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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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You have said what you needed to say by not helping them if they choose to go to Florida. It appears they have not gone yet. When you call them for go any mention of Florida. Unless they are declared incompetent to make decisions, you cannot dictate their choices. Be firm about the Florida situation and hopefully they will come to realize going to Florida is not a good option for them.
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What a sad situation for you and your brother. Trying to help headstrong parents is difficult at best. It is a shame they do not recognize the love and concern you are showing for them and their health.

How about writing a letter. Sometimes reading the words without the visual and emotional tone of voice and face can be a good thing. It would give them something tangible to read again and again. Make it loving and caring, expressing the concerns, that you want to be there for them and how difficult the distance makes that. I know you have explained that, Face to face, they get to interject their own thoughts and possibly hear only what they want. Stay home! I don't know, it was just a thought. If you think it would work, mail the letter and wait a week or so before calling.

I wish you all the best!
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Hi Jerrnie, I am so sorry you are going through this. I live in Florida and know many Canadians and snowbirds. Sooner or later it comes to this. If they are not with family, they must go back home. I really don't know how the medical costs are handled here for the many Canadians who visit or live here. Never thought about it. But just sounds as if the time has come to not travel anymore or live alone.

I also know many from the northeastern USA who come down and move mom or pop back to NY, NJ, or whatever. Just can't continue to live here. Some stay in homes with no one to check on them or visit. That doesn't sound very pleasant does it?

Don't beat yourself up over this. It is true that at some point we become the parents, the roles reverse.

I have heard many stories of parents getting on I-95 and driving to who knows where. They get disoriented and can't remember where they are going. Or, like I saw just yesterday, someone driving the wrong way in the wrong lane!!!!

We all need to know at some point we will be dependent again if we live long enough. My thoughts are with you.
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Just quit calling and see what happens, the ball will be in there court. Thank goodness you and your brother are united. Where's it written you have to take this abuse? Lay down the ground rules NOW before the situation gets worse, you know it's headed in that direction. Don't take the bait, don't argue. OncehatedDIL is right in comparing some elders to little kids. You don't put up with it in a 3 yr old, you sure don't have to put up with it in a 80 yr old. Good luck!
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Sounds like the refusal to help them actually makes it impossible for them to go to Florida? Wow, that was the easy part for you and your brother:) I wish we could have forced my ILs hands so effectively years ago and possibly saved FIL's legs from being amputated. So the hard part here is just sticking with your decision and waiting for them to cool off? Relax and wait it out. Of course they are angry. Who wants to be confronted by the necessity of another pleasure in life being taken from them? So much easier to blame the messenger. While some people don't like comparing taking care of parents to raising children, there are some lessons you learn in child raising that help. If this raging of theirs is a tantrum, hen ignore it instead of feeding it. I'm with NancyH. Amazing to think that they can't get down there on their own, yet believe they could get back in an emergency unaided.
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I say to leave them be for awhile. You and your brother stick together on this, because you are right. They are being illogical to think that they will be able to take care of themselves at their age with the health issues they BOTH have. Nope, I say leave them alone. But I don't blame them for not wanting to freeze in the winter, gotta give them that. ha
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