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Caring for my 90 year old dad - Carers UK Forum

Caring for my 90 year old dad

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My mother died 11 years ago and my dad has,apart from not understanding money as my mother dealt with this, my dad has been well and incredibly healthy.I am slowly realising that he is starting to have problems. he is,if anything, too independent and won't let me help him although he rings me if anything is wrong. His house is getting increasingly grubby but he won't let me clean and he won't let me get a cleaner.This week he fell 8 feet out of an apple tree! It took me 3 days to persuade him to come with me to A and E to see if he had broken anything.Amazingly nothing was broken and he was only bruised.The doctors were astounded. But I think this was a bit of a wake up call.How do other people e deal with stubborn parents.I veer from feeling I should bully him for his own good to just allowing things to go wrong on their own. My husband,who has his own health problems tells me I have to persuade him to make adjustments to his house now before he needs it.Personally I think at the moment that I don't know who is the fitter of the two. I feel torn most of the time.I am an only child and very fond of my dad.He would be horrified by how concerned I am about him yet seems panicky when I go to my children,where I help with the grandchildren.
Sorry about the rant but I feel pulled in all directions.
Hi Jacqueline
It's a common problem with no easy answer. Search the forum for "stubborn" and you'll see what I mean.

First thing is to stop thinking of yourself as the child and Dad as the parent. Due to his age and deteriorating condition the roles have now reversed and you have to act as the parent and take charge. Tell him if he doesn't accept a cleaner you will call in social services or report him to the doctor, whatever you know will provoke him most.
It's difficult to adjust to the new roles, you've both been used to the old ones for your lifetime, but adjust to it you must

Hope this helps a little
I agree, but at the same time, don't start to 'nanny' him as he will just get more stubborn - I mean, how would you like it if your own children treated you like an idiot?!!! So, tact is required - but firmness too, and some 'spade calling' (eg, like Mrs A says 'Cleaner or else, Dad!')

Why does he panic when you go to your grandchildren by the way??!!!

Also, as well as becoming his 'parent', make sure you stay his 'child' as well - in aspects that don't matter! For example, make sure you go to him for advice about things, or rely on whatever his specialist skills were (from unknotting string - my dad was brilliant at that - he had the patience for it! - to how to unblock a sink or whatevever whatever)(perhaps about picking fruit!!!!!)(since he was up a tree) (how old is he, by the way?!)

It's hard as we age to accept we are getting 'weaker' about things, and now need help. It can be trivial signs, like our grip weakening and needing one of those gadgets to get lids off jars and so on, all signs we are ageing.

It's GREAT he is active, and enthusiastic - helps keep him fit, body and mind - but has to do it 'sensibly'!

Very often, if you read these forums you will see, the elderly resist an 'aid' for ages - and then have it and love it! Someone hear reports how a stairlift was resisted and resisted - and now the dad LOVES it! (I promise you, his greatgrandchildren will love it too when they visit - hours of endless fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

It's a question of tact, cunning, firmness and 'respect' for him - tricky to get the balance right! - and gradually improve and safeguard his life and home for him hopefully to live out many more 'active years'.