facility. Also, beware. Assisted living is not the same as long term care. Most insurance will not pay for assisted living, only for a nursing home. Is he a veteran? If so, he may be eligible for Aid in Attendance from the VA and thus pay for his in home care. Good luck. My mother has been good up until last year. We have in home care. Yesterday she attacked her caregiver with her cane and the caregiver had to lock herself in the bathroom until she could get our grounds man to come in and help. Sheee what a mess. I'm about to move out of state myself. (just kidding)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Finished, only one concern from me. Are your children in college paying in state tuition? If so, they need to be eligible themselves or tuition will increase to out of state rates if you leave. Just a thought.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm so relieved. A much better plan.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

countrymouse, I'm so sorry to hear that you're having financial problems, but I would trade the wealth we have...I am actually doing that because we are moving from a 7000 square foot mansion to a rustic hunting cabin on the River in Oregon...money does not buy happiness. We are not just running away we are running for our lives. Daddy has been financially taken care of, and will never have to worry. We will continue to fly in twice a month to visit... Maybe once a month. We would never go cold turkey on him but we are considering never mentioning that we are making the move. His dementia seems to increase exponentially with time. All my best to you in the future.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

As the "old parent", I would advise you to go. My dear husband is dying and will not live out the month. We lived in California and visited our daughter and family every year. Finally, 2 years ago, we realized we cannot "do it alone". We moved to their town, with their blessing. It involved moving half way across the country, but they are more than willing to help us. Your father must come to this decision by himself. You are not helping yourself by staying to be his caretaker. Move and do what YOU want to do. He will work it out since he seems to be running everything now, including your lives. Have a good time. You are too young to be staying there just to be a caretaker. This may sound harsh, but he has lived his life and now he is controlling yours. GO!!!!!
Helpful Answer (14)
Report

Perhaps it's time for them to go into an AL. They should have been planning for this. No one stays 20 years old! My husband and I have planned for it when the time comes.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Finished, we cannot take care of our parents unless we take care of ourselves first, as you have so unfortunately found out. So, plan the move carefully and take your time.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Well, if we all are lucky enough to have parents that live long enough, we TAKE CARE OF OUR LOVED ONES. Does your dad drink, thus the car crashes?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Finished, You already put in your dues and spent 10 long years caring for your parents at a time when your kids needed you most. Too bad your dad put you in this position. Many of our parents, mine included, don't get the help they need or make appropriate arrangements, until they fall or their condition worsens. No matter how much we do or where we live, the guilt and regret are feelings we try to manage and struggle to come to terms with.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Get a caregiver through the state. One who is a qualified RN. NOT a CNA(Certified Nursing Assistantt)!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

First call Adult Protective Services, explain your circumstance, and have them evaluate him. Since he has LTC insurance, tell him you are leaving, and let the chips fall where they may. He will find out soon what you have been doing. You cannot force him to leave his home unless he has been deemed incompetent by a court. Thank you for taking care of him and your mother, and now it is time to care for yourselves. I'm sorry for the loss of your mother, and your father will have the same fate, but you have to live too!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Perhaps you might consider finding an assisted living near (within driving distance) where you want to move? That way he can start cashing in on his LTC insurance and you can build a new routine and get that new life you want for yourselves. If he chooses to stay behind that's his choice but if he wants to go then he'll be in AL. Elders get very stubborn and irrational which makes them much more difficult to manage than children. I wish you lots of luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter