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Mom is so mean and negative to dad, She tells him she's so sick she can't get up, but when I call or go see her she acts all good and doesn't complain. Lately she has made several dr and dentist appointments, only to call and cancel saying she's too sick to go. She is wearing dad out. They are both 84. She wants him at her beck and call! He does all of the housework, laundry and cooking. It's really hard not to have bad feelings toward her. She is on depression meds. She sleeps 15-20 hrs a day. I see my dad slowly regressing from a very healthy 84 yr? I would like to help both of them live a happier life.

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My parents are divorced, buy my read on this is that your father is aging well but your mother is not. Don't let him fall through the cracks! If they are together after all these years and this behavior is NEW, or even if it is not, it is too tough on him.
I have a stubborn single mother who is her own worst enemy. I have had many medical and economic issues and have decided to save myself. It sounds like your Dad needs to "save himself ". If Mom is too ornery or has dementia, he will go down with the ship.

I agree that she should have a complete medical and physiatric evaluation. The sleeping might be a sign of overmedication or dementia.

What ever the case may be, I would definitely have a social worker (neutral 3rd party) take a look in.

Sounds like a housekeeper is in order. I am not old or disabled, but I could use a housekeeper!

I hear the other responders. Sounds like Dad is getting very worn out. Parental quarreling is one thing. Him going down the drain with her is another.

Definitely sounds like a 3rd party would help sort it out. Trying to mediate your parents' interactions is a good start. If that fails, call a social worker in. It sounds like your Dad is becoming unnecessarily exhausted because of Mom's behavior.
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your dad is enabling your mother...he jumps when she calls...she has no respect for him. maybe he should stop doing that. can you hire some help for him in the house so that he doesn't have to work so hard...and can rest??
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Now may be the time to consider senior housing for both of them. It would stimulate your mother and offer your Dad alternatives and other activities to keep him active.
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A social worker is an advocate and will help determine what living and medical options are suitable for their conditions. In addition they typically do all the research to get you to the place that works for you. If you don't know where to find a social worker, call a hospital and ask for their social work dept and get a name and number for your own worker.
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Maybe you need to talk to the doctor about the dosage of the meds? My husband was sleeping all the time, and we changed the time of day several times, didn't seem to have much affect, until we gave him 1/2 the pill at dinner time, now he's as perky as ever. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right dosage and med.
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My mother has dementia. When I visit her and she has been in bed all day and th enurse says she is fine. , I sya "I guess at a bad time , I ws going to suggest we go to Stbrucks ( her favorite place -- well, seeing as you;re exhausted, I'll just leave you to rest and then I close close the bedroom door.) That somehow get up, put of bed, teeth brushed and dressed and ready to go. It fells mean and tricky but she would otherwise stay in bed for a couple of days when the mood strikes her.Plus she has enough fruit, jello, and grhm crackers in her refrigerator so she doeesn't even have to bother going to the dinng room with the other residents,
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Bring in a housekeeper one day a week. If mom objects to that, tell her she has to get out of bed and do the work. If she sees another woman taking over her territory, it might just motivate her to move around more.
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"Getting a break" isn't going to help matters until you get to the bottom of this ordeal, because I still think a Baker Act is a good idea--she stays in bed too long she won't be able to get up anymore and you are going to have a far worse situation to deal with..including nursing home placement.
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Not sure if you've done this, but sitting down with both of them to share your observations and concerns is something you should do or keep doing.

My mid 80's parents are doing well, but I speak to them regularly when I see their health deteriorating or their mental state going south and one or the other treating people with disrespect.

At some point, the adult child is forced to become a loving surrogate parent. We begin life in diapers and self-focused and often we end up that same way.
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Katie 222 is right. This is likely all related to her depression medications and the first step is to see her doctor. write out 3 examples of her behavior to share with the doctor if she won't go to a doctors appointment ask that doctor what he can do. If that doesn't work find a mobile doctor. Acute depression in seniors can create symptoms of dementia (short term memory loss or confusion) so know that and don't be scared that she has Alzheimer's for example. That requires a series ifvtestscandcan excellent diagnostician to determine
But I agree that the first step is to revisit her meds. This is likely a chemical imbalance!
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Sounds like the psych eval and a good checkup are in order, but in the more pressing matter--do get your dad some help. I worked for Visiting Angels-also worked for Home Instead--and again, you may have to go through several "assistants" before you find a good match for your dad & mom. (Working for a couple is MUCH harder than working for a single person) Sounds like dad really needs the break--Am I right to assume that this has been a dynamic of longstanding? Dad has always fussed Mother? Or is this new? Living together 24/7 is not what most if us want, I've met very few couples who want or can spend that kind of time together. They need to split up a little and let dad, at least have a life outside of caring for mom. You don't mention if hiring out some of the stuff he's doing is possible? At 84, all that would be daunting, even is dad is in great shape. And yes, the care for her like this will wear him out. Sometimes, with mother, we have had to literally force her to go to a drs, esp if she thinks she's going to hear bad news. It's awful and I feel for you. Good luck with this and bless you for caring for your dad. (and mom).
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Such a feeling of helplessness and hurt when you see your father on the receiving end of her behaviours. Illness or not, the effect is the same. Have you talked about it with your dad? It would give him an opportunity to express his feelings and concerns and you can work as part of a team to strategize how to deal with the situation. If your mom makes appointments but feels too sick to go, does your community have a visiting doctor service where they will come to the house? However, if your mother is like mine, she will drive them away at the door. That is the dilemna - your mother has the right to refuse treatment as an adult because she is not an immediate danger to herself or others.

The long term use of antidepressants is another factor. As the body ages, it does not respond in the same way can become more toxic. There may be a hidden allergy to one of the ingredients. Sometimes the side effects produce the symptoms the drug is supposed to alleviate (e.g. Prozac may cause suicidal feelings in some patients). Is she enough water to flush out the drugs and other waste from her system?

Are you able to talk with your mom and non-judgmentally/assertively explain the effect of her behaviours on you and your dad? Sometimes our decision to act is externally motivated by a desire not to hurt someone we love.

Not easy!
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If you are unable to get her to go to the doctor, see if they have an email that you can use to communicate and describe your current situation - it's called "failure to thrive". A medication review is a good start, but I'm betting this is behavioral. Wondering if she was ever motivated? If so, what was it that used to get her out of bed? Even if it was years ago... you could help re-create that time in her life to "jump-start" things a little.
As for help coming in... you will need to be there during the first several times, to put your dad a little more at ease ( and make sure he doesn't 'fire" them, like my Father In Law kept doing) and then leave for short periods of time while the "helper" is there to help the transition. You have to do something though. The stats about the primary caregiver becoming ill or dying are sooooo alarming! best of luck
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If you think she's a danger to herself--she may need to get Baker acted and put in a psychiatric facility for mental health evaluation. What do you have to lose since you sound at your wit's end. The police can Baker act her. It sounds drastic, but you are in a drastic situation. If she's refusing doctor appointment and staying in bed night and day she could get pneumonia or a blood clot from long term immobilization. Eventually she's going to lose the ability to get up and walk. Do you think your dad can change her diapers?
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Your Mom should see a doctor and get evaluated. Perhaps it is just a matter of switching the dosage or type of anti depressant she is on. Sometimes after a period of time the medicine doesn't work anymore or the patient has worse symptoms. My first inclination would be to get her to the doctor and address that part of it.
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Great response from SunnyGirl. My dad is age 97. Visiting Angels was a nice company to help your parents. You don't want him to get depressed or sick with all the stress ....
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Unless your dad agrees to allow someone into the house to help with laundry, cooking, clearing, etc. I"m not sure what you can do.

It sounds like your mom could use a medical check up and maybe some psychiatric help. I know it's difficult to get them to a psychiatrist at that age, but maybe her regular doctor can prescribe her something to help her feel better.

ALSO, have her evaluated for dementia. Her regular doctor can test for that in his office. You need to inform the doctor of what is going on, so they know what to look for. Dad may fail to report how she really is.

Often the early signs of dementia comes in the form of being difficult, nasty and irrational. You can't convince a person with that condition to reason. Their brain is making them that way. I would try to find out what is causing her to behave that way. At least with that, you can plan for their care if you know what to expect.
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