Daughter CareGiver with Uncooperative Father WWII Vet and Japanese POW

Struggling with an aging father who constantly asks for advice on topics you're not qualified to help with? Find tips for handling the situation and maintaining a healthy relationship with your dad.

Daughter CareGiver with Uncooperative Father WWII Vet and Japanese POW
Dementia Behaviors 

by Net (Texas)

Why does my aging father want me to give him

  • Financial
  • Medical
  • Veterinarian
  • Computer repair... and all other kind of advice I am not qualified to give?

When I give him advice on things I have no knowledge, he argues with me.

It is always a lose/ lose situation. It is very discouraging to me. And has gotten to the point where I hate to get into any meaningful conversation with him.

By saying ‘I don’t know’ all the time makes me feel stupid.

How can I talk to him without having all these emotional I’ll feelings?

Dad is 88 years old, a World War ll Vet and a Japanese POW survivor.

I am the second daughter of four children and his prime caretaker.

He lives behind us and is pretty self-sufficient right now, but time is creeping up on him.

He has no friends to speak of. Mom passed away 11 years ago. He has been here 3 years since he was getting sicker and needed more help and needed to be closer to family.

Dad is well off, but chooses to live as poorly as he can get by with. His legacy is to leave his wealth to us kids. He could live very comfortably if he wanted.

What am I missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Dear Net,

First let me tell you I understand your frustration. You are one of 4 children and feel alone. This is not uncommon.

Let me start by answering your questions about your dad’s interaction with you.

Your dad can ask questions. He may need to have someone to talk to and does not know how to communicate any other way. So he asks questions that you have no clue how to answer.

Now, with that said, how you respond or how you feel when you respond is on you. If you choose to feel “stupid” that is your choice.

You may consider looking at this from a different point of view. Your dad is lonely, He wants interaction. Is it in his nature to be negative and confrontational? Is it his nature to argue and complain?

Did he interact with your mother like this? Then you must accept that this is the way that he is and will continue to be this way.

Now, if this is new behavior, it may be a sign of the beginning of dementia. Then you need to have him have a comprehensive work up for dementia.

As far as your dad’s “legacy”, well that is the goal of almost every parent. The problem with that goal is that so many are outliving their finances.

I strongly encourage that families sit down and discuss what is Estate Planning and planning in advance.

You, as the only family caregiver may want to investigate a family caregiver contract. I have discussed this on our baby boomer generation page.

Thank you for you questions. Please keep me updated as to what is going on with your dad.

Diane Carbo RN

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