Caring For An Aging Parent – An 80 Year Old Stubborn Father

Caring for an aging parent can be a challenging and emotional experience, especially when they are stubborn and resistant to change.

Caring For An Aging Parent – An 80 Year Old Stubborn Father
Resilience in Caregiving: The Story of an 80-Year-Old's Unyielding Independence

Anonymous writes in:

Caring for an aging parent, especially one as stubborn as my 80-year-old father, has been quite the challenge. He had been fairly independent until the last year. After my mother's passing a decade ago, he lived alone. Unfortunately, over the past 20 years, he hasn't been very active. Since retiring, his routine has revolved around television, and he only ventures out to buy TV dinners and soup for his meals.

I've tried for years to persuade my father to engage in for social activities at the local senior center or use services like Meals on Wheels for nutritious food delivery. Regrettably, he's consistently refused any form of assistance. In the last year, his health has deteriorated significantly. He's experienced multiple falls due to weak muscles and dizzy spells. Even as it became clear that his health was declining, he remained resolute in refusing help.

Caring for an aging parent, especially one as stubborn as my father, has been incredibly frustrating. Despite his declining health and mobility issues, he adamantly insists on living at home. He's had several stays at a rehabilitation center due to fall-related injuries, yet he continues to resist moving elsewhere.

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    I've come to realize how challenging it is to care for aging parents, particularly when they are as stubborn and uncooperative as my father. My siblings and I have made numerous attempts to ensure his safety, but his obstinacy presents a significant obstacle. He frequently rejects services we arrange, often raising his voice at us or the service providers because he believes he can manage most things on his own. Caregiver stress is a constant presence in our lives, exacerbated by his stubbornness.

    Adding to the complexity of the situation is the distance; I live about an hour and a half away from my father, making caregiving more challenging. I spend countless hours on the phone coordinating with doctors and in-home support services to ensure his needs are met. The only relief I have is that he no longer drives, a decision that came after his recent health issues.

    Dear Anonymous,

    I want to assure you that what you're going through is not uncommon. Your father is still considered competent and in control of his decisions, which can be incredibly frustrating. He's grappling with the loss of his independence, trying to assert control over what he can in his life, which has become increasingly limited.

    As his world has shrunk, he's become reliant on others for various aspects of his life. He's experiencing social isolation, health fragility, and unhappiness with his current circumstances. Developing a Person-Centered Profile for him and utilizing tools like the Health Care Notebook could prove helpful in understanding his needs better.

    You're doing an admirable job, and I commend your efforts. It's also heartening to know that you have the support of your siblings in this endeavor. Not everyone is as fortunate, as caregiving can often fall solely on one family member while others remain on the sidelines. You are blessed to have a united front in providing care for your father.

    I understand the challenges of providing care from a distance and the many hours spent coordinating services. The relief that he is no longer driving is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for his safety and that of others.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with others; it helps shed light on the complexities of caring for aging parents and reminds us that we are not alone in this journey.

    Warm regards,


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