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My father is 85 and is doing extremely irresponsible things and does not listen to my advice. What do I do? My father is 85 and I am 25, I have been taking care of him for 3 very tough years now. I have dropped out of school and put my life on hold to be here with him everyday. He spends over $15,000 dollars a month on racing horses in which he makes only roughly 10% of it back. He does not care about anything but racing his horses which he has done since he was a young person. Money is not a thing to him and he just doesn't seem to care about the consequences or the future. His savings are quickly disappearing and within a few years it will be completely gone. He has apartments which he doesn't even pay attention to anymore. There is a manager there that has stolen every dollar of the income for over a year now, and going back as far as 6 years has stolen money from him. I have tried so many times to step in and do the things that need to be done but he talks me down and tells me I'm not capable of doing anything and gets furious when I try to do things. He sees me as a child and someone that is just supposed to do what he says and take care of him even though I don't even get paid for what I'm doing. We live like bums at home, spending the minimum on personal matters and life while he spends money on a "hobby" like a mad man. Life is pretty dull and depressing and I've tried so many times to change it and every time I do I get put down with so much force. What can I do? I feel hopeless and am tired of watching the days fly by.



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My father is EXACTLY like your father. It has been an unbearable and very costly road for me. Like you, my parents divorced long ago. My Mom wants nothing to do with my Dad (for good reason). My sister is in prison. My father has no friends or support system whatsoever: I am the only person he has.
My father lost two houses in foreclosure. I gave him money for a bankruptcy lawyer, he used it to bet horses and never officially went bankrupt. What happened after that is too long and bleak to put on a message board, but I will tell you this: things did not get better for me until my Dad ended up at a VA hospital after suffering many strokes. A doctor finally diagnosed him with dementia and I was finally able to HELP him. The good kind of HELP. Meaning: I found him a fantastic assisted living place, and a joint bank account so that I can write his checks every month and give him a weekly allowance. Does he like this set up? No. Not one bit. But he is safe, I have peace of mind, and when he starts to bully me I can walk away and come back to visit when I'm ready. PROTECT YOURSELF FIRST.
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So 3 years ago you and your dad thought it would be a good idea for you to move in with him to care for him. You've held up your end of the deal. What's your dad doing to hold up his end? He has a gambling problem and is blowing through his life savings. What will happen to you when your dad can't live on his own anymore? Either for financial or for health reasons?

Have you considered walking away? Getting your own life? You deserve that. If you feel you can't, why? You said your dad doesn't really have any friends because he's a mean and rude person. He's a gambling addict. Why should this be your problem? I don't doubt that you try to take very good care of your father but you're too young for your life to be on hold.

Since your dad doesn't have dementia he can spend his money any way he likes. He can blow it all if he wants to. But it sounds like you're the parent in this situation, not him, and that's not OK.

Would your dad consider an assisted living facility? What would he do if you weren't there?

Have you considered therapy? Maybe it would help you understand why you feel the need to care for your elderly father who was abusive to you and with whom you didn't speak for most of your life.

When caregiving comes to end it's not a pretty picture. Many of us are left standing among the rubble of years of stress and strain and anxiety, paralyzed as to what to do next. We've been out of the job market so long that we have to explain a huge gap in our resumes, we have to learn how to live without the added burden of caring for someone else, we basically have to pick up the pieces of whatever's left and start over again. It's very difficult. We often realize that years have gone by and we have nothing to show for it.

I hope you can find a way to carve out a life of your own even if it means leaving your dad behind.
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Thank you for your response :).
My dad has a friend I could talk to which has always been worried about him. Besides that I really don't know who else. My father isn't really good at holding relationships, he is usually very mean and rude with people. The only other people he talks to are people that work for him.

I have tried to get POA, HCPOA, and even to get him to write his will many times. He does not listen to me and usually ends up yelling at me saying that he has to do it himself. But that day will never come the way I see it.

My mother and father separated when I was at a young age. My father was an abusive parent honestly. My father and I started communicating again when I was in my late teens. When I was 21-22 we thought it'd be a good idea for me to move in so I can help him, he has needed a lot of help and it has been very tough on me psychologically. I've been here for over 3 years. I've dropped out of school to take care of him when things got really bad. My life is really on hold at the moment, nothing positive really ever happens. I really want to change that, I have a beautiful picture in my head of what life should be like and I just don't know how to get it there.
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Can you enlist the help of other family members? Your mom? A sibling? An aunt or uncle?

Do you have Power of Attorney? Because he has dementia your dad needs to be protected from himself. Take a few hundred dollars of that gambling money and see a lawyer and get your dad to assign you Power of Attorney. Then tighten up the finances.

I know this is much easier said than done which is why bringing in another family member may help. Take baby steps for now. Concentrate on getting POA for now.

I'm wondering how you came to live with your dad. Did he need assistance staying in his home? Have you not left home yet? What have you done to try to change the situation? It sounds like you've been dealing with this for a long time and you're only 25. How long have you been in this situation?
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