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My dad refuses to wear his hearing aids. He is increasingly argumentative and fixates on the topic and I can’t get him off it. When he’s like this I can’t reason with them he won’t stop arguing. The times he is positive are less and less I try to reason with him but it’s of no use. He can’t hear and this also creates problems. I’m at my wits end and not sure what to do. Is this normal? I’m wondering if he’s depressed but in no way can I approach him about this. He is very egotistical and very sensitive. I don’t have POA or any medical guardianship. I didn’t know how bad it was until recently when I got to spend two weeks straight with them. My mom can hardly take it anymore. Any thoughts are greatly welcomed.

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The egotists, unfortunately ARE sensitive, but only to themselves. Not to others around them. If your visits are causing argument it is time to make fewer of them, and shorter in time, quality over quantity. Is your father truly a whole lot different than he ever was? Depression is not something to throw pills at. Ask your Dad if something is bothering him, if there is anything you can do to make him feel better. Step away more. If your mother tells you privately that she cannot take it any more than a move away to separate quarters may be the answer. I think that two weeks is too long to stay together when it isn't going well. Step back away for a while and let things settle. Parent/child stuff is hard at any age. Dad is facing down losses and aging is, unfortunately, loss after loss after loss, and no matter how well meaning you are, the fixit won't work here.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Actually, I think 'throwing pills' at depression is a perfectly good answer to what may be ailing your dad! When my mother became depressed after an illness back in 2011, I spoke with her doctor and he immediately prescribed Wellbutrin which helps her tremendously. If, however, you do not have any POAs intact, there isn't much you'll be able to do on his behalf. You can speak to his doctor about the entire situation you've witnessed, but s/he won't be allowed to let you know what's been prescribed or whatever w/o dad's consent. Again, that puts you in a bad position. If your mom has POA, perhaps she can step in for him?

As far as being argumentative is concerned, my mother was always that way, but it became a lot more pronounced when she was diagnosed with progressive dementia back in 2016. As time goes on, she gets worse and worse to the point where I can hardly have a conversation with her at ALL. She winds up contradicting what she JUST SAID in an effort to argue! It's a no win situation, most times, so I just tend to agree with whatever she says. She's also mostly deaf and unwilling to wear hearing aids (what else is new?) so that situation NEVER helps! She does live in Memory Care Assisted Living so she's well cared for and for that I'm grateful.

I don't know what you can really 'do' about all of this except to keep an eye on things through your mother. If she feels like he needs more help as time goes on, a move to Assisted Living for both of them may be in order. I highly doubt your mother is willing to be separated from him after all these years, but hey, I could be wrong. Who knows. My father was married to my mother for 68 years before he passed away in 2015 and seriously ready to strangle her in the last year of his life. If he could have divorced her, he probably would have, because he'd had about ENOUGH of her nonsense by then, the poor soul!

Anyway, best of luck to you. I know how hard it is to be the 'child' here and to feel helpless about fixing a broken situation for your folks.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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You cannot reason with an unreasonable person. Sounds like he is in throws of dementia, they may have to move to memory care soon. Back off, less contact may be the answer.
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Reply to DollyMe
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You mentioned a number of times in your post that you are trying to reason with your father and trying to get him off topics. Does Dad have dementia? If so, you will not be able to reason with him. Once he gets on a topic, you won’t be able to get him off. Trying to do these things aggravates and annoys both of you. I agree that you need to step back. But, I understand that you are concerned for your mother. If he’s been like this since she’s known him, give her credit for strength of character and perseverance. I often tell people that if I were easily offended, I would have been divorced a long time ago. May be time to explore stepping up the care; maybe to Assisted Living. I do know that all my life my mother was a paranoid, negative and anti-social person. That didn’t change as she got older.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Thank you all for “listening “ and your wise counsel. Realizing you cant do anything is so hard but it is something I must embrace. I m a work n progress...
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Reply to TiredApril
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Dementia is not uncommon with hearing loss studies show. Also dementia can cause a person to become irritable and argumentative and yes, depressed. Has he every been assessed for cognitive decline? Your profile doesn't give us that information. Why are you caring for your dad? What are his health issues? Why won't he wear his hearing aids? Would a different set of aids help?
Know that there is little you can do to fix this. Even though we want to fix it and make them happy, sadly the reality is you most likely can't. You will have to ride the wave. Can you get them both to his PCP and sit down with them to discuss what is going on. You should be there to hear the conversation and help with steering it.
If you don't have medical POA who does?
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Reply to Harpcat
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Oftentimes the elder will attempt to hide their elder "persona" because they are afraid that they will lose their independence. Then when their "secret" is found out, as in your case, they're at a point where facility living should have been "in their rear view mirror." You should obtain POA for them. Many elders refuse to wear their hearing aides, claiming #1 They don't fit, #2 They don't help, et al.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Edit - I do see that they're in an Independent Living place.
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