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suzie271's avatar

I am 28. My father refuses to come to terms with the fact that i am no longer living under his wings and due to get married soon. Based on the following scenario what do you think I should do ?

Asked by suzie271 (284points) January 25th, 2011

I think he is going in sane.

Is it dementia? He is 72.

Someone from the government census passed by his house to ask him who lives there.

He said that he and his daughter live there.

I live in a foreign country and have been for the past 5 years.

I visit him once a year.

He tries to argue with me that as long as I am not married my residence is where he lives .

That the apartment I am living in now is not my residence but just a diggs?

What does this mean? It is really weird. I am convinced he is suffering from dementia.

Opinions please.

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I don’t have enough evidence to say whether your father has dementia.

His view point is old-fashioned to say the least.

Other than telling the census taker that, why is it bothering you?

You are in a different country.

suzie271's avatar

it bothers me because i find it upsetting.. and very weird..i guess i care about him..

I am the only one of his children that maintains regular contact with him.

I also find it insulting that he refuses to accept my adult life here as an adult life and sees it more as a student status.

john65pennington's avatar

My suggestion, until further medical proof is obtained, is to just go with the flow with your dad. I know you love him and he loves you. Forever, you will always be his little girl, no matter how old you are. my daughter is 41 and I feel the same toward her. Just agree with him and then do what you want. I guess this is the way the game is played.

snowberry's avatar

Welcome to Fluther, @suzie271. And welcome to being an adult daughter of an elderly parent. I took care of my father for 15 years until he died. The last 8 years we lived together. As he aged, the conversations we had got weirder and weirder. What you describe sounds strange, but not to the point where he is incapable of self care, and that is the focus here. That is what a professional would look for.

I suggest you document strange behavior. Start a (very private) journal of conversations about his health, visits to the doctor, etc. Do include “normal” conversations to provide perspective.

Do contact a social worker who specializes in working with the elderly. They may be able to point you to a class, support group, or written material to help you understand what you are dealing with. One of your concerns is to know what is “dangerous” compared to what is a variation of normal.

Above all, try to maintain a sense of humor. Do not take yourself too seriously. When my father lived with us, I used to tell people (and sometimes Dad) I live with him, or he lives with me, depending on who’s talking and who’s mad at who.

I can tell you this. Because we learned to appreciate his sometimes strange habits, my family has many fond memories of Dad’s last years.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Are you there in the other country as a student? If that is the case, it could be that he views it as a temporary situation and that his home is still your home since you are in the other country as a student.

Have you asked him why he feels the way he does about your situation?

suzie271's avatar

I work and am getting married in two months

lonelydragon's avatar

If this is unusual behavior for him, then he may have dementia, but otherwise he’s probably just old-fashioned. I am around your age and my parents are the same way. They seem to think that my current dwelling is just a vacation home or something. For your dad, it may be a generational thing, because the women of his generation probably wouldn’t have left the parental home until after marriage. So maybe he just can’t adapt to a new paradigm. He may let up after you get married. It may be worthwhile to get him tested for dementia, just to cover all your bases, but try not to let his resistance worry you. After all, it’s your life. You know where you live.

Judi's avatar

Let him keep his dillusuion. It’s not hurting anything. When people get old it’s more important to make them feel validated than to make them right.
When he’s gone you will be much happier if you had let him see you as his little girl than if you had spent his last 10 years fighting with him about it.

lonelydragon's avatar

@Judi It doesn’t sound like a delusion in this case. He didn’t simply forget that OP no longer lives with him. He’s making the argument that unless she’s married, her residence is with him. There may actually be consequences to his behavior. I believe that giving wrong answers on a census form be punishable by fine.

snowberry's avatar

Yeah, that’s worth finding out. If it is indeed that he could be fined, it’s also possible that the original poster might be expected to file a W-2 form. There could be legal consequences.

You might want to call a tax attorney or CPA, or perhaps this is a question an IRS agent might be able to answer.

lonelydragon's avatar

I meant to say “may be punishable”. Oops.

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