My 83yr old dad, and some much needed advice please

Hello all,

Sorry if this post might be a little long, but I feel I need to give as much information on this situation.
I have 2 siblings, a brother and sister, and I am the youngest. Growing up, life was difficult with my dad, he never really gave us any time, or did anything with us. He was an angry person who lived his life and put my amazing mum and us last. We often felt like we were treading on eggshells when he was around.
He expected my mum to do everything for him, and mum being herself, did, making a rod for her own back, and dad becoming lazier as the years went on. He would moan if he didn’t have different colour veg on his plate, and expected dinner on the table. He made me choose my own husband wisely! He just wasn’t a very nice person to my mum, and I still question why she stayed married to him for over 50 years. Not my business, but she really did deserve someone so much better. It makes me sad.
My mum was the best mum, one of those mum’s your friend wanted as a mum too. She was like mum and dad rolled into one, gave us time, was kind, gentle, selfless. Just an amazing woman.
Sadly, we lost our mum in April, after a 16-month battle with cancer. She was the most courageous person I have ever known. Never moaned once, battled through 3 lines of different chemo, and she said she did it for all of her kids/grandkids/great-grandkids, so we got time to say goodbye and get used to her not being here. It was a hard road, one I personally was with her for, going to hospital/scans/meetings, and going home every weekend. My sister and I looked after her in her final weeks at home too, so it’s been a hard few months. She was our world and we miss her so much. She missed 2 new great grandchildren that she was fighting to see by 8 and 12 weeks.
However, my dad is now causing some issues and we honestly do not know what to do, or how to deal with them?
As I said, dad was never there, so we pretty much have a zero relationship with him. During mum’s treatment, he was mean to her, upset her often and said he didn’t understand what she was going through, despite himself having prostate cancer (in remission for 10 years) and needing treatment. He would upset her if her chemo was late, then call me moaning about it. He has zero patience.
None of us live local to my dad, closest is my sister, an hour by train, them me, about 90 mins car drive, and my brother about 4 hours by car.
I was home for 6 weeks when mum took a turn for the worse, nursing her and going home after her funeral. I did everything needed when a loved one passes, banking etc.
He even caused a huge argument when mum was home on hospice care, which made my sister and I very angry, he just didn’t see what we were doing on a daily basis. He would moan if mum’s bed was too high and he couldn’t see the TV, this resulted in him putting some wood under his TV to raise it so he could see it. Really upset us all.
4 months on, my dad calls me everyday to put his horse bets on, I am trying to work and don’t have time. He cries every day, which I understand, but we haven’t had time to grieve for my mum really as he is demanding. He has never asked us if we are ok. I go home every other weekend for the day and clean the house, get some shopping, do some washing if he hasn’t done it. My sister used to go home when mum was diagnosed with her cancer for a few weeks every month/2 months, so she too has been going home to stay for a week with him. He just sits in his chair, expects us to run around after him, and we do it!
Last week, I called him and he was still in bed at midday, sounded rough, said he felt awful, so I called an ambulance and he was in hospital for 6 days. Had urine infection, Covid and had a mental health assessment as he kept crying.
I had to go home a few days after he went to hospital as he said he had an accident in his bed and living room. I cleaned the house and did what I needed to do and returned home that evening.
He came home at the weekend and my sister was there and is staying for the week. He didn’t wait for his meds to come to the ward as he wanted to get home, and said my sister could go back the following day to get them! She did but the pharmacy was shut, so no meds. He moaned to me about it and I told him straight it was his own fault for being so impatient and going home.
Since my sister has been home, she has called me in tears on many occasions. My dad is living like an animal, not showering, sitting in incontinence pads and urinating in them instead of going to the toilet. He doesn’t have a downstairs loo, and we have suggested a stairlift to help him as he has diabetes and his nerves are dead in his feet, but he doesn’t want to pay for one. He would honestly benefit form one and we have spoken to the council who have put rails in outside to help him as he had a fall down the front steps on my mum’s funeral day. We have put in for a stairlift, but there is a 6–12-month backlog. He could afford to have one put in, but is quite penny pinching and won’t make his life easier.
My sister said he has been urinating in a jug too and pouring this down the kitchen sink! He also has a bucket in his bedroom for night time. I understand it can take a while for his feet/legs to get moving, but he walks faster than me! So, I think this is more of a laziness thing and he has done it for years. My mum used to get really upset with him and tell him he was disgusting.
When my dad was discharged from the hospital, I asked if he needed a care package, but they said he was fine. Physio assessed him; he just needs to get moving more. They never mentioned the mental health assessment, but I do think he needs to talk to someone as we all think he has lots of regrets that are eating away at him. How he treated mum for a start.
My dad is expecting my sister to do everything for him, cook, clean his mess up, empty the bins with his wet pads in them. She said she has had enough and is going home at the weekend as she cannot take much more. He has given her the silent treatment today because she disagreed with him, he’s always right too.
The above may seem mean, but it’s from the heart. My dad doesn’t understand we lost our amazing mum too, they had very little of a relationship, mum lived for all the kids, we were her world and this is what made her happy.
We think he would benefit from some help, carers perhaps, so my brother spoke to Adult Social Care but they said nothing can be done unless her agrees to it, and we know he won’t as he doesn’t want anyone in the house! Dad is really difficult, demanding and selfish and happy to have everyone rally around after him, but he won’t do anything himself, expects us to do it. We cannot continue to do this and to be honest, none of us want to because he is so difficult. He is draining everything out of us and my own mood is very low as I have had a lot of other major stress recently. We don’t know what to do, and to be honest, we all feel like walking away. This sounds so mean and horrible, but he is making us feel this way.
We don’t know a solution, an answer or where to even start going forward. He is not willing to help himself in his own care and living, and we cannot give up our lives to do this for him either.
He said he won’t go into a home, so not a choice. It is hard as if we were to ever ask him to do something for us, we know as little as it was, he would never do anything for us, so we do have a little resentment towards him.
Not sure if anyone is able to give any advice, suggestions, wisdom or their own experience of a similar situation.
I hope it doesn’t come across as though we are mean, because we truly aren’t and we still care about him despite how difficult he is. We just don’t want to find ourselves in the situation where we give up altogether, which I truly believe could happen because of how he is affecting our mental health.

Thank you for reading this.

Please call the council in the morning first thing to request a needs assessment.

Thank you for replying. My dad had an assessment in April where they decided to put rails up outside, which has been done. The stairlift was discussed as was converting the bathroom to a wet room,but there is a 6month + backlog for these. An emergency cord was recommended as was a walker with chair if dad ventured out, but he didn’t want those.

Hi there x
I’m in a similar situation with my mum, but things are a tiny bit better but not 100%.
I hear what you are saying, and I just want to say how brilliant you are for sticking around even though he wasn’t a very good dad. It is hard to look after a parent, and even harder when you realise they didn’t even want to look after you. I think you are brilliant.
Your dad sounds as stubborn as mine was, and I can hear your frustration. Does your dad have a district nurse for his diabetes? Would the GP be able to make a referral to the mental health team for assessment? When you are not there does he feed and dress himself? Age uk are good and helped me a little bit. Also citizens advice gave me some info but the more I droned on about it to my mum she realised she needed help. Start taking photos and documenting things he does that are not his norm. Get some evidence to back up your claims.
I hear you :heart:

You are doing so well. Perhaps also see if you can sign him up for social group weekly activities.

From my experience: do whatever you think needs to be done but please ditch any feeling of guilt that sucks the energy out of you. This is a parent’s responsibility to build relationships with their children and spouse. If they fail and they are not aware of that, there is not much to be done on the children’s side. Your dad has been used to other people doing everything for him for years. I would not expect him to think different at that age. I would give it a go and try to set clear boundaries like: I will do this for you but not that (pick a thing that is really easy for him to do) but no success is guaranteed.
Your dad is probably digesting the bitter consequences of his attitude and behaviour towards your mum and you. The key thing is not to let him spill that bitterness on you (easier said than done).

Dad may say he doesn’t want to move into a home BUT that doesn’t mean that you are forced to care for him.
You do not have to do ANYTHING. He could tell you what to do when you are under 18, but not now you are adults.
Your own life and responsibilities cannot be ignored just because he is now incapable of understanding how much others are doing for him.