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Caretaking my widowed 87 yr.old father.

I retired & moved care for my mother when we found she had stage 4 cancer. She passed in 2015 & I stayed to continue caring for my now widowed 87 yr.old father. My Mother's illness took her quickly & with the help of hospice she was able to pass peacefully at home with family by her side. My father is not so easy to care for. He is very demanding when it comes to time & he is never happy in the car on the contrary he is quite irritating. Although he thanks me constantly & I know he is grateful for my love & attention to detail. He can be very selfish & self centered. He doesnt wash his hands after using the toilet & goes as far as lying about it & calling me a germ phob. His personal care is less than existant & he refuses help. He would wear the same clothes for a week if i didnt force him to change. Eventhough I leave cooked portions of meals for him in the fridge to pop in the micro so he can eat well nalanced meals. He would rather not eat or eat oatmeal instead. He wont take his medicine as prescribed even after he acknowledges the directions. I have to sort it out in wkly box & go as far as placing it in little cups for morning & then again next to him at night. He will not clean up after himself even if all he has to do is put glass in dishwasher or gill bowl with water in sink. He is messy in bathroom & leaves little bunches of toilet paper he uses in underware on floor if they have fallen out of pants leg. He will not wear depend pads I bought him. No explanation. He sits in front of tv 24 hrs a day. Will not go outside for sun air scenery. We have a nice comfy deck. He doesnt do any exercises the doctor ordered for him. When i question him he gets angry & lies about "doing them all day". Im really fustrated & resentful. I may as well ne an only child bcuz my sibs have no contact with him. My nrother who lives local wont come over & my dad wont answer his calls from my brother or sister who lives 800mls away & will not visit. I never even had time to morn my mother's passing. I need help but can't afford it. Any suggestions?

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Trusted Social Butterfly

You need to have intervention...perhaps a social worker, visiting nurse...who can evaluate him and make a comment to his doctor as whether or not he needs to be in a nursing home. Or do nothing and when he gets sick or has an accident they will do it for you. It's hard enough to be the one in charge with little or no help from family, plus have an obstinate ornery person who will not help himself. I guess you have to stand in front of him and make him take his meds at the beginning and at the end of the day. Perhaps he needs someone to come in to make sure he is eating and doing his personal duties..This can be expensive..You need time away to gather your wits and strength for the next battle round...You have my sympathy..Good Luck with your Dad...Just being able to vent is good for you...
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Honored Social Butterfly

You have described exactly why he needs a caregiver.

If he could do all those things or had the desire to do them with or without help, he would not need a caregiver.


As we age, especially to those higher numbers, we forget, we sometimes regress to  child behavior whether or not we mean it.  I will assume that he cared for you as an infant/toddler - feed, change, give meds, wash hands, faces, bottoms, sloth the temper tantrums.


Life goes full circle.  He is missing his wife and companion, he is old and cannot do the things that he once did and he may not care about them as much either.

His body doesn't do what it once did.  


Your mom had to go a different path than your father.  Each needed a caregiver but with different type care and one with more time attached to it than the other.


You are probably still missing your Mom too and I can tell from what you wrote, you are missing your " ole" father too - the rock that you once stood upon now needs your help in standing.


Caregivers give care - which it sounds like he needs.  If you decide that it is too much for you, perhaps you could bring in somebody to help you or make other arrangements for his care, in the home or in an assisted living facility, although he may not like the ladder.


Does he have the beginnings of dementia?

How is his overall health - chronic conditions ?

Is he depressed?

Perhaps he needs some evaluation both mentally and physically by his doc - then possibly they could tell you things to expect from him if there is some mental or physical cause.

But then again, it could just be age and being lonely for his late wife .

Do other people around his age come around?


How did you think things would go when you " stayed to continue caring for your now widowed 87 year old father " ?


Your post will be moved to the Caregiving section of this AARP community board - hopefully others will offer some wisdom to you.


You can check out - Find help you might need in your area

There could be some services listed that could help you - at least to give you both a break.

adult daycare


a personal care aide



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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