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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:10 AM
salem5050
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Default Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

Ok, I am looking for some good tips to cope with my dad living with us. I am so fortunate that he is very healthy at the age of 84. He is able to drive, etc. He moved in last March.

Here is my problem, I get so frustrated with him questioning every move we make here at home. Such as , how much was that? where you going? why you doing that? here is a bettter way to do that! It goes on and on, I am 53 and feel 10 again. Ugh.

My dad is and always was a good provider, but he is and was a very critical person, and not too mushy with love and stuff. He mentally beat me up all my life with his criticism. I am becoming so frustrated with this all and feel I want to run away. I had to deal with it growing up and now have to feel that same criticism on a daily basis. I have never talked back to my dad in my life, but I am coming close to telling him off in a very nasty way.

Any suggestions on books or something to help with living with a elderly parent.

Mary Margaret

Hmm perhaps I need a cruise to that sure would solve things for a week!
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Old January 28th, 2005, 10:08 AM
cruisinKandJ.
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

I sympathize with your dilemma. If you read my post on the Friday good mornning thread, you know of my frustration.

If your father is mentally competent, maybe you and your spouse or some other family member could sit down with him and have a frank talk about it. But don't be rude to him. That would get you nowhere.

This is a tough one, because he's gotten away with his critical behavior all these years. If the behavior does not change, or if it escalates, you just might have to accept that this living arrangement is not working, and then change it. Your whole family should not have to be miserable when all you're trying to do is help him.

Judy
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Old January 28th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Linda T.
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Default Re: Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

I truley understand how you feel. In our case it's my In-laws that moved in. My parents died and I inherited their house. A few weeks later my InLaws decided to bring their camper for a few weeks and park in my back yard. 3 months later they were still here and surprised us with blueprints for the apt. they were going to build in my basement. My DH is adopted and feels I guess the word is beholding to them for saving him from a life of misery. So he couldn't tell them no. I cried, sometimes I still cry, lol. They promptly moved in and took over, but for me it just wasn't that I was doing everything wrong, my dead parents had done everything wrong too. They changed everything! All my memories of growing up here were thrown away. My MIL will call me in the middle of the night and tell me she has an idea of how to rearange my livingroom and she wants me to get up so she can do it. She put an island in my kitchen that I didn't want because she said I need it. Now I bump into the stupid thing all the time. The list goes on and on. I don't know how to wash clothes properly so everytime I go to the laundryroom she runs in there to show me how, grrr. I've raised 4 kids and have 4 grandkids, I think I can run a house on my own. The money issue is another story. We actually have to hide things from them. I haven't been on a cruise in 3 years that we didn't have to sneek away for. They check my bills to make sure I've payed them. Almost everynight they will call my husband downstairs for a "little talk". They chew him out for what he did wrong that day. He is a nervous wreck and I'm about to lose it. I am keeping a close eye on your post, maybe somebody will have some advice for both of us. If you ever need to vent, feel free to email me anytime. It's nice to have somebody that really understands.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

You have this awkward situation. You need to tell Dad to "butt out" and to remind him that you are an adult who has been making your own decisions (quite well ), for the past 30+ years. At the same time you need to make him feel welcome in your home, still feel productive in his life etc. Not easy.
I'm sure in this day and age there are books on coping with this situation as well as advice to be found on line. In addition, perhaps another relative of his generation can be consulted and used to remind him to let his adult children be adults. Everyone involved need to "give " alittle to make this situation work.
From his perspective it must be hard. An independent man for 80+ years now dependent on his children. A lot of humble pie needs to be swallowed there and it might not go down that easy. He has to accept a totally new role in life and it is not easy for him to do it. My own Dad has fought back so hard to be independent that he alienates everyone around him , relatives and friends.
I hope and pray that this all works out for you.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 11:29 AM
Happy Camper
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

OK - My father in law is living in another town but we have an RV there and go there almost every other weekend if not every weekend. We are going to move back there too. SO. I have been talking with him very bluntly. I've told him he doesn't know his son and he needs to get to know him. He says his son is just like his mother (not a compliment) and I told him if he actually knew his son he'd never say that!!!! Then I told him he should stop trying to tell hubby what to do when they have time together but instead get to know him. ANd on and on and on. HE actually likes me if you can believe it??!! And the relationship is getting stronger between them and with me. He likes me being honest and the other day he actually agreed with me on something he had been mean about for months and he said he has seen tha times have changed... I couldn't belive it! Talk to him and be honest and give it 6 months to a year but stick to our guns. If it is your house tell them it is your house. You are an adult and your first and foremost family is your spouse and kids. If you loose your relationship with them you will not be in a mental position to help the parents or in laws so keep your immediate (not parents) family the most important and just because they are your parents doesn't mean you can't talk to them and tell them how you feel. They are intellegent and I'm sure eventually it will sink in. Remember it is YOUR life and YOUR house and you had to live by Their rules when you grew up in Their house so now they get to live by YOUR rules in YOUR house!!! If you let it all make you insane then what good will you be to them. Talk to them - don't yell. And keep at it and say the same thing over and over and eventually they will understand. Let them know you love them and like them there but there has to be changes... It does sound easier than it is but we have been going at it from a distance for about 3 years and it is coming around so on a daily basis I think you will be surprised by the respect they will gain for you as an adult when you start facing them on a level playing field... He actually says he is proud of us for being strong and he knows we can handle things... He is a wonderful man and I am lucky to know him. Debbie
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Old January 28th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

Dealing with several aging parents and grandparent I know what your going through--too --even though we dont live together-----I think its an age thing-------I feel for you about the mentally beating you up--my dad was the same way--- to me but not my sister--- It will be 6 years ago that he died on Jan 30th-----
It's hard to say let it go----- or learn to live with it-----aging has its quirks but Ive seen the same things happen to most of my few realitives-----
My mother always said if she got that way to tell her--- well its hard to do that--- and my father in law is so critical at times that I hate to be with him---- great husband that's doing a good job of that------

You might say something to him--but at a calm moment---- not when youve gotten to the boiling point----- when things can be said that shouldnt----

I love the saying that I am a master to my unspoken words and a slave to those words that should have remained unsaid-----

Book yourself a cruise and take a personal vaction------or do something special for yourself---- we all need breaks from our family--------

April
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Old January 28th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

Your dad sounds just like my DH who is on disability from back surgery. I can't pour myself iced tea without him "helping"! There are some fun ways to handle him, you just need to be creative. The next time he asks you how much you paid for something tell him "I didn't, I stole your credit cards, you paid for it" or something like that. When my DH wants to "help" me make dinner I disapear. He'll come looking for me to finish dinner. "Nope, only one cook in the kitchen and it's you tonight sweetie.". My kids learned a long time ago not to come to me to solve their boredom. I put em' to work.

My point is, don't let it stress you out. Try to find a way to make your point and maybe even have some fun with it. It's your house, you make the rules now. Don't let him control you anymore. You can do it.

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Old January 28th, 2005, 04:32 PM
Cruizin K and J
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Default Re: Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

I think one of the things we all forget is that when things happen to us, it's because we allow it, and we're all guilt of that at one point or another.

Also, you mentioned that your father still drives and is active. Maybe you can get him interested in other activities away from the house. Do you have a Senior Center close by?

Judy
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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

Don't take this wrong, Mary Margaret, but why is your dad living with you? You said that he "moved in" last March. Was he invited in, or did he kinda force himself on you? He sure sounds like a man who is capable of living by himself (good health, drives a car, is still active, etc.) I hate to say it, but it might have been a mistake for you to take him in to begin with! Think about it, because the man's obviously making you totally miserable.

I'm nearly 74. I have eight grown children, all doing very well (my oldest is 50). If I should ever make it to 84 with all my senses in tact and in reasonably good health, I'd never think of imposing upon any of my progeny like your dad appears to be doing to you. Of course, I'm not your dad and I don't know what went on prior to last March. We're all different, but your father sounds like a guy who might be better off and more content if he were on his own. I suspect that in similar circumstances, I'd rather be lord of my own domain than wreaking havoc on one of my kids and their families.

I'm not suggesting that you should kick him out or any such thing, but it seems to me that if things continue as at present your life is going to be hell on earth for some time to come. I know that I'm not giving you any good ideas for coping with your present situation, MM, but think it over. If there's any chance that you could talk Dad into returning to his previous status, whatever that might have been, then maybe you could lead him in that direction and you'd all be happier. If not, I hope that you have siblings willing to share the load with caring for this difficult gentleman. In any event, good luck and happy cruisin'!

Jack

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Old January 29th, 2005, 08:21 AM
salem5050
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Default Re: Does anyone have a elderly parent living with them?

Well here is my situation Jack...
First I am a only child, so no siblings to help.

Second last March my dad was very sick and it was not clear if he would recover, so it was a no brainer for him to move in with us for me and my husband to care for him.

Third the neighborhood he lived in had turned very bad, and it was not safe for him to live there so he sold his house.

Fourth for some reason he became very lonely after living alone for 14 years since my mom died.

There is no way I could even imagine to tell my dad to move to someplace else just not possible cause even though he drives etc, his health is up and down so I still have to care for him off and on.

So I think my husband and I will just do some kinda vacation, to recharge our batteries. i have read many article recently about elderly parents moving in with their children, so I guess I just have to see that so many others are in the same boat.

Mary Margaret
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