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Dad tries to care for her, she doesn't treat the rest of us this way, Dad is worn out, she falls all the time and tells the rest of us she is ok, both are 84 dad is in pretty good health but am afraid he is really not able to meet her needs because she is so defiant towards him, what can we do? She doesn't take care of herself, and doesn't want home health care, ( we tried that and she fired them) we are considering talking to her doctor about nursing home, please advise, we would appreciate any suggestions

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What has the relationship between your parents been like through the years? Is her bitterness toward your dad new with her diminishing capabilities, or have they always had a contentious relationship? If this behavior is just more of same, I doubt it is going to change now. If it is fairly recent, perhaps it can be addressed.

Dad tries to take care of her. Exactly what kind of care does she need? Your profile says general age-related decline. Your post says she falls a lot. Are her problems basically around mobility? Has she been told to use a walker? Any other assistive devices? Is she hard of hearing? Is Dad? Any incontinence? Does she have memory issues? Confusion? Does she have any chronic conditions such as chf or copd? Does she take medicines? (If so, can she manage them herself?) I'm just trying to get a picture of what "taking care of her" involves.

I do think you should take her to a doctor, for a thorough evaluation. Maybe a doctor would advise a nursing home, depending on the level of care she needs. Or maybe hearing from the doctor that she should have in-home help would be more convincing than hearing it from family. If an evaluation reveals she has the beginnings of dementia, that would be useful information for planning purposes.

I wish you all the best in this challenging situation.

btw -- What does Dad want to have happen?
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Someone on this board once told the story of how she sat down with her parents and found out that their biggest housekeeping issue was laundry. She arranged for a bit of household help and told her parents that the woman was "the laundress". This they could wrap their heads around. Next came the "cook", etc. Might this work with your folks?

If the way mom is acting is not in accordance with her usual personality, I would have her seen by a geriatric psychiatrist. There may be some dementia going on.
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I am so sorry to hear of your parent's troubles. They must have had such a beautiful life together, is there a faith community or pastor that they trust, someone familiar, that could facilitate? Sometimes just having a very familiar, trustworthy face in the same room, can promote peaceful resolutions.
I will remember your family in my thoughts. Sending healing hugs your way.....
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If your mother still has capacity and is therefore able to call the shots at home, what about working on your dad to vote with his feet and move to independent living? She can make her own decisions about her own life, but she has no right to make his. If he puts the trousers back on and gets this set up, there is always a chance that she'll fall back into line and then she can go with him and be cared for with proper support; so he won't be abandoning her.

I don't want to be melodramatic, but I agree with Pam - this will kill him. I've seen it happen.
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Linda, in society women were always the caregivers of the family, and now your Dad is taking on a role he's not familiar with, and he's probably not doing what your Mom wants the right way.... we all know how that can be.

Sounds like your Mom doesn't want to relinquish her role as the household leader, she wants to hang onto it for as long as she can. And she probably is angry at her self, now living with all those aches and pain of age related decline. And upset because it should be the other way around, where she is caring for her husband.

Between you and your Dad, find out what are the main buttons that are being pushed that causes your Mom to be angry. Then work on it from there.
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Get Guardianship and get her ordered to a NH before caregiving kills him.
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