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Aging parents and computers and frustration... Part 2!


athomeontheprairie
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Per a request to split this into two threads, here is part two:

 

Problem two:

As my dad has gotten older, he's 77, he gets frustrated and angry so quickly.

 

He needed a new computer chair. He went to the store and bought one. He brought it home and set it up and my mom really doesn't like it. My guess, though I haven't had a chance to talk to her, is that it's narrow. My mom is a big woman. That's problematic. It's not his fault. He bought it at Walmart-so no floor models. He didn't buy the one other chair they had because it was similar to the one that needed replaced. He was super angry that she doesn't like it. Lately, it's like my mom can't do anything right-and she didn't do anything wrong!

 

He will yell at my kids (they are fine, I promise) but the moment the words are in his head (not out of his mouth) he expects obedience. When instant obedience isn't given, he gets upset and raises his voice and gives the command again. and again. and again.

Ummm... It doesn't work that way. Things like "Stop doing that" well, which kid do you want to stop? And WHAT do you want them to stop doing? The instructions aren't clear. They'll happily obey, they just A. need to know who he's talking to B. What he wants them to do or not do. and C. when talking to my little guys they need a moment to process the command and put it into action.

 

I'm growing more and more concerned about his mental health. I can call his doctor, but don't know what to do or say, or if they can even DO anything. What do I need to be doing to prepare for this? How do I help my mom who I think is slipping into a depression? I'm afraid he is verbally abusing her. NOT intentionally. Possibly not even directly, but he's just losing it, kwim?

Additionally, as he's gotten older he's started drinking more. He never drank anything but beer when I was a kid. But he worked at the time. He wasn't drunk drunk, just one or two beers after a 12 hour day before bed. Now that he's retired, it's become a LOT more than that, and it's all day. I don't think there's anyway I can get him to give it up. Though, my dh told him the kids couldn't be around him if he was smoking. And in 6months he broke a 50+ year long habit. So maybe my DH can :)

 

IDK thoughts?

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It does sound like there may be an underlying issue such as depression or even dementia.

 

He my be upset that his wife doesn't like the chair he picked either because he doesn't want to get rid of it or maybe because he does want to have done something "wrong"

 

As far as yelling at the kids, I would not have them around him if his drinking is a problem, but what is the possibility that he can't remember the kid's name or find the words to be able to tell them what the problem is.

 

I admit I could be way off base and he is just a mean, grumpy old man, but I am more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and think that something is wrong physically or mentally.

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It does sound like there may be an underlying issue such as depression or even dementia.

 

He my be upset that his wife doesn't like the chair he picked either because he doesn't want to get rid of it or maybe because he does want to have done something "wrong"

 

As far as yelling at the kids, I would not have them around him if his drinking is a problem, but what is the possibility that he can't remember the kid's name or find the words to be able to tell them what the problem is.

 

I admit I could be way off base and he is just a mean, grumpy old man, but I am more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and think that something is wrong physically or mentally.

 

Thank you.

He ISN'T a mean, grumpy old man. He's a very nice loving man. One who really enjoys his grandkids and doing things with them and teaching them. He's usually patient and gentle.

This is out of character.

 

Re: the chair. It was just a recent example. I can think of legitmate reasons why he's upset. The store is 65 miles away. To go somewhere else is farther or online. And there's no problem with the chair he bought. But my mom is equally right. However, while she simply stated her opinion, he got so frustrated and angry. That's what sparked the post. His reactions seem to not be quite normal lately.

 

 

To everyone else... yes drinking can be a problem. But I promise my kids aren't in danger, even emotionally. He isn't yelling at them in a mean way. Yelling here, means "raising his voice to a loud level" He has a hearing aid which he doesn't always wear. So he talks louder than normal to start with. I promise, my kids are in no danger. DH and I are always there. my Dad loves the kids and the kids adore him. He's a great grandpa that is having a difficult time right now. And I want to help, but don't know how.

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I'm not sure what to tell you.  Anxiety?  You could try saying something to him gently, but I think for you to even be able to deal with a doctor, you need to prove incompetency on both their parts.  Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, though.  And if you can't deal with doctors, then unless either your mom is willing to say something, or he is willing to go, there's not much you can do on that end.  :(

 

Can you intercept at all?  Anticipate what he wants and translate before it gets loud and repetitive?  I know that may be an unpopular suggestion, but that's what I'd be inclined to do, especially in this situation and relationship.  Otherwise, I'm not sure.  I'm sorry.  I hope it works out well and soon.    :grouphug:

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You can talk to his doctor; his doctor just can't talk to you due to HIPAA, unless your dad signed a release allowing his doctor to speak with you. Really, any one of a number of things could be going on: general cognitive decline; latent infection (esp a UTI with atypical symptoms); dementia related anger - it isn't unusual for people with dementia, even early dementia, to express anger even if they weren't normally angry people; worsening hearing loss; adverse medication interaction.

 

Of course, he could have more than one of the above going on, too.

Edited by brehon
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