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My father has lived with me and my family for about 5 years. He was always helpful, took out the trash, helped with dishes, even cooked occasionally. He went and stayed with my brother and his son about a year ago for about 6 months (was just going to visit but my dad's visits turn into long stays.) He finally had to come back to my house. He's been back since last summer and he is now just an absolute slob. I feel like all I do is nag the guy, which sucks but I have kids and enough house work already. I'm 7 and a half months pregnant now too and he was more helpful before I got pregnant.


He never showers. I mean like months without showering. His hair is so greasy it looks like he dips it in cooking oil. His room smells so bad that it creeps around the whole house. He hasn't done his laundry in 5 months. He wears the same clothes and socks and just puts them in a pile in his room. I bought him a laundry basket and I try and give him a day a week to do his laundry but he never "feels like it." He won't do his dishes so I pile them in one side of the sink and remind him daily. He will stuff the trash instead of taking it out or just open my garage and throw things towards the garage door(the outside trash is right outside the garage door.) He uses chewing tobacco and will just spit it in the bathroom sink and not clean it out(also spit it in the kitchen trash and not clean it if he gets it on the lid,(my kids have put their hand in it throwing stuff in the trash.) He never use to leave the toilet seat up and now does it every time. He coughs all over the place(copd) without covering his mouth. He never washes his hands. Tries to drink out of the milk carton(with the cough mouth I ended up getting a lock for the carton that my kids use, he has to buy his own.) My kids are in elementary school and I really worry about his hygiene. With a new little baby coming, hygiene is going to be an even bigger deal. This is just some of the daily gross I have to deal with.


A bit about him. He's 79 years old. He has congestive heart failure and copd. He drives around town all the time and goes here and there including fishing and going places he enjoys. The only time he acts like he's feeling so bad or just can't do something is when it's cleaning up after himself. No one else in my family wants him to live with them. My mom and him have been seperated(not divorced but that's a whole other story) for like 15 years. He basically has nowhere else to go. I'm definitely not the "favorite" child of the family. My dad's favorite is my sister, my mom's my brother. That honestly doesn't bother me much but I'm starting to think that it may be a problem. Like I'm the kid that can just be treated however. My parents have never appreciated my honesty but I'd rather get to the point in matters then call my siblings and complain about them like they do to me(my mom lives with my sister and while she's cleaner she's not exactly a peach to deal with, she's never happy.)


Alright well there's my little story. I could go on but I need to get to the point. What can I do? I've tried being nice about it. I've tried being mean about it. I've tried to encourage. I almost feel like he is just being a d**k on purpose because no one else wants him around for long periods of time. He runs out of money a week and a half into the month then just mooches the other 2 and a half weeks. Short of just kicking him out and being the even bigger pariah of the family, any suggestions?

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Has he been checked by his doctor since his return? I would be concerned about the onset of dementia.
Once that is ruled out..or confirmed you have to adjust your expectations.
IF he is fine you set down ground rules. He has to clean up after himself. He has to take care of himself physically. If he doesn't he goes. Simple as that.
You can contact your local Area Agency on Aging and talk to someone there about helping him.

IF he does have dementia you have to decide if he can continue to live with you. You are going to be caring for a baby and that will be a full time job, can you take care of a 150 (just tossing out a number) pound 6 foot child?
At that point since he and your mom are not divorced she is the one that legally is able to make decisions for him and about him. YOU and others in the family are not legally able to do any of that unless you have POA for medical and financial decisions.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I saw this in my mother. There is some sort of cognitive changes that need to be explored. My mom had hoarding tendencies all her life that have only increased, Many times my dad would say to me "your mom has too much **** she just won't get rid of."
She really forgets to shower or change her clothes believing she has showered and changed. Her short term memory is going quickly, but things she has done all her life she is spot on. Fishing is a "memory" that is long term that brought pleasure. It is hard...hard to parent a parent. Enlist health care people and then decide. They are the objective people to begin with, family VOP is emotional. We all understand and have been there at some point in this journey.
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Reply to citymouse
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It sure sounds to me like he has dementia.

The drop off in his self-care skills in one of the hallmarks of many kinds of cognitive decline. Please get him to a doctor qualified to assess his physical and mental health. A geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist would be a place to start.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I think you would find an assessment helpful to ascertain underlying conditions - it sounds a lot like Lewybody Dementia from what you describe. My father has this and displays similar attributes (although not for long as I will not accept disrespect in my own house). Knowledge of this condition could help you realise it may not be intentionally directed at you (although I agree it is hard not to take things personally).
A couple of thoughts:-
1] Have a look at zoning off your house for (a) his space, (b) your (family) space, and (c) communal areas. My dad has his own bathroom which addresses cross contamination concerns. Also, I can lock the kitchen when unsupervised.
2] Similar to zoning, you might create a self contained area (with own kitchen, bathroom, etc.) - costly option, and you will need compliance with building regs.
3] In my city, bungalows or 'granny flats' placed in the backyard can be a good way to look after someone without being too immersed in their lifestyle choices. They retain independence while allowing you to oversee and provide as required. Also an expensive idea, and you'll need permission to construct/locate, power, water, etc. - a major investment, but it could give you your life back without throwing him out.
I think your family should come first for health and hygiene.
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Reply to Kantankorus
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You see the problem. Looks like the start of a big slippery slope to me...

If Dad does not/can not change his behaviour (regardless of the reasons) if he now needs a maid, cook, cleaner, shower-aide, chaufeur - are you up for all that? Or do you want off the slope now before you slide down deeper?

There may be medical reasons behind his behaviour...? heart, lack of 02 to brain, depresssion, many others.
I would book a full medical checkup for him. Take him yourself & go in with him.

Explain to Dad & the Doctor that *you have concerns*. That he has become unable to be independent in your home. You are expecting a baby & cannot do full-time elder care as well. That going forward he will need a different living arrangement. (You may even consider pre-warning the Doc like ?vascular dementia? Or passing a note over quietly.. A screening test like MMSE may be a good idea). I have 2 rellies that lost self-care skills: 1 suspected vascular dementia, 2 mental health.

Ask who can help with this situation? Does he need a referral to a Social Worker? Or a needs assessment?

Other family members are entitled to their thoughts, beliefs & expectations. BUT those have NO bearing on what suits YOU & what you should or should not do.

It's all in how you phrase it to them. Not "I'm kicking Dad out"... but "Dad needs a different living arrangement now".
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Reply to Beatty
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You need to evict this man. He is disrespecting you and your home
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Reply to Bridger46164
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I think you can issue the man an ultimatum: either clean up after yourself & fly right, or LEAVE. 30 days to eviction dad. I love ya but I'm NOT putting up with this disgusting behavior, and neither are my children, ANY LONGER. Period. Unless he has dementia, there is no excuse for conducting himself in this fashion in YOUR home, where he is a guest. You are allowing it, so that's why he is doing it. You need to put your foot down, hard, and mean it.

You have a newborn coming into your home soon and it is 100% unacceptable to have a situation like this going on! It's unsanitary and unhealthy for a newborn to be exposed to trash, bad odors, chewing tobacco, and a man who refuses to shower and clean himself. Not to mention you're going to need all your hard earned money for your own family's expenses now!

Look into Section 8 housing, get the lowdown on it for him, lay it all out on the kitchen table, along with some info about local motels he can move into. I'm not kidding; my brother in law lives in one of those for the past 15 years b/c he cannot behave himself like a human being as a guest in anyone's home. He likes living there, too, because he can watch TV all day, walk up the street to the store & buy his junk food, and live like a pig in a sty with no responsibilities. Nobody bothers him about it, so he's A-ok with his SSI check & that's it. His sister calls once a month & takes him to the doctor to check on his COPD & other health issues he's brought on himself.

Your dad has worn out his welcome BIG time now. You don't owe him YOUR family's comfort and safety by any stretch of the imagination. Please see to it that he cleans up his act or he moves out. You're allowed to take care of your children and your husband first. Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Arun7786 Apr 7, 2021
Thanks for the reply. That's basically where I'm at with it all. My family will be angry with me if I ask him to leave. Even though all of them have been very vocal on not wanting to live with him. I'm always expected to just do what they all think I should, which I never do so I don't know why they keep trying.

I'm not pleasant by any means though and I imagine it's just damaged our relationship possibly beyond repair. I don't think I'm ever even nice anymore to my dad and just hearing his voice makes me angry. When I try to talk to my mom about it she just says "well, he's old." She takes a shower every day. She still cleans and cooks and does laundry. Being old is an excuse her of all people should not throw out there.

He doesn't have dementia. Although he has been getting pretty senile with his memory and does some staring off occasionally. He's pretty aware though, enough to take 2 or 3 day fishing trips on his own or travel cross country to visit other family members. I kind of wonder if he's depressed sometimes. Either way, there's no reason to just be completely disgusting. I've been coming down pretty hard lately and letting him know that I don't want to live with a real life elderly pigpen. My family will just have to deal.
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