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AIBU to decorate dads flat

(25 Posts)
MrsRobinson78 Fri 12-Feb-16 14:30:01

My dad lives on his own and has got into a bit of a rut. His flat is pretty grim- he smokes in there and for a number of reasons (depression and mobility issues) hasn't kept on top of the cleaning. I don't live nearby and with 2 small children I do what I can when I go but its not enough and my brother who lives around the corner doesn't see the problem as he thinks its tidy enough. It is fairly tidy - but dirty.

Anyway my dad has been talking about getting it decorated when my brother moved, he was talking about staying with my brother and getting it done however since a recentish operation he's been putting it off saying he'll do it when he's feeling better as he has struggled to recover.

He's now back in hospital after a fall and looks to be staying for a good few weeks, he has accepted he needs more help at home and we are looking to have a cleaner to come in a few times a week to keep on top of the cleaning and to check on him.

While he is in hospital I would like to decorate the flat - new carpets, curtains and repainting as everything is ingrained with the smoke smell. I think this will help in his recovery and give him a boost when he comes out of hospital (he used to be house proud and I cannot imagine anyone really wants to sit in a dingy flat). I will be paying for the redecoration.

My brother cannot see the point - he thinks we shouldn't do it without asking him or that he should do it himself. He has agreed to a deep clean but thinks there is no point redecorating as it will get back to how it was.

AIBU to redecorate without my dads permission, I feel like if I ask him he will say that he will do it another time whereas if I just go ahead and do it I think he will be relieved that it is done. He knows that we both have keys and have been in to tidy etc so I don't think he will have an issue that we are going into the flat while he is not there.

honeyroar Fri 12-Feb-16 14:37:11

I think it sounds a nice idea. As long as you're not going to do something radical with the colour scheme and his belongings will be safe while people are in there I think he will like it. A cleaner/carer in to help him afterwards is good too.

Quoteunquote Fri 12-Feb-16 14:37:25

I think it's a lovely idea, and he might feel a little put out, but I bet it will be a huge relief to have it fresh.

Pseudo341 Fri 12-Feb-16 14:45:20

I really think you need his permission. How would you feel if someone did this to you? I'd be angry that my personal space had been violated. I appreciate you mean well, but your Dad is an adult and entitled to make his own decision on this subject. Why don't you just talk to your Dad about it and see what he says?

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 12-Feb-16 14:50:15

I think it's a lovely idea but I know if I did that to my Dad he'd be upset.
Why not have a chat to him and ask if you can give the place a lick of paint and a deep clean so he can come home to a nice fresh flat.

Alanna1 Fri 12-Feb-16 14:51:56

I think its a lovely idea (assuming you can afford it! Carpets and curtains can be expensive) but I would check with him first but in an understated way - i.e. ask him if you could go in and "just tidy it up and spruce it up for you" because it would be "so easy to do whilst you aren't there" and that "I promise I won't lose any of your stuff". Also, a thorough deep clean by a professional company will do a lot for both carpets and curtains (to the dry cleaner...), so if the underlying quality is good, then you might not need new ones. Getting carpets replaced from eg John Lewis takes up to a month from the appointment to measure. I also think coming back to a clean home will make him start the rest of the year afresh. Go for it!

hefzi Fri 12-Feb-16 14:55:20

I think you mean very well, and it's a kind thought - but personally, I would find it a total violation (I have poor MH) and it would really upset me. If it was presented as a choice, in a positive way etc (why don't we get this done now, so you're not inconvenienced by having to move in with DB etc) then he might very well go for it. Just taking over and getting it done, despite your good intentions, is a bit controlling and steam-rollery, especially if someone's already feeling vulnerable, as it sounds as though your father is.

MrsRobinson78 Fri 12-Feb-16 15:05:17

yes I see what people are saying re getting permission , however I worry if he does say no then I am stuck not decorating it and it really really needs doing! the doors aren't painted, they have no handles on. Everything is yellow with tobacco. It really is very grim. Hmm will see if I can sell it in a very understated way - ie we're going to spruce it up a bit.

HerbieRidesAgain Fri 12-Feb-16 15:18:14

I think its a lovely idea, could you put it to him that it is a 'done deal' so to speak but still getting his permission? Say it is all organised but that you don't want to give go ahead if he isn't happy to have it done?

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 12-Feb-16 16:28:26

Aha I see what you mean OP! DH has an Aunty like that and her daughter just had to say "we'll spruce the place up a bit while you are in hospital then it'll be lovely and fresh when you get home. What colours do you fancy....etc"

CooPie10 Fri 12-Feb-16 16:34:28

I think it's a lovely idea. Yes try to get info out of him about what colors he would like. I think it would be a lovely surprise as well as something to make him feel a bit motivated. If it does eventually get back to the same state, it would take a few years and your dad would have gotten some time out of it to live in a nice place.

KC225 Fri 12-Feb-16 18:41:20

I think it's a great idea especially as he mentioned it himself. Sometimes the task of planning a makeover ie decorating, carpets, curtains is so immense and daunting even more so if you have health issues and are elderly.

I know others have talked about getting permission but if knowing you have two young children would he really want to put you through the work. I know my Elderly mum would refuse of grounds 'you've enough to do' not because she didn't want the decorating. You know your Dad. You decide.

I would say, go ahead and present it as a nice surprise but do not throw away anything just store it for him to go through later.

BifsWif Fri 12-Feb-16 18:44:06

I think it's a wonderful idea, especially since your dad has mentioned it before and you know he'd like to get it done.

Northernparent68 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:02:11

Op, I think you re projecting, you do nt like his flat, however it clearly does not bother him.

If he wanted to redecorate he would.

Please do nt push this issue, you run the risk of ruining your relationship, accept ypu and your father have different standards.

willowsummers Fri 12-Feb-16 19:04:05

If you were to redecorate, and within months it looked awful again, how would you feel?

SaucyJack Fri 12-Feb-16 19:10:22

"If he wanted to redecorate he would."

With all due respect, this is complete bollocks when talking about someone with MH problems. Stuff like depression completely strips one's motivation and organisational skills.

OP- it's a lovely idea. Maybe present it to him first as a very low-key done deal. He's likely to try and talk you out of it out of shame- even tho he'll probably be delighted with a fresh, clean flat to live in.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Fri 12-Feb-16 19:38:15

I want to redecorate. I have MH problems. 6.5 years on in our 'new' home and I'm struggling to keep on top of the basics. I'd love to come home one day to some basic emulsion having been splashed about and a deep clean done.

Ask your dad if he'd object to you giving the place a freshen up and a titivate (my grandma's favourite word for this type of shenanigans) while he's not there, as he's more likely to agree if he thinks you're going to wash the curtains and the paintworksmile

AlwaysDancing1234 Sat 13-Feb-16 01:57:22

"If he wanted to redecorate he would"
Unfortunately it's not always that easy, although he may want to it sounds like he's stuck in that rut where even doing a bit of washing up can seem a huge task.
You sound like a lovely daughter OP and though I'd urge you to mention it to him I can see that you are coming from the right place and just want to help.

TheExMotherInLaw Sat 13-Feb-16 13:32:33

When elderly MIL was in hospital I scrubbed her flat, polished her furniture, mended her windows - she was pleased.
When DH used to go away with work for a few days he never knew what room might be decorated and furniture moved!
I'd let him know that you're going to clean it up for him, then do it, without changing colour scheme too much, but get carpets cleaned if feasible, rather than replace.
You're a wonderful daughter to be planning this.

GingerFoxInAT0phat Sat 13-Feb-16 13:37:02

I think it's a lovely idea too and would perk him up having a nice flat to come home to.

MrsRobinson78 Sun 14-Feb-16 10:17:49

Thanks for everyone's input. I went to see my dad yesterday and talked about his care after he gets out then broached the subject of 'doing a few jobs in the flat' while he is recovering. He is quite happy for me to do whatever I like to freshen it up. Feel very relieved!

BifsWif Mon 15-Feb-16 11:35:00

Brilliant! He's very lucky to have you flowers

KC225 Mon 15-Feb-16 12:03:34

Good for you and lucky for him. Love a positive update.

blankmind Mon 15-Feb-16 15:07:10

Fabulous, I'd love to see his face when he arrives home and it's all shiny and welcoming. well done! flowers

Cressandra Mon 15-Feb-16 15:38:17

Fantastic! I'm glad you asked him. My mum repainted my bedroom as a surprise, when I was 11, and I was extremely ungrateful! I still hate that colour, always have.

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