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Behaviour of elderly Dad

(95 Posts)
paulfoel Fri 04-Jan-19 15:26:26

My elderly Dad is a complete nightmare anddoes a good job of annoying me a lot of the time! I shouldn't let it get to me and should be more firm with him. But I was thinking about what does wind me up and wonder whether you all think my approach is right with what I expect etc from elderly person.

1. If you can do it yourself or help yourself then do it. Don't expect others to help because you can't be bothered.

2. Help others to help you and be a little bit flexible. Don't be stubborn and want things all your own way especially when others are sorting things out to make everyones life easier.

3. Appreciate that family have other responsibilities and not just you. You don't have a right to unlimited time.

Sadly, my Dad fails badly on all three of these.....

If he can get someone to do something for him he just won't bother himself (in fact, I think he likes having someone run around for him). He is totally inflexible and won't listen to anyone its his way or not at all - in the past hes expected me to travel 2 hours to pick him up to take him to appointment rather than pay for a £10 taxi. Worse of all - he does not care about what I've got on, issues/responsibilities I have for my own family - and has said he expects to be put first.

Am I being unfair on him?

/rant over

pippistrelle Fri 04-Jan-19 15:49:53

You're not being unfair. Was he always so self-centred though?

paulfoel Fri 04-Jan-19 16:05:20

Thinking back hes always had tendencies to be very controlling. Its his way or no way.

pippistrelle Fri 04-Jan-19 16:08:34

Was there perhaps your mum who was absorbing a lot of his self-centredness previously?

Grace212 Fri 04-Jan-19 16:13:48

oh dear
that sounds massively unreasonable and I wouldn't agree to it

there's a general thread here with lots of wisdom

Mummylife2018 Fri 04-Jan-19 17:56:20

Have you actually told him how you feel? Have you confronted him or had a bit of a go about it?

I would absolutely have refused to drive 2 hours to give him a lift!!!

paulfoel Fri 04-Jan-19 19:32:33

Parents divorced when I was 3. Not seen much of mother since. He brought us up and remarried when was 10. Divorced again 12 years later.

I could tell you some stories about the unreasonable things hes done and expected and how hes treated my family. :-(

Several times I've sat him down calmly and explained that I will always do my best for him. Several times I've lost it with him and gone nuts. Each times hes better for about a day or two then back same as before.

Im in the office at the moment. Its 730pm uk time. Been here since 8am. Problems. I'll be in sat am. Im on call this weekend. BUT come hell or high water I will have to visit him on sunday because I said I would. Even if I've had no sleep all weekend and been working 24 hours.

Grace212 Fri 04-Jan-19 19:38:43

my mum wouldn't even phone me if she knew I'd been working that much.

You need to tell him what's what, I think. btw how old is he and does he have friends? I know it gets harder to help when they are all elderly but my parents' have done their share of helping and there's still others in the 75-80 age range who will help out driving people to hospital appointments etc.

PersonaNonGarter Fri 04-Jan-19 19:47:07

It only happens like this because you let it.

I know this sounds harsh but you could deal with this completely differently. You can say no and not visit. And ignore the unpleasantness. Or tell him straight to think again (not long indulgent chat, just straight to the point).

paulfoel Fri 04-Jan-19 20:03:23

Dad is 84. Hes got loads of friends and his health is OK for his age.
He just seems to like getting people running around doing things for him - especially me.

Its hard though. Hes difficult to argue with because it goes in one ear and out the other.

Obviously, I do want to help him where I can.

PersonaNonGarter Fri 04-Jan-19 20:05:22

He’s not going to change. You’ll need to.

Easier said than done, of course. flowers

JontyDoggle37 Fri 04-Jan-19 20:08:54

I could have written this post about my mum. Every single line. I have to put up massive boundaries and be very clear about what I will and won’t do. And never ‘ask’ just ‘tell’. “I won’t be in this weekend Dad I’ve had to do a load of overtime and I can’t make it.” What’s the worst he can do, be cross? You’re not a child any more, the only hold he has over you is disapproval or emotional blackmail.

Grace212 Fri 04-Jan-19 20:14:34

so he can't claim he has no other support either.

sounds like he's massively taking the piss, sorry. Tell him you are too tired this Sunday and don't want to risk driving. Start saying no.

CuthbertDibble Fri 04-Jan-19 20:32:26

*I will have to visit him on sunday because I said I would*

It's harsh but you have to manage expectations, don't promise things that may not happen. Older people have a tendency to become quite childlike, they take you at your word... literally.

paulfoel Sat 05-Jan-19 10:27:00

Ive told him and told him if I'm on call there is a chance I wont be able to do his shopping for him.

I've said look let me sort out home delivery as a backup. No don't want to do that. And then I'll managed. Or "cant you do it monday evening after work?"

RandomMess Sat 05-Jan-19 10:31:35

Step out of the FOG!!

Don't argue just yes I can do that or no I'm not free then.

potatoscone Sat 05-Jan-19 10:36:27

If I was 84 I would probably want some help too sad

I'm sorry that you feel like he is a nightmare and annoys you all the time, but have you considered life from his POV?

PersonaNonGarter Sat 05-Jan-19 10:52:07

Arrange the supermarket delivery and get it delivered. Don’t discuss it. Put in nice things that will feel like love me perks (nice hot chocolate or whatever).

HollowTalk Sat 05-Jan-19 10:54:48

Come on, OP, you need to get a grip on this.

Does he uses texts? That's easier for getting the message across.

He's got loads of friends. He's not on his own all the time. Give yourself a break. Tell him a lie if you like (you have flu) but give yourself some time off.

Singlenotsingle Sat 05-Jan-19 11:00:19

You need to learn to say "no" and all variations thereof. Two hours away? That's about 100 miles. We've got relatives 100 miles away and we see them about three times a year! He wants you to do his shopping??? Just order it online shock
I'm lost for words!

rainbowstardrops Sat 05-Jan-19 11:01:25

Only you can stop it! At the moment, you are enabling it.
Of course do things for your dad when you can but you need to consider yourself and your family too.
Arrange the online shop. Don't drive all the way to pick him up if he's perfectly capable of getting a taxi.
It really does seem like it's down to you to make some changes here.

paulfoel Sat 05-Jan-19 11:12:49

potatoscone - seriously?

Of course I know he wants help. But are you suggesting I ignore everyone else I have responsibilities for?

Not helpful at all.

paulfoel Sat 05-Jan-19 11:14:59

To clarify, I live 25 miles away now. I was working 80 miles away at the time. (Its now about 20 miles away).
Its a good 30 mins each way from home.

But yes the hospital he was in was pretty much 2 hours away from where I worked. I used to get a train so I'd have had to get train back, pick up car and drive rest of way.

paulfoel Sat 05-Jan-19 11:19:07

In work till 9pm last night. In the office at the mo - its going to be a long day as well. And I'm on call this weekend. Such is the life of an IT consultant!

Last saw my 5 year old daughter Thursday evening. BUT, you can bet even if its done and dusted today, and I manage to get some sleep tonight, he will expect me to spend 2-3 hours getting his shopping and visiting him tomorrow. To be honest, I could do with a rest and spend time with my daughter.

If I phone him I'll get comments like how hes "disappointed", been "stuck in the house", "got no food in the house" etc.

(Sometimes he says this and lies saying no-ones been when my brother has visited AND done shopping for him on the day before. Yet he still insists).

potatoscone Sat 05-Jan-19 11:22:50

Of course I know he wants help. But are you suggesting I ignore everyone else I have responsibilities for?

No. No, I did not suggest that at all.

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