Our dad is being 'bullied' by his 'mean wife' and our 'mean mother'. Is there anyway to make him more assertive? - AgingCare.com

Our dad is being 'bullied' by his 'mean wife' and our 'mean mother'. Is there anyway to make him more assertive?

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My dad has depression. He has hospice in his home. My mother controls his meds, and when he does anything. She is his shadow. But our concern is that he feels 'forced' to side with her on decisions he doesn't even believe in. Recently my sister wanted to borrow their exercise bike for 3 weeks to rehabilitate from surgery. My dad is unable to use it. My mom refuses to loan it to my sister saying a lie that my dad is going to use it. That is not possible due to my dad's weakness. He called up my sister in 'secret' to apologize for letting her think she could borrow the exercise bike. He wanted her to use it, but 'our mean mom' seems to control what he can do. Any advice for helping us help him to be more assertive. He feels so bad.

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Jeanne,
I know people are not placed in hospice for depression. The poster states he is depressed and in at home hospice see the second sentence.

It just sounded to me like he as bigger thoughts on his mind like mortality,
you raise an excellent point mom is stepping into a role that is stressful and difficult. The whole family s stressed, and things may seem more important than they are.....like borrowing a bike.

Wishing the whole family peace calm and mutual forgiveness.
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One thing that really flips the caregiver out is when people start asking to take stuff that belongs to the dying person. If I am old and sick don't start hauling away my stuff like I'm already dead. A dying friend of mine was asked by her younger son if he could have the dining room set. She turned to the oldest boy and said "Burn the f--king thing". Vultures, I tell you, begin to circle.
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BTW, lsmiami, people are not generally placed on hospice for depression. Is it possible that you don't know the full extent of his medical condition?
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I agree with lsmiami. This is not the time to try to reform the relationship between your parents.

I know from experience that it is very difficult to watch your life partner dying. Your mother may not be functioning at her best right now. Maybe she just isn't ready to acknowledge that Dad will never use the exercise bike again. Perhaps she needs to hang on to it for her own sake. Her "lie" may be wishful thinking. (Obviously I don't know your mother and I'm just guessing at what could be behind this strange behavior.) Try to give Mom the benefit of the doubt. For reasons beyond her control she is now totally in charge of the household, of your dad's pills, and of his care. She has to do what is best for him, even if she doesn't know what that is! It is a scary role. Few of us get it completely right.

Do you and your sister spend time with Dad? Do you suggest that Mom could go out for a while?

If the exercise bike thing is the worst case of "bullying" in that household, I don't think Dad needs assertiveness training. He needs to know that his wife is doing the best she can, and that his daughters love him.
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Their relationship may not be what you would want, but it is what he is used to, assuming she has always been this way, accept it. Too late to change it. Do not make a big deal of small things that would only make him feel worse....for example tell him the bike is no big deal, sis has another alternative and everything will be fine. Dad is in hospice, try to deflect any problems mom throws in his direction.
I can relate, it is difficult to watch someone you love being treated in a less than loving way.
Best of luck
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