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Re: challenging times with an elderly widowed dad

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Thanks ! Yes, he does visit a doctor and they did not say he had any type of dementia.
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Re: challenging times with an elderly widowed dad

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Thanks, but he told us he would prefer to do outside fun activities with us, not with the seniors ! I have given him an ex-boyfriend to be friends with, which he does appreciate.
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Re: challenging times with an elderly widowed dad

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@kc6768 & @stonesculptor:   with older but still independent parents, you definitely have challenging issues to deal with.  One question that came up for me was whether or not the parents have had recent physical examinations?  Some of these behaviors may be signs of dementia and an inability to cooperate or a true lack of understanding that they no longer function well independently.

 

If you are satisfied that your parents are healthy and can live on their own, sometimes the best you can do is work out a regular schedule of calling, visits to the home, outings for psycho-social stimulation and running errands....then stick to it!  Also make sure their home environment is safe and that they have a "Life Alert" or similar device to call for emergency help.  A lawn service (even a local high-schooler can cut the grass & trim bushes) and a maid service are usually necessary.  Get the name & number of a good "handyman" to call when you need him.  The idea here is that the parent become accustomed to having others come take care of immediate needs when your life is just too full to drop everything and come running.

 

You might ask your parent's physician or your city/county Social Services Dept. if there are programs for elderly persons who live alone...perhaps home visits for chronic medical conditions, Meals on Wheels, a Senior Center that provides bus transportation to social/sports events, a local hospital with geriatric outreach programs and local churches.  

 

As @ASTRAEA suggested, churches & synagogues often have activities for seniors.  In my area, there are programs for elders to get together for socializing once a week, some providing lunch, some others requesting the senior bring a bag lunch and a beverage.  When several churches do this on different days, there is a "round-robin" choice and some seniors go to a couple of meetings in a week...helpful if they have medical appointments and miss seeing their friends on a particular day.  My city's Senior Centers coordinate with the Parks & Recreation and the libraries to offer programs...some gentle yoga, light exercises, beginners computer classes, outings at the local points of interest & museums, shopping excursions, short talks on elder law and estate planning, beginning art classes, etc.

 

Sometimes you have to "beat the bushes" to cobble together an arrangement that works for you and your parent, but it can be done.  Knowing the folks who post here, you will be wise to check back for other responses.  There are quite a few people here with significant knowledge and experience dealing with the problems you're facing.  Wishing you grace & peace!

 

PS:  If you would like to address a response to a particular person, using the "@" sign will cause a drop-down box of the most recent posters to the thread will appear in the lower left corner of the dialogue box.  Just highlight the name and it will appear in red in your post and simultaneously notify the person that you have mentioned them in a post...just as I have done here.  Woman Wink 

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Re: challenging times with an elderly widowed dad

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Have you considered just being honest with him?  It's easy, when you're older, to focus on yourself almost to the exclusion of everyone else.  But your dad may not even realize how one-sided the relationship is.  This is a negotiation, frankly, and sometimes it's good to just sit down with him and ask him what he wants.  And when he tells you, you can explain the harships his wants impose on you.  Essentially, you want to be there for him, but he's making it hard for you to do that regularly.  Maybe he'll understand.  And maybe he won't or, worse, he won't care.  We recently had to intervene with our 87 year old mother.  She won't listen to anyone, expects people to drop what they're doing to come help when she needs help, and gets highly abusive if you don't jump through every hoop she demands.  She's moved four times in one year because nothing satisfies her.  And she got very abusive toward my two siblings because she wasn't satisfied with their levels of commitment.  They gave up months of their time to fix everything for her, move her in, get what she needed -- almost every whim catered to.  But she became furious when they wouldn't come visit every week and do her bidding whenever she called.  Ultimately, she disinherited them.  She called me to tell me I would be her heir and I read her the riot act.  I was unable to help with the moves beause I'm disabled.  Why would someone reward the one person who didn't help?  So unfair.  So I told her I wouldn't accept it.  She moved again, to be near someone she was sure would help her when she needed it.  But again, she was so demanding, that those people aren't there for her.  It's a real risk when you get someone who is so set in his/her ways.  But if you can reason with your father, maybe he can come to see that he expects too much.  Might be worth a try.  But the risk is that you'll end up like us--we don't even speak with our mother now because the abuse got too heavy.  Sad.

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Re: challenging times with an elderly widowed dad

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You might want to contact the Senior Center yourself (and any house of worship in which your father participated), to find out if they have any social group or network, that visits "shut ins" .. or would bring him to activities he might like. Once you know what's available, you could facilitate your father meeting them.


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challenging times with an elderly widowed dad

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Hi all,

Daughter and son here from Massachusetts that have an elderly father who owns his own house but needs help taking care of it and the yard.  He does not want to move out.  He tends to be outgoing, outspoken, demanding  and self centered.  We feel hurt that he hardly asks about our days, just speaks about his.  Phone conversations are hard.  He constantly asks when we are visiting.  I know, he is lonely but we can not be everything to him.  He refuses to go to the senior center, even though it is less than a mile from his house.  He does not drive so we take him everywhere. He is very active in the summer months and feels healthier in summer.  We do not want him sitting in the house by himself but at the same time we have a life of our own too !  Any suggestions ?

Thank you !

Beth

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