My mother has always been controlling. If she didn't get her way she was rude and hateful towards a person. She has always been independent even though she has been legally blind. She's a fighter, has overcome many major health problems. Now she is 92+ loosing strength in her legs due to arthritis. She depends Heavily on my 93+ yo father. He has dementia, terrible arthritis and is hard of hearing. She can be quite abusive to my father due to his hearing. He always gives into her and does whatever she wants. He drives still. We tried to have a caregiver to live in but my mother was hateful, rude, refused help and told us to get rid of her. The house was clean, they were clean, they ate well, health improved! What can you do with someone like that? Do you just leave them alone again like they want until something terrible happens? Has anyone dealt with someone like this and how did you deal with it?

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If you think your father is a danger driving, I’d figure out how to stop it. There are varying ways, depending on the state, but I’d tackle that for sure. It’s a matter of public safety. There are ways, such as reporting to doctor, DMV, law enforcement, etc. I’d also likely consult with an attorney about the process and proof needed to prove incompetence. If mother is legally blind, how is she a fit caregiver for a person with dementia? If I thought my dad was incompetent and being treated poorly, I’d intervene. The legal consult would let you know what you’ll need as evidence. It’s a lot of work, though. That’s for sure. But, if appointed guardian, you could make decisions on dad’s behalf.
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"Do you just leave them alone again like they want until something terrible happens?" YES, and again I will say YES. That's exactly what you have to do. It's the sad truth, and a lot of the folks on this forum are exactly where you are. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Unfortunately that is sometimes the only way that you will be able to get them the help they need. Until then, hang tight and live your life.
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From what I am understanding, your parents are very independent and do not need any help.

People like your parents probably feel like other people are just in their way. It's a good thing your dad can deal with your mom. Don't see an issue between them.

Just let Mom be Mom. I mean, she is 92 years old.
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AlvaDeer Nov 2020
I so agree. They are doing well, and their relationship together is likely somewhat as it has been all their time together. They are clean, eating well, and the bickering about the hearing is just "what they do". As Geaton says, the "train wreck" will come. Until then relax and save strength.
It is so difficult to stand by and watch the train wreck coming. If you are not their PoA and if one or both of them do not have dementia or short-term memory issues, I would have one last conversation with them outlining what will and will not happen.
- you/your family will not orbit around them to prop up the pretense that they are independent
- in the event of a health crisis for 1 of them APS will be contacted.
- if they have not assigned a PoA then APS will move to become their guardians whether they want it or not. The county will then make and control every decision, even if the family disagrees with it. They will also control all/any assets. They will decide what facility they are brought to. They will probably be on Medicaid.

All you can do is warn them. I did this with my jerk step-FIL. Then when the train wreck was upon him and he still refused to assign a PoA I just looked at him and reminded him this is what he chose and we had no power to help him. He had Parkinsons and I had very blunt conversations with him about no one "recovering" from PD and no one leaves here alive, including him. His denial was not my problem. It was still hard to think about him dying alone in a Medicaid facility but *he chose it!* I made it abundantly clear that the county would control everything. He was a smart man with a college degree and no dementia (at the time) but he was manipulative and in denial. He really thought we were going to be at his beck and call. I wish you peace in your heart as you grapple with the realities of your parents' situation.
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You’re not changing mom, she’s well entrenched in her ways. But your dad needs help. First, with dementia and likely the hearing loss he shouldn’t be driving. Time to put a stop to that before someone is hurt. Will he accept Meals on Wheels or another meal delivery service? Do you or another family member have POA for healthcare and finances?
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You tried to help. Obviously, they feel as if they don’t need help.

This is what I say about people in this situation, ‘They don’t know that they don’t know.’

Of course you know that they need help. Some people are in complete denial. They are fighters. They have overcome plenty and that is wonderful! They are fiercely independent.

The question becomes, ‘What can you do?’ I suppose the answer is, ‘Not much!’ It’s truly sad. You can’t force them to accept help. We as the children wonder why some parents can’t be gracious?

It’s heartbreaking to watch parents make foolish choices in their lives. They live life on their terms only.

Are they stubborn? Yes! Are they independent? Yes! Are they selfish? It feels like they are to their children. They wouldn’t consider themselves selfish.

Your mom is domineering with your father. My husband’s grandmother was like that with his sweet grandfather. He died a broken man. Divorce wasn’t a popular or acceptable choice back then.

She was horrible to her caregivers, the housekeeper and everyone else.

She never changed and died completely alone because she drove everyone away. She treated her only daughter horribly.

I seriously doubt that your mom will change. If your dad hasn’t stood up to her by now, he most likely won’t.

I know that you must be concerned about your father driving and everything else about their lives. It’s so sad to see these situations.

I am so very sorry that you are struggling with this situation. I wish that I had answers for you. All I can say is that I feel for you.

My mom wanted everything her way too. It’s difficult to accept. My mom is now under hospice care.

I suppose that you have high anxiety and you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

What do you think will happen when your father dies? Will she allow help then? I surely hope so. What if she dies first? What will he do?

Best wishes to you and your family.
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