Post # 1
Dear dear bees,
I know this is a wedding board and therefor a happy place, not made for “tragic familiy stories” but you all are always so great with advice and I ask you to please share it with me!
My dad (almost 61) had a stroke 2 years ago. He was pretty lucky and got help immediatly so he got away pretty good at first. One consequence was a valvular transplant. Due to that he wasn’t allowed to lift heavy things, work hard etc. anymore, his boss wasn’t happy and my dad lost his job. My dad is a locksmith and has always worked hard, he has absolutly no clue about PCs and office work. So with not being able to do what he is good at and not being able to work in a different field my dad has been unemployed ever since and will probably be furthermore. This has left him feeling unappreciated and not beeing valuable to society and has led to depression. He is letting himself go, has no more hope/motivation and blames everything and everyone but himself for his situation. He is not suicidal but I can’t exclude him becoming it. He also suffers from some kind of dementia. He absolutly fights being called depressed and has no hindsight in being mentaly ill. My mum couldn’t hold up with that anymore and currently moves out of their appartment. The seperation is final. As you can imagine my dad is heartbroken as he has only me and my mum (no more family attached). So to sum up my dad will be living alone in a couple weeks, is not in a good mental state and I can’t for the love of it say if he can manage to live on his own (organisational stuff like bank, insurence should be the biggest issuses). I live with my SO in another state (appr. 3h away) and our living situation will probaly change next year, we might move to another state maybe even country. For the last couple weeks I am thinking about what to do with my dad. My big question really is: Should I move him to my area? Not living with us or too close because I want him to learn to live independant and think it wouldn’t help anyone if I take over his tasks. He has some loose contacts at home but not really friends. When thinking about it I always end up mixing my own wishes into the matter since I really miss/love my parents and want them to live close to me. My mum and pretty much everyone thinks I will ruin my live/relationship if I move him here because I can’t stop his downward spiral and will break to pieces trying to. My SO thinks my dad will be able to live on his own in his current city but would be willing to move him here if is absolutly not.
Has anyone been through a similar experience? What are your advices? I absolutly appreciate every comment and helpful idea!!!
That said I work with mentally ill teens so I kinda know what I would get into and how to handle specific situations. Of course those kids are only patients and my dad is my dad so there is a whole other level of emotional distance involved.
Post # 2
I forgot to mention that I have no idea what my dad thinks about moving here since I haven’t talked to him about it. I want to have a clear opinion first because I think he might absolutly love the idea.
Post # 4
Zimtstern: i dont really have any advice but i wanted to say how sorry i am for you that you’re going through this. is there any independent living centers in your area that he could live in? ones where he has his own apartment but has the help of workers/aids etc? that might help him become more independent and not feel like a burden to anyone. plus i think those places offer counselling so that would help him too with the depression. plus meeting other people his age and with similar issues, he’d form friendships and start becoming happy again. i dont know if that helps you in anyway.
Post # 5
ScubaSiren: I haven’t thought about that yet. Thank you, sounds like a pretty good idea. I have to check if we have such a center in our area that isn’t only for elders. I guess such an appartment will be very expensive but maybe he gets covered by his health insurance.
Post # 6
Zimtstern: you’re welcome. i dont really know how to help you with the insurance aspect of that as up in Canada, things are different. i’d see what your options are and how much things are in your state first as i think having you close by at the beginning would help him in is current state of mind. it sounds too at this point that he needs some serious help – mostly emotionally and psychologically than physically. maybe having home care would work too just incase its expensive to have him move into an independent living center.
Post # 7
I would look into a senior center. Many communities have a place for seniors – not a living situation, but a place to go and be social with other seniors. Many of them also handle seniors with dementia, and have staff there to assist. It gives them something to look forward to on a daily basis, they can make friends, play cards, whatever they want. And the families have the peace of mind that they’re in a safe place during the day.
Pricing tends to vary, depending on the services offered and needed. The one I volunteered at served breakfast and lunch, and the families were charged for the meal if the person didn’t bring one with. Overall though, it was pretty low cost.
Post # 8
I would talk to a social worker (or whatever the equivalent role is in your country if you’re not in the US). There are a variety of options and resources for seniors ranging from job placement for seniors who want to work, community centers where seniors can spend time together, public transportation shuttles that help seniors get around at low cost without driving or having to navigate a public bus or subway system, and volunteer opportunities. All of these things can help your father be out of the house more, which may help him become happier and more active in living his life. A social worker may also be able to provide advice on mental health resources and counselors, as well as senior benefits that may be available to help him have more money for daily life. Lastly I would definitely try to get him interested into a retirement living community– these are not the depressing “old folks homes” you hear about. These days, many retirement communities offer fantastic amenities such as social events, cultural events, group outings (mall, lunch, museums) and light sports, all onsite. More importantly, these communities offer a chance for older folks to remain socially engaged which can help keep a person mentally at their best, and keep them from falling into loneliness and depression.