How long do you continue to be the one who tries to keep the peace? - AgingCare.com

How long do you continue to be the one who tries to keep the peace?

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How long do you wait with angry, stubborn parents? My parents are beyond angry with my brother and I. We had a sort of intervention with them and told them that we are happy to help them in any way we can to live up here in Canada, but that we will not assist them to go back down to Florida where they will have no help and no healthcare insurance. Short history: they are snowbirds, have spent 30+ years in Florida spending 6 months of the year down there. They are now in their late 80s and both have stage 3 COPD and bronchiectasis. They are very sick and frail, and very stubborn. They hate Canada in the winter and are determined to go back down to Florida and don't understand that they could lose all their savings if they had to be hospitalized. My father keeps saying "if your mother gets sick I can drive her home in 24 hours" as if he could drive from Florida to Canada with a sick wife in that time! Also he is not considering if HE is the one who gets sick, she is early stage Alzheimers! They are FURIOUS with my brother and I. Apparently we are terrible, disrespectful children. Now they won't speak to us, or if they do it's just yelling at us and telling us what terrible children we are. I just don't know how much effort I should be putting out to try to help them calm down. My husband keeps saying "You should keep phoning them" but when I do, they yell at me, scream at me and tell me I'm a horrible daughter. It's very upsetting for me. How much am I supposed to take? How many times do I phone them? How many times do I knock on their door?

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Unfortunately that would be too much of a gamble. They do not qualify for travel insurance any more. One trip to the hospital could wipe out all their savings.
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Maybe you and your brother could take them down to Florida for 5 days or so?
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OMG Debralee... SO true!!!
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Funny about elderly parents, they want to make all the adult decisions, but want their adult children to take all the responsibilities of their decisions. Sounds more like dealing with a defiant teenager.
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((((((Hugs))))) sounds like you are setting some boundaries. That is good. Now be sure to stick to them, You sound like you will, and your brother too. It is great that you and your bro are on the same page. Sometimes we have to be firm with our elders. My mother had a harebrained scheme of bypassing rehab after her hip operation at age 99, and wanted my support. I believe what she really wanted was for me to go there and "nurse" her instead of rehab. No way!!! I told the nurse to do what was sensible. Mother went to rehab, discharged herself early, and then complained that she needed help in her ALF, and wanted me to come down and help her. No way to that either. There are consequences to our choices. She had, and still has home care 4x a day which was and is adequate.

You have to put a stop to the games. I am so glad that you are now better prepared to deal with them, and have adjusted how you will allow yourself to be treated. Take care Joan
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Well a week of silence made them finally phone like timid kittens... all full of sorry and compliance. I reminded them, mostly Dad, Mom is so forgetful, that I am NOT their employee. I am family, I have my own family, I want to help them, but they need to treat me with kindness. They were duly repentant and lots of promises of no more mean spirited phone calls... etc. I don't expect it to last, but this episode has at least caused me to decide how I will allow myself to be treated. My brother too. He held out longer than I did and finally spoke with them today, again, lots of apologies all 'round. Making them wait to be able to apologize to us gave me a little insight into what they really remember especially from the one night they were so horrible. The first phone call they 'pretended' nothing had happened, slowly with subsequent calls they themselves gave up more information that confirmed to me what I suspected: they remember almost fully how they treated us and were well aware of what they said. They were just pissed off and thought that as their "children" we should jump when they tell us to. So, as of today things are better. I know it's not permanent, but I think this week's major blow up helped me to better prepare myself for how I will allow myself to be treated.
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Type a "Decisional Balance" sheet with 2 columns; and have them list the benefits and disadvanges of moving to Florida. I can, however, understand their point. At their age, it's becoming harder and harder to tolerate Canadian winters. Then again, they've always run from it. Florida might mean the loss of savings and having to apply for public assistance (e.g., Medicare and food stamps) as well as residence -- if they don't already have it.

Their mind is made up, and you and your brother are standing in their way. Maybe that's why they're so stubborn.
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Jernie, yay I'm glad the silent treatment worked. We had to do that with mom frequently. She was always getting some hair brained idea or asking us for advice but never took it. I finally told her to quit insulting us, we had her number and we wouldn't be giving any more advice and wouldn't be in contact. It worked a few times and the other times she still did what she wanted. We were thankful for those few times anyway. :-)
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Hope it all goes smoothly. I know it must be a huge relief for you and your brother.
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Thank you all for your helpful replies. I think we had a breakthough with them... unfortunately at the cost of now they are simply heartbroken. I know they need to go through the stages of grieving, they are experiencing the end of at lifestyle they have loved for 30+ years and it is normal to grieve a loss like that. Whether this compliance is permanent, or whether they are back to raging by Sunday, I guess we'll see. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again. The advice to let them stew was spot on. I didn't phone them for 3 days and they finally phoned me last night like whimpering puppies. Not they way I wanted it to play out... but I'll take it if it means they will stay where it is safe here in Canada.
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