Elderly Dad – Causing Lots of Hassle

by Paul

Pretty long story. Dad is 82 and lives alone. Is in reasonable health for his age generally. 3 months ago he had a chest infection. It was nasty but he would not let it go or listen to the doctor. He must have visited the GP about 20 times and each time they told him he just needed to wait it out. He's called the doctor to his house multiple times and now they refuse to come out to him. Hes also called an ambulance three times and each time they’ve checked him in hospital and sent him home.

His chest infection is gone now, but he says he's aching and feels nauseous. To be honest, I lose track of exactly whats wrong with him.

Yet he constantly hassles me. I tell him he needs to listen to the doctor but he's convinced he should be in hospital.

I do my best to help him but I’ve got small children and wife whose ill herself (with fibromyalgia). Its tough for us at times. We have to pay for a cleaner, and childcare. Also family come to stay with us to help wife out. I work 90 minutes commute away so its a long day for me (I'm up at 5:45am).

His recent behaviour has included all sorts. Hes faked chest pains to get attention. He's demanded I go to see him. He's demanded I take time off work to take him to hospital (I do contract work so its unpaid if I'm not there).

The hospital one was annoying – I sorted out patient transport but he didn't want to
do that. My office is 80 miles away from the hospital – he said he wanted me to take him.

Xmas day at our house was a nightmare. He moaned, made out he was dying, was rude to my family, had no manners, and burped/broke wind at the dinner table just to prove how ill he was. Then when I took him home I spent 2 hours talking him down from phoning 999. All the while my kids are at home having not seen their dad much that day (It's 30 min drive each way to pick up/drop off dad too).

My dear wife finally lost it (she's been great so far). I can see her point. She's been suffering for ages yet he seems to make as much fuss as he can. Whenever I try to talk to him to explain Ive got others to consider but will do my best for him he does not seem to give a monkeys – its all about him.

Thing is I don't think hes got dementia. I’ve got a friend who is a mental health nurse who agrees too.

To be honest, we’ve had dad for last 15 years on Xmas day (brother has him boxing day). I think my poor family deserve a break after this year. Dear bother will have to alter his Xmas day pub plans.

I'm so desperate I'm possibly going to tell dad a white lie that wife is working Xmas day (she's a nurse).

But I feel so guilty all the time. Trouble is if I don't do the white lie I upset my own family….. :-(

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