My dad has been living with me and my husband for 3 years. Him and my mom got divorced 4 years ago. He had a major depressive episode and was in a mental hospital for 6 months. He has not been the same person since then. Since moving in with us he does not shower, clean, or do many outside activities. He recently retired 6 months ago so he barely leaves his room. He goes to McDonalds for breakfast each morning but does little else. He has no friends or hobbies. He has been gaining weight since he eats a lot of junk and does no exercise. He is not incapable of taking care of himself, he just chooses not to. I have conversations with him weekly about showering and caring for himself. I am only 27 and I have two toddlers to take care of so it makes it even more difficult. I am not sure where to go from here. Do I consider assisted living since he is only 63? Are there other options? He is not willing to have a home care aide help bathe him.

Could you ask your father and his mental health people if he can sign a HIPPA allowing you to access information? You shouldn't be so involved in all this, without actually knowing what it going on.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

I am now more worried about you.

Love your father by all means, but please do not follow in all of his footsteps.

Especially, do not make sacrifices for him which do not help him but may hurt you and others you love just as much as him.

His psychiatric team cannot give you information about him without his consent. But they most certainly can *take* information from you. And I can't offhand think of any reason why they shouldn't give you general advice, unrelated to your father's confidential information, about where you might start looking for help and resources. So give them a ring - how can it hurt?
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Reply to Countrymouse

First of all, you are very kind to care about your dad. I think you realize now that it is a tougher job than you expected. When I took my mom into my home I truly did not realize how hard caregiving would become.

Your dad is not very old. His issues are related to mental health which essentially is crippling him emotionally and spilling over into all aspects of his life. The most important thing is that he is being treated by mental health professionals so he can learn to live a productive life.

We end up neglecting ourselves if we try to do it all. Helping him to become independent is best for all of you.

When my mom moved in I had two children at home too. My children are grown now. Mom living with us did effect our home life. Being in that sandwich situation is tough.

I think you are wise to reach out to this forum. I did the same thing but much later than you. My kids were already out of my home when I found the forum. I am no longer my mother’s caregiver.

I felt a range of emotions when my mom left my home but she is being cared for. That is what is most important. We don’t have to personally do the caregiving or providing a home for them.

I struggled with guilt of asking mom to leave. Once I let go I did not try to micromanage my mother’s life. I needed to make myself and my family a priority again. After she left I did feel relief and enjoyed my privacy again.

You have two young children. They require a lot of care and time. They are your priority.

There are independent senior apartments for older people to live in.

There are even some apartments for low income individuals if money is an issue. It doesn’t sound like your dad needs assisted living. Independent living may work out. Do some research in your area.

Best wishes to you and your family. Take care. 💗
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I think you should consider getting intensive, residential psychiatric support for your father. He needs help, then he needs a job and his own place to live. He might easily live another 20-30 years. That's a long long time to hang around your daughter's house feeling terrible.

Just totting up those major life events:

house move
major depressive episode with 6 months away from work

With that lot on his mind it would be a miracle if your father WEREN'T in need of highly skilled mental health support.

Are you in touch with his psychiatric team? - oh! Barb just asked that! :)

One last question: do you know what led up to the divorce? How has his mental health been generally, as far as a Bright Young Thing of only 27 could know?
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Reply to Countrymouse
JMooney421 Mar 1, 2020
I have not contacted his psychiatric team. I didn't think they would release information to me. But I can try to contact them and see. He sees them monthly and I know he really likes them. He does take his medication as prescribed.

The divorce was very difficult. My mom made the decision on their 25th anniversary, saying she hadn't been happy in 15 years but stayed together for me and my siblings. I am the oldest of 4 kids. They threatened divorce my entire childhood but I never thought it would happen. My dad has always been more of a homebody, where my mom wanted to be with family and friends and travel all the time.

Both of my dad's parents suffered from depression and were in and out of the hospital. He started taking care of them when he was about 40 and had to go to their home at least 1-2 times a day to care for them.

I love my dad very much and I know he is very appreciative, I just didn't imagine how hard it would be.
Is your dad participating in an ongoing therapy and medication plan for his depression?

He is VERY young. He needs treatment to get him back to mental health and out on his own.

You need to set a deadline for him to move elsewhere. Are you in touch with his mental health team?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Dad is competent? He has the legal right to choose where he lives. It does not have to be your house, though you may have to evict him.

It is not your decision to move him to assisted living.
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Reply to gladimhere

There may be other options such as Independent Living apartments. There are a few where we live where the minimum age is 62, some others 55. Many have apartments for low income individuals. Unlike AL, they don't have any medical care onsight but the apartments & the complex itself accomodate those with mobility issues. Elevators, bathroom safety features such as walk-in showers, safety bars.
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Reply to peace416

Please, please get your father out of your house ASAP so that your family can focus on your marriage and bringing up your children. At only 63, he is already showing the signs of wanting to be waited on hand and foot, and refusing to help himself.

He is young enough and capable enough to work out for himself how to spend the rest of his life. Assisted living might well be a good idea for him, and the other options are usually higher care than he needs as well as more expensive. A senior living apartment might be much cheaper. However it is not something for YOU to consider. Your role is to say ‘it's time that you got on with your life, so please make other arrangements’. That is YOUR decision. If you want to help, fine, but at 63 his life is his issue. This is not about ‘putting him into care’, and all the guilt trips people go through over that. And you shouldn’t consider paying for it, either.

You don’t want to be doing this for the next 30+ years, while it gets progressively worse.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

Yes , the good thing is he would have people to socialize with and good care. Definitely consider it. Take him for a visit.
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Reply to Lvnsm1826

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