Living with my Elderly Father in his Home
This year my dad will turn 89. My mom has been dead for almost 18 years. Until he had a mild stroke, my sisters and I were not as worried about my dad living alone. He still drove, worked in his garden, etc.
Two years ago he had a mild stroke and had to have a carotid artery put in. I worked in another city and realized that I wanted to be here for my dad as he is getting older. I asked him if he would like me to come back home and move in with him. He was willing that I do that so I quit my job and moved in with him.
We got along very well at first, but he has made sure that I know this is his house and I have to do things his way! I pay him rent and pay for all the utilities, plus cable TV. I buy most of the groceries and do all the cooking. Yet he still acts as though he's doing me a favor by letting me live here.
As he is getting older and more feeble, he seems to resent my being here more and more. He takes offense at my trying to help him (something as simple as taking his dish to the kitchen for him). He seems to be more and more wallowing in self-pity and acting like I think he can't do for himself. I'm just trying to be helpful. I have never told him that I think he is incompetent.
He will start an argument and then accuse me of having an "attitude". Then he'll say things like, "I'm done. I wish I would die right now."
He doesn't seem to care that he is cursing me to a life of guilt if he did up and die right now! His moods are so unpredictable - one day he'll be all cheerful, the next day he will be down in the dumps and saying how bad he feels. The doctors all say that he is in great physical shape for a man his age. He just seems to want to be miserable all the time.
I don't want our relationship to be ruined and I don't know how to handle his depression, anger, resentment, self-pity!
I have two sisters. One lives here in town, but she only comes to visit maybe one afternoon a week. She acts like a visitor when she is here - I fix the food, clean up, etc. My other sister lives out of the state and has only be here once in two years.