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My dad keeps posting on Facebook for attention. For the most part, I try not to let it bother me. I know that oftentimes he feels alone and overwhelmed as he cares for my mother and he needs support. And when he posts, he gets that.


I don't really like it. Mainly because it feels disrespectful to my mother. I'd rather not act as if she's not here. But I'm not her primary caregiver so I don't say anything.


However, now he's basically started lying in these posts. Saying what a bad day she had and he's so sorry he hasn't been able to answer messages, etc. On a day on which I was there all day and it was a GOOD day. Far from bad. There is no other reason than for sympathy and attention.


I don't know what, if anything, should be said, but this is actually keeping me up at night.

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A good day to you may not be one to him. He's overwhelmed and Facebook seems to be the place where he's getting the responses he's looking for. Have you talked to him about how you think it feels disrespectful? The concept of "too much information" might not have occurred to him.

Do you take over her care and let him get out of the house for respite? Does he have household help coming in? Caring for a spouse, especially when one is elderly himself, is ten times the job it is for a younger person, plus an able-bodied spouse's world becomes incredibly small and isolating. Your dad is making a cry for help, if you ask me.

If anything, I'd make sure his privacy settings are set to "Friends Only" so the things he posts can't be seen by friends of friends, or worse, the whole world. Also make sure his birth year and location aren't on his profile. You don't want anyone who isn't an actual friend knowing that vulnerable seniors are out there ripe for the picking.
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Mrsrubee Sep 25, 2020
I completely agree, MJ1929! As the wife of a man with dementia, I can totally relate to the father’s perspective. As this horrid disease progresses, the caretaking spouse becomes trapped, isolated, and has no time for whatever hobbies or interests used to give them pleasure. Caring for someone who becomes child-like, while still treating them with the respect they expect and are due as an adult is exhausting and, at times, incredibly annoying. While the mother may seem to be having a good day because she’s talking and interacting, the burden of running the house is still totally on the Dad. It’s also possible that he found the mother’s conversations frustrating because whatever she was talking about never happened. In my case, I pay dearly for those wonderful visits with one of the kids because it triggers my husband’s crazy false memories and I’ll be catching an earful of crazy questions and stories for days afterwards. Until you spend a few days - ALL day and night - being the sole caretaker, you can’t really know what his life is like. And that wouldn’t even account for the fact that the father is older so everything takes longer and is more effort. I agree that he’s getting burned out and needs a vacation - WiTHOUT the mother - to recharge. Personally, I haven’t read a book in at least 3 yrs. Things I used to do in a couple hours now take days or weeks. There is NO time for anything that required a block of uninterrupted time. Sounds to me like the father is sinking and the FB posts are cries for help. The last thIng he needs is to be told he needs to be more respectful of his wife. Besides, how is sharing her condition disrespectful? Pretending she’s fine and hiding her condition further isolates the Dad and places yet another burden on him. We caretakers are constantly getting advice on how to reassure our loved ones and ways we can make their lives more meaningful and easier. For ourselves, we get the old platitude about how you need to take care of yourself, too. But rarely does someone do anything that allows you to do that. Short of bending time so our days are several hours longer than our loved ones’ days, I haven’t found a way to take care of myself. I doubt her Dad has either.
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I think you just need to let this go. You said it yourself, that "there is no other reason than for sympathy and attention," and you're probably right. Caregiving 24/7 is tough for anyone, and if your father gets the support he feels he needs, by posting things that aren't always true, just to get attention, then so be it. Who is he really hurting by doing this? Perhaps you might need to stop reading his posts, if they are upsetting you to the point where they are interfering with your sleep.

One thing I have learned in my many years of caregiving for my husband and that is you have to learn when to pick your battles. I don't think this is a battle worth fighting. Best wishes.
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Bunny7415 Sep 25, 2020
I fully & totally agree with you! Until you are in it, caregiving FULLTIME, you won't understand it! The daughter may end up being his fulltime caregiver & then she will get it, especially in this Covid-19 environment with not many outlets available for respite/self care.
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Caring for someone diagnosed with AD is the most difficult, unsettling and frustrating experience one can have. It'll drive the caregiver to the brink of insanity. You are correct, he is looking for attention. He needs to know someone is listening to him and sympathizes with his plight. As caregivers we all need that. What good would it serve to deny him that outlet? It's more of a problem for you than him...let it be.

Does he spend the entire day at home alone with his wife? If so, it's time for some respite and hiring an aide to visit every so often. Now that facilies are opening up, I would suggest him attending a support group. That's probably wishful thinking because very few men attend them.
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Block Dad. Don't read these. They aren't about you. They are hurtful for you to see. But these aren't hurting your Mom. They are like the well-hidden pile of Playboy magazines, a relief to Dad and not harmful to Mom unless she sees them. Or to you unless you do. As to Dad's FB friends? He will get the sympathy and attention he requires and then those friends will get on with their day and forget all about it. Just as we would if Dad posted here.
He is having a hard time. Not like he can skip on down to the pub for a pint. Not as though he can even sit on a park bench and visit with people. He can't complain to you overmuch. (and must you not have your own outlets to speak your piece? Because you SHOULD).
This is no disrespect to your Mom any more than a pile of Playboys would be. This is about Dad and HIS needs. I say tell him honestly "Dad, I blocked you on FB because while I know you need to share what you feel, it is hurtful to me, as daughter to you both, to see it.
Don't rob your Dad of this simple relief. Just don't go there. Please. It is like pulling a hangnail. You are hurting yourself, knowingly hurting yourself.
I am so sorry for the pain for you all.
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jacobsonbob Sep 25, 2020
Maybe she should block him and say nothing about it to him. I'm not sure that anything is to be gained by telling him. (I'm not on Facebook, so maybe I'm overlooking something.)
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I agree with the 'blocking dad's posts'. I am not friends with my DH for the whole year coming up to the elections. DH is smart and argumentative--but also can be snarky and rude.

After so many people asked me what is WRONG with him (nothing, boredom, maybe, a love of argument, LOVES to 'tease') I just blocked all comments from him.

Sure makes my life better. If there is something he posts that is truly funny or uplifting, eventually he'll send it to me as a email.

You don't have to be friends with everyone :)
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Thank you, everyone. You're right. I should let it go. It isn't about me and it isn't hurting her. The thought came to me that what if, one day, one hour, of wonderful lucidity, she got on Facebook and saw this? But I know that isn't going to happen so I shouldn't worry. She was just the last bright, creative, intelligent, active person I thought this would ever happen to. Never saw it coming.
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AlvaDeer Sep 23, 2020
Block him on any computer she can get to, so she can't see it, if you are able.
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My brother did this through the little caregiving he did for our dad. His portrayal for FB was far different than reality, it was clear it was for attention and sympathy, and I found it gross. I’m the last human not on FB as I find it all too often simply an online brag sheet. I have a friend who says “no one can’t pay their bills on FB” HA! Anyway, I never said a word to brother on this, for whatever reason he needed it. But if and when someone mentioned dad to me after seeing it, I’d just say he was doing okay, not nearly as bad as one might think. I didn’t mention brother, but they got the idea
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jacobsonbob Sep 25, 2020
You're not alone--I'm not on Facebook. It appears one's private information can be compromised, the information can be provided to advertisers, and, frankly, I don't really care what everyone I know is doing these days. If I want to tell someone something, I just take the time to email, and people I know send me emails. (And I don't use a smartphone, either.)
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My mom was my Dad’s caregiver for his last 2 years and she only started doing pitiful FB posts after he died...about her grief and loneliness. And like you’ve experienced, some have been posted within hours of my leaving her home after having what I thought was a nice day! We live in the same community and attend same church, so we have 200 mutual FB friends!
Her FB antics have almost cost us a relationship....I had to finally decide to keep her on “snooze” but it’s shocking how many people see her posts and make comments to me about them! Her latest showed a woman looking up at a noose (YES!!) and contemplating suicide...with a story about a little boy knocking on the door at just that moment, rescuing her. Good Lord, the people who gave her love for that. I was mortified! To think she told me that I was “unladylike” when I was a girl for smacking my gum or sitting with my legs apart! All I can think, is she wouldn’t like this bahavior at all if she could clearly see what she is doing. It’s our burden that many can and will relate to...we have to love.
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JoAnn29 Sep 22, 2020
I think I would mention, in a note, to Moms doctor about the Meme and her little story since u say Mom suffers from depression. Even if its an attention getter, its a lie. And may show suicide tendencies or the beginning of Dementia.
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He may not just be seeking sympathy and attention with the posts. You say they exaggerate the truth but it could very well be he is posting what he truly feels/thinks/experiences. Caring for my Dad with advanced Alzheimers made me realize how difficult it is. You may have thought it was a pretty good day, but to your Dad it was just another in an endless stream of difficult days. If he can vent his fears and experience to Facebook he is not complaining to you! Make sure it's set to friends only and let him continue. It's his only release of the frustration, anger and fear he is dealing with constantly.
Best of luck to you.
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LittleOrchid Sep 25, 2020
I agree. It may not be sympathy or attention he craves, but simply the feeling that he can say what he wants in a place where someone is paying attention. That is almost the same thing as sympathy and attention, but not quite: the focus is on the ability to say what he is feeling, not on what he might get in return. It can help a lot to vent when you are overwhelmed.
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His perspective and your perspective are different. It sounds like he make be experiencing some burnout. Brainstorm with him about positive ways to get interactions with others. If he is busy with more positive ways of connecting, FB rants will be lessened.
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