Increasingly Difficult

by Charles

I am very frustrated. Almost two years ago my father was in intensive care for congestive heart failure. He was moments away from life support. We were told he would probably never leave the hospital. Two weeks later he was released with the option of a skilled nursing facility or home with round the clock care.

The family got together and cleaned up the house, bags of cat pop included, and built new stairs into the house. My wife and I moved upstairs so someone was always home.

We pay for all of his pills, all of the propane in the winter, his internet as well as ours, a le, groceries, house payment, power bill, lawn equipment and upkeep. I am sure there is more but that's enough. Or so I thought.

His SS will not cover his basic expenses but he is increasingly threatening and intimidating because we should be paying more and is always mad I didn't pay Bill's before the due date.

I needed a truck for work and couldn't get a loan so he went with me to cosign. That didn't work so he signed for the truck and I put insurance on it and have never been late on a payment.

Due to his violent nature I said I was moving and he told me I could walk anywhere I want. He spends most of his money on alcohol and taking care of his girlfriend and is always broke before his next check.

He couldn't set out his pills for a day if he had to and I was told "so you set out my pills and took me to the doctor once, whoopi" He is always making snide remarks to my wife who is increasingly agitated as well as scared at times while I am at work.

I have a POA and a medical POA. I am executor of his will. If I leave he will be in ruins in a matter of months. I know he is scared of this but threatening me and yelling at me like I am a child is getting out of hand.

I am 45 years old and am shown zero respect for not only saving his life but keeping him out or a nursing home and or losing everything he owns. What am I supposed to do?

I can not put my wife through this much longer. She deserves better. He came at me a few weeks ago a d it scared her. I am not scared of him but am afraid he will hurt himself or I will have to defend myself. His heart failure was due to alcoholism and he is drinking daily and heavy some days. I need help.

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What is your goal?
by: Gina

Charles, I'm sorry that this is such an unpleasant and unappreciated effort for you and your family.

You are not responsible for or obligated to meet your father's unrealistic expectations. The alcoholism and possible dementia/mental issues definitely complicate things.

Nonetheless you need to put up boundaries to protect your family and preserve your primary relationships, not to mention your own mental/emotional well being, as this may be a long ride to the finish line.

I agree with the other commenter who suggested you stop helping him. No financial help for sure. Extricate yourself from any obligations you may be under with him (financial, mostly). It's not worth him exerting control over you in this way.

Also, I would be checking his bank accounts as I would NOT trust his "girlfriend". You dad could make her the PoA and executor without your knowledge and you couldn't stop it from happening. I have a story about this but won't go into that now.

Don't get sucked into manipulative and unproductive conversations and arguments with him.

I dealt with my in laws who were broke, upside down in their mortgage, uncooperative, in cognitive decline and denial and "assumed" we'd take care of them. My husband had PoA for his mom but not his stepfather in law (a jerk). He set up online banking for their account so we could pay their bills and monitor their activity. Eventually we got social services involved and after an in-home assessment, approved some housekeeping and meal service.

Eventually we allowed the house to go into foreclosure which forced them to go into a care facility. They were never appreciative of our efforts (this story is actually extremely long and played out over 1-1/2 years).

We allowed my uncooperative SFIL to become a ward of the state because he wouldn't give anyone PoA and wouldn't file for Medicaid even though he was dead broke and couldn't even pay his monthly mortgage principal and interest and couldn't take care of himself on a daily basis. He was a danger to himself and social services deemed him a vulnerable adult, which gave them license to do a lot of things against his will but for his own good.

My MIL complained that she couldn't believe how badly their "retirement" turned out and I informed her it was the retirement they planned for. For our own peace of mind and out of compassion, we made sure that they had their basic needs met in a care facility (in Medicaid rooms).

My friend, you may have to watch on the sidelines as your dad flails his way through this next phase. With the guidance of social services and healthcare workers (and web forums like this one) you will probably know what to do and when.

Because I take care of 4 elderly family members from ages 85 to 100, some local, some out of town, some clear and some with dementia, some independent and some in a facility, I've compiled a 2 page checklist that would help give you ideas on how to move forward.

If you'd like it feel free to contact me directly at

I wish you all the best!

I would move if I were you
by: Anonymous

You and your wife deserve better and shouldn't have to put up with what you're going through. I know you love your dad but read about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It might fit. It's my mom to a "t".

Fortunately she doesn't live with me and my spouse. But for you and your wife's sanity and your relationship you need a new place to live. If your dad is going to do himself in with his alcoholism then so be it. You can't save him from himself and you don't need to be abused. Bless you for trying.

Leave and let dad figure it out the hard way
by: Anonymous

Leave and let dad figure it out the hard way. He knows what he is doing and doesn’t care how you and your wife are affected. He has no intention of ever being sober. My own father died of alcoholism. I neither hate the man nor was I sad when he passed. He lived the way he wanted to and it was my choice to stay away and not expose my children or myself to his toxic manipulative ways

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