TOTALLY stubborn Dad who has given up.

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Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/11/2014 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello...Let me be blunt and to the point.

My Dad will not listen to doctors, he will not listen to my Mom, he will not raise a finger to help himself, and he won't get out of his chair that sits in front of the TV. He walks like a 1000 year old even though he's 83 and he rarely takes a shower (once every few weeks). He's basically become a lazy jerk who cares very little about his doting and worried wife or anyone else! But it's all passive/aggressive. He doesn't yell anymore...he just sits there and watches TV looking (and sometimes smelling) like a bum.

I posted once before but I don't really have the time to find the thread and add to it. NO DIAGNOSIS because he hates doctors. No, my Mom doesn't have friends (literally!) to go to for support, only my sister and me. And my sister will be moving out of state next year!! (We both live within 15 minutes of Mom and Dad) Dad is the same. My Mom is beyond tears and this "new behavior" of his which all started after a stay in the hospital now over a year ago. She's VERY afraid and is unfamiliar with the role of being "man of the house". She's very timid but has on occasion gotten really tough with my Dad.

Yes, he forgets things and is lethargic and doesn't give a crap. He wanders when they go to the grocery store. Although a Diabetic, he throws all sorts of sugary sweets into the shopping cart. Prior to the hospital stay he more or less was a "good" Diabetic, now he doesn't care. I could go on and on...and the telemarketers have a FIELD DAY with him!

Personally, I just need to vent on behalf of my Mom. She is an introvert and doesn't know what to do and quite frankly I don't know what can be done with/for him apart from slapping him across the face and yelling "Snap out of it!" Don't get all upset...no one is going to do that.

PLEASE...don't be all politely responsive. Although I appreciate anyone's concern, I need a response that, if nothing else, "mirrors" our frustrations. To put it lightly, it's hard to help someone who won't help themselves... And my Mom is even more distrusting of doctors than my Dad. So what's a daughter to do besides "be there" for them??

HERE'S A BIG QUESTION

At what point, do you just let a person, a stubborn adult, give up????

Post Edited (Diane D.) : 9/11/2014 10:11:48 PM (GMT-6)


Theresa410
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/11/2014 8:31 PM (GMT -7)   
You never let a adult give up you must keep them going because they have so much more life to live. And anyway I know someone like that I just gave up. On them and they died I tryed to keep him up on his feet but he just gave up and died if you love him keep him up in is feet I know he might be a pain in the ass but you must keep him going

Steve n Dallas
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4793
   Posted 9/12/2014 3:57 AM (GMT -7)   
It's pretty weird watching parents turn into children while we turn into parents.

So treat him like a child.

NO TV till he takes a showeridea

My dad who weighs about 100 and nothing can be tough to deal with... He thinks he has a lot of important things to say.. We'll get into a meeting of the minds....but I hold my ground till he caves in... Course, he'll forget the whole thing within a matter of hours...

But just like any stubborn child, the parent should always win.

Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/12/2014 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
That's a GREAT motto, if he's going to act like a child and demand to be taken care of like a child... I'll try to encourage my mom to "be a mom to him". She's just so hesitant to step up because HE'S been the boss, HE'S BEEN THE DAD AND SHE THE CHILD for their entire 57 year marriage. HE did everything and made all the decisions etc and she went along with it like a good Christian wife.

She also took all the insults and humiliation in public that he handed out to her agreeing with him that she must have done something wrong and apologizing (taking the fall) in order to keep the peace. Quite frankly it bordered on disgusting how "defeated" she became all in the name of "keeping the peace". But now he rarely yells (strange for him) he just sits and watches TV while sitting and sitting and sitting all day long. He's SO feeble and weak now.

But yes, I agree, he needs to be thought of as a "child". BRILLIANT train of thought!! Mom needs to be a loving but strict mom. Love him but patiently be the MOM that his behavior demands.

I've told her so many times "Mom, you can "run" faster than him now LOL..all you have to do is stay out of his "reach". NOT that he'd hit her, but you know what I mean. It's about time she take advantage of the situation (for his good) HE has put himself in.

She's got to turn the tables, which in this case the "table" is NOT a the heavy Mahogany BANQUET table that she been living with for so long, but merely a flimsy ol' cardboard box due to his physical condition.

OH PLEASE PRAY that she'll go outside her "comfort zone" and step up to the task. It would go against the grain of the wife she's been for SO LONG. And yet, Steve and others, this is such a SIMPLE concept and to anyone else would be an easy solution. I just hope she's DESPERATE ENOUGH, she seems to be, to consistently TAKE A STAND AND BE A MOM.

LOL leave it to a man to be blunt and to the point. THANK YOU STEVE.

DO OTHER PEOPLE AGREE WITH THIS????????????

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6027
   Posted 9/12/2014 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Diane, I think it would also be wise for your mom (and you) to make an appointment with your dad's doctor without your dad and explain what's going on. There might be other health issues here. Ask the doctor if there are any social services in your city that can help your mom deal with your dad's behavior. He may qualify for some home care of some form.

Good luck!
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/12/2014 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
She doesn't trust doctors and the only "doctor" he has recently seen are the one's he saw in the hospital that he came home from all screwed up. He refused to do what they told him upon follow-up visits. He's just a totally stubborn, dig his heals into the ground, adult-child. Neither one are "social" people that would seek traditional help that normal people take for granted. They're quite the pair! LOL.

I've contacted the hospital about getting transcripts from my dad's hospital stay. ALL THE TROUBLE started when he came home. Not that there wasn't trouble before, LOL! She doesn't have the "privacy" from dad for me to send her e-mails about this or for her to read forums. (long story)

I think I'm just going to encourage my mom to be THE MOM to my dad and take on that role as opposed to the "servant" role that he expects her to take. I think that's a good plan for now. I just hope she's up to it emotionally.

Sigh...life is fun, ain't it.

Theresa410
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/13/2014 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Force your dad dude to. Go to the hospital who cares if he is being really annoying and ignorant deep down we all know he wants to be alive so just push him to do stuff

JaSanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 9/16/2014 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
You haven't stated why he was hospitalized in this post (or I've missed it). When my mother had "missed" heart attacks, her personality changed like this, even in her early 60's. Even the doctors, who didn't have sense enough to know she was having heart attacks, thought she was nuts, but she was in a deep depression caused by the physiological changes. She later had a heart attack in the hospital and the evidence was there from past attacks. Eventually she developed Parkinson's and I and my dad started bathing her and feeding her.

To a point, it may seem like he can help it, but whatever the cause, it's not as simple as that. Depression or illness, especially at his age, can just shut down their ability to cope and they become what appears to others as stubborn and unwilling to try when, in fact, they are just frozen to do anything.

Regardless, your mother needs outside help or she's going to go down with him and fast. There are Home Health programs where someone can come into the home and bathe him.

My sister and I had to become advocates for both our parents eventually. We took them to their doctors and told what was going on, and eventually had to become their guardians. You do become their parent to a degree, but there's a way to do it without taking away their dignity and still showing respect.
55 yr. old--CD over 43 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor, other times I have no humor at all, but most of the time I just have no sense.

Jfer
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 9/19/2014 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Diane -
I agree with JaSanne - the depression and heart attacks.

You want replies that r blunt so here it goes:
My dad has Alzheimer's and it sucks. He too is passive aggressive. I'm his primary support person so I have some understanding. His entire personality has changed and now he is an angry belligerent at times nasty man.

1. Alzheimer's is a brain disease. It is not your dad anymore. He knows not what he does. Please don't blame him for his behavior because he no longer has the ability to manage it.
2. Your mom and you need to get to an Alzheimer's support group.
3. My dad will be 83 next month - chances are your dad was in the service during the Korean War so he qualifies for VA, as does your mother. (He didn't have to be in Korea) all medical expenses are covered and income and assets aren't limited, except they can't own 2 homes.
4. VA will cover in home care including a social worker, PT, OT - I know your dad refuses but once someone is there it could work.
5. Why do I say this? That person was right - HE is like a Child. Don't yell, don't engage in un-winnable fights, don't plead. Be firm, don't ask but tell him what he needs to do, also redirect or change the subject. Let him watch TV if it calms him. Chances are high that he can't remember anything he's done, like if he ate breakfast, or took a shower, etc. he may not remember HOW to do these things anymore and either is too ashamed to ask or - like a toddler, doesn't know that he's supposed to even shower any more. That's part of Alzheimer's and why people need in home or nursing home care.
6. MOST IMPORTANT::: he's afraid, he's scared and confused and THIS ISNT HIS FAULT. but as a MAN he can't admit his fears. It's the way men were socialized. The highest suicide rate is among elderly men who no longer find a purpose to their lives.
7. There's adult day care (pd by VA), drs who make home visits, in home care, respite care (your mom needs that!).
8. You are a good supportive daughter and your father is fortunate to have you in his life!!!
Jfer
New member -
Dad w/Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, osteo arthritis through out body, osteoporosis with multiple fractures, chronic diahrrea (Un diagnosed), ulcers, hiatal hernia, anemic, migraines, diverticulosis with multiple episodes of diverticulitis w/colostomy.

Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/20/2014 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
No time right now for an adequate response to 2 great replies. Later. But I had to say THANK YOU THANK YOU to both of you. More later...

Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/24/2014 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
This is so frustrating. It's difficult to explain my parents to strangers, I also have to take into account that there is a small chance that my mom will get on HealingWell and read this and totally freak out. Sigh. (she's very sensitive) Oh well...

I presented the idea of taking away the remote and at first she agreed that it was a good idea but now she's afraid he's going to get mad at her and says that won't work. Sigh...She said she marks it on the calendar when he showers so she can show him. I said but mom, if there's no consequence to NOT doing it why would he do it at all??? All that does is give her something to talk about when she calls me and my sister on the phone to lament about dad. "Well, (she says when she calls me) it's been over a month now since dad has showered...he's just so stubborn!"

He still has ALL THE PSYCHOLOGICAL POWER over her which, in her mind, TRUMPS any power she has. Every idea I present she quietly finds an excuse why it wouldn't work because my dad would just get mad. She has been treated like a CHILD for so long and now my dad has become the CHILD and she is like a fish out of water! TOTALLY unequipped to take on the new role.

Like I said, they don't really go to doctors so there's NO DIAGNOSIS, NO MEDICATIONS, NO PROFESSIONAL INPUT other than what my mom has read on the internet. I told my mom I'd go with her and dad and I could TALK TO THE DOCTOR since my mom says that she is too intimidated by doctors. She shrugged her shoulders and didn't comment...

BTW My dad was in the hospital for Shingles and he fell out of his chair (TV chair) and couldn't get up. That's all I can get "out of my mom". In the hospital he was on all sorts of meds which my mom blames for everything. But that was a year ago! I point out the symptoms of Alz and Depression she says he's not THAT bad so it can't be...ROUND AND ROUND WE GO.

In the meantime, my mom gets HORRIBLE STOMACH PAINS from all the stress or it could be from the GRAPEFRUIT SIZED HERNIA she has had for 25 years! Again, she won't go to the doctor...Now I'm getting all stirred up!! See what I (and my siblings) have to deal with!

This is the fun part of dysFUNctional? If this were funny we could start a SITCOM REALITY SHOW!! So when do I need to start being the BAD GUY instead of the helpful daughter?

Post Edited (Diane D.) : 9/24/2014 12:07:19 PM (GMT-6)


Jfer
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 9/24/2014 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Diane:
I hear your frustration. I have felt it myself. Hmmm... It sounds like you told your mom that your dad DOES NOT have all the psychological power. He is very very ill with a brain disease. I would recommend you keep using that terminology. Does she honestly believe your father would go 30 days without showering on purpose? To anger your mother? I don't know your father, you or your mother. If he has done this a young husband than I will readily admit I'm WRONG. But what u r describing reminds me of my readings about classic dementia /Alzheimer's symptoms.

Chances are good He does not have the cognitive ability to remember to shower or even know how to shower anymore. Just like a person with ALS can't move their limbs even though they want to? He can no longer function. Maybe using metaphors can help your mother? It sounds like she is terrified - your father (wether she liked it or not) took care of everything and now it's getting tossed in her lap. Maybe it's easier for your mom to deny everything and blame Dad, then admit she feels helpless?

A very helpful book is "the 36 hour day". It is an excellent resource and informative book on just what you are describing in your email. Your mom may feel validation reading that book, that she's not alone and others are going thru exactly what she is... Maybe this will prompt her/encourage her to try an Alzheimer's support group. That is something you and siblings can do together with your mom. And she may need to see a dr for an antidepressant or low dose anti anxiety medication.

Right now maybe the best thing you can do is validate your moms frustration, and ignore her counting days etc- to not reinforce that belief system that he's got all this power. The scary thing is he's actually powerless, and that too can be frightening to your mom, and your family, not to mention how confused and terrified your dad must feel.

I imagine that your dad has NO CONTROL over his behavior, because of his brain disease. Either does your mom - over your dad's behavior... I guess that's my point... And it's you, poor you and your mother and family, WHO SUFFER, as your Dad, in lucid moments, is so frightened and also suffers.

If you can, I really recommend you buy or rent from the library, the book I mentioned earlier in the post - "the 36 hour day". It's really informative, easy to read, and has an index so you only need to read what pertains to your situation. Although you may find help in all the sections - I did.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing your progress!
Btw - my father didn't even remember it was my 50th birthday yesterday, and I know he'd be horrified if I told him he forgot. So I won't say a word. It's okay, he's not my dad anymore, but it still hurts.
Jfer

Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/24/2014 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, I'll order that book right now. I'll have it delivered to my house and then take it over to her. She'd be afraid of my dad seeing it and getting upset. She can keep it in her bedroom. An Alz support group, it's not going to happen with my mom. She's very self-conscience. I hesitate to compare them to Ma and Pa Kettle because Ma and Pa were more social.

I WOULD BE VERY VERY HAPPY if I could just get my dad to see a doctor. That would be a HUGE HUGE miracle for them! Hopefully my dad would "behave" himself and my mom wouldn't be too much of a nervous wreck. Those things that other people consider a "normal" series of events, a normal response, are not in my parents vocabulary/train of thought. They're hard to describe...but they're functional to the outside world. My dad is totally normal when he talks to his sister on the phone. Go figure!

Diane D.
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 9/24/2014 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I ordered 2 books, one for me and one large print for my mom. Thank you.

JaSanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 9/25/2014 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
What you're probably going to have to do is make an appointment yourself (hopefully with another of your siblings) and drag him to the doctor. I've had to do it; it's not easy, but it sounds like it has to be done. Sometimes you just have to be crafty (a nicer way to say it than just saying you have to lie) and come up with something like, "oh I called you doctor's and found out it's way past that follow-up checkup you were supposed to have so I made the appointment myself, and don't worry, I'm going with you!" He probably actually was supposed to have a follow-up.

I live in a rural area of the US; a lot of people I know/grew up around WERE Ma and Pa Kettle! Actually, your description of your parents' situation is a very common one in the elderly. Keep in mind that elderly people who are seeing their abilities to care for themselves slipping away are frightened. It can trigger depression and all sorts of things (aside from the strong possibility of your father having dementia). I spent a LOT of sleepless nights wondering what I was going to do about my parents' situation. There was one point that my mother went months w/o bathing and when I finally pressed as to why, my father admitted that (at this point he had been helping her in and out of the tub) they both nearly fell when he tried to get her out and was afraid. I felt terrible. I took over, with his help, and started bathing her myself. But my mother was tiny by that time, well under 100lb. That's was not the case with my father when he finally went down.

Your mother sounds like she is past the point of taking over in the manner you want her to. I'm sure she's frightened of the future, but she's probably not going to be able to change the dynamic of her relationship with your father at this point. She's in need of help just as much as your father. Eventually you and your siblings are going to have to have a meeting and decide how to go about doing what's best for them. It's not going to go away.
55 yr. old--CD over 43 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor, other times I have no humor at all, but most of the time I just have no sense.
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