My Elderly Father Insists he Can do it All for Mom.
I am a 50-year-old divorced woman with no children who lives with my elderly parents. Four years ago (when I came to live with my parents) my mother had a very debilitating left-brain stroke; after many years of smoking and heart disease, her health was precarious at best. She was not expected to survive the stroke, but she did - with much residual damage. At my father's insistence she has continued to live at home but requires a high level of care.
My father, always a very controlling personality (but never an emotionally open one,) insists on doing everything for her, even when it is not in her best interest. She "didn't like" the therapies she required, so Dad just told her she didn't have to try. Now she has lost almost her entire ability to speak, has much difficulty swallowing and drools constantly, but he says it is fine with him...even though her abilities continue to deteriorate. She has lost all muscle tone in both legs and one arm, and cannot keep her right eye open. She is frustrated with her physical condition and her inability to do anything about it, but mentally she is alert - and that combined with her physical limitations causes her to verbally and physically lash out. Dad says that is okay too. That she's just fine. Even "getting better."
They have asked me to stop accompanying them to physicians visits because I say the truth and they get upset with me about that, as the truth is no one's business but theirs. I am in contact with Mom's PCP, but until I have medical power of attorney there is not much that I can do.
I seem to be here only to referee and to be that back-up support system they demand, and I'm kind of losing my mind. Any ideas on how to get them to accept more help, both from me and from the trained health aides that I feel they so desperately need, or am I just stuck until time does the inevitable and I have to make decisions that no one will find any peace with?