What Do You Do When Your Elderly Father Turns Against You

As we grow older, we often witness a role reversal with our parents. We become the caregivers, the nurturers, and the decision-makers. But what happens when this dynamic takes a turn for the worse? When your elderly father, who you have always loved and respected, suddenly turns against you?

It’s a painful and confusing situation that many adult children face. The hurt and betrayal can be overwhelming, especially when you have dedicated so much time and effort to caring for your parent. The emotional toll of this situation can leave you feeling lost and alone, unsure of what steps to take next.

But don’t despair; you’re not alone in this struggle. Many others have faced similar challenges and come out on the other side with newfound strength and clarity. If you’re currently grappling with this issue, then read on. You may find comfort and support in knowing that others have faced this same struggle and come out stronger on the other side.

Reasons for Elderly Parents Turning Against Their Children

1. Dementia or other cognitive disorders

As we get older, our bodies and minds go through a lot of changes. For some elderly parents, this can mean developing dementia or other cognitive disorders. These conditions can cause them to act in ways that are out of character and even turn against their own children.

Dementia is a brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. As the disease progresses, it can cause confusion, agitation, and even aggression. It’s not uncommon for an elderly parent with dementia to lash out at their loved ones, including their children.

Other cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, can also lead to changes in behavior that may cause an elderly parent to turn against their children. These disorders can affect the way the brain processes information and may cause a person to act impulsively or unpredictably.

If you suspect that your elderly parent’s behavior is related to a cognitive disorder, it’s essential to seek medical attention. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it’s possible to manage the symptoms of these conditions and improve your parent’s quality of life.

2. Emotional or psychological issues

As our parents age, they may experience a variety of emotional and psychological issues that can impact their behavior toward their children. These issues can range from depression and anxiety to dementia and other cognitive impairments.

For example, your once loving and caring father may suddenly become irritable and aggressive due to depression or anxiety. Alternatively, your parent may be struggling with dementia, which can cause confusion and memory loss, leading them to act out of character.

It’s essential to understand that these behavioral changes are not a result of your actions or behavior. Instead, they stem from underlying emotional or psychological issues that require proper diagnosis and treatment.

It’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding, even if your parent’s behavior is hurtful or challenging to deal with. Remember that it’s not personal, and seeking professional help may be the best course of action to address these underlying issues.

3. Physical health issues

Chronic pain, mobility issues, and age-related illnesses can all contribute to feelings of frustration and helplessness, which can sometimes be directed toward their children.

Imagine experiencing constant pain or discomfort and feeling like there’s nothing you can do to fix it. It’s no wonder that this can lead to irritability or even anger towards those closest to us, including our children. It’s not necessarily that your parent is turning against you personally; it may be that they’re struggling to cope with their own physical limitations.

In some cases, physical health issues can also contribute to cognitive declines, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. This can make it difficult for your parent to remember who you are or communicate effectively, which can be incredibly distressing for both of you.

So, if your elderly parent is suddenly acting out of character, it’s important to consider whether physical health issues may be at play. 

Encouraging them to seek medical attention or offering support in managing their symptoms could go a long way in improving your relationship and easing their frustration.

4. Financial strain or dependence

One of the reasons why elderly parents may turn against their children is due to financial strain or dependence. As we get older, our financial situation can become more complicated, and we may become more reliant on our children for support.

For example, if a parent has health issues that require costly medical treatments or ongoing care, this can put a significant strain on their finances. In such cases, they may look to their children for financial assistance, which can create tension and stress in the relationship.

On the other hand, if an elderly parent is financially dependent on their child, this can also create a power dynamic that can strain the relationship. The parent may feel like they have lost their independence and may resent their child for having to rely on them.

Financial strain or dependence can be a tricky issue to navigate, but it’s important to remember that communication is key. Both parties need to have open and honest conversations about their financial situation and expectations. If there are disagreements, seeking the help of a financial advisor or mediator may be helpful in finding a solution that works for everyone.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that financial strain or dependence is a common issue that many families face. With understanding and empathy, it’s possible to overcome these challenges and maintain a positive relationship with your elderly parent.

Signs That Your Elderly Father is Turning Against You

As our parents grow older, it’s common for us to take on a caregiving role. We want to ensure that they are safe, healthy, and happy in their twilight years. But what happens when the relationship between you and your elderly father starts to sour? What are the signs that he is turning against you?

Here are a few indicators that your elderly father may be turning against you:

1. He becomes increasingly irritable and argumentative

If your father is usually mild-mannered but has suddenly become more confrontational, this could be a sign that he’s turning against you. He may be taking out his frustrations on you, or he may be feeling threatened by your presence.

2. He becomes more secretive and defensive

If your father is hiding things from you or becomes defensive when you ask him about his activities, this could be a sign that he’s turning against you. He may be trying to distance himself from you or keep you in the dark about his decisions.

3. He becomes hostile towards your other family members

If your father starts lashing out at other family members or talking negatively about them, this could be a sign that he’s turning against you. He may be trying to isolate himself from the family or drive a wedge between you and your loved ones.

4. He becomes more critical of your decisions and actions

If your father starts nitpicking your every move and criticizing your decisions, this could be a sign that he’s turning against you. He may be feeling resentful that he’s no longer in control of his life or jealous of your independence.

5. He becomes distant and withdrawn

If your father starts withdrawing from family activities and interactions, this could be a sign that he’s turning against you. He may be feeling neglected or unsupported and may be looking for ways to distance himself from the family.

Coping Strategies

Dealing with an elderly father who has turned against you can be a very difficult and emotional experience. It’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and that there are strategies you can use to help you cope with this situation. In this blog post, we’ll explore four coping strategies that can help you navigate this difficult time.

The first strategy is to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you process your emotions and provide guidance on how to navigate your relationship with your father. They can also offer coping strategies tailored to your specific situation.

For example, if your father is struggling with dementia or a mental illness, a therapist can provide you with tools to communicate with him effectively.

The second strategy is to set boundaries. It’s essential to establish boundaries with your father to protect your emotional well-being. You may need to limit the amount of time you spend with him or avoid certain topics of conversation that trigger negative reactions. 

For example, if your father becomes agitated when discussing politics, you may need to avoid those conversations altogether. It’s important to communicate your boundaries clearly and calmly, so your father understands your limits.

The third strategy is to find a support system. It can be incredibly helpful to talk to others who have experienced similar situations. You may want to consider joining a support group or connecting with friends and family members who have gone through similar experiences. They can provide you with emotional support and advice on how to cope.

The fourth strategy is to practice self-care. It’s essential to take care of yourself during this difficult time. This may involve taking time for yourself to relax and recharge, engaging in activities you enjoy, or seeking out hobbies that bring you joy. 

For example, if you enjoy reading, you may want to set aside time each day to read a book or magazine. You may also want to consider engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to help manage stress.

Legal Considerations

When dealing with an elderly father who has turned against you, there are legal considerations that you need to be aware of to protect yourself and your father. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones:

1. Protection orders

If your father’s behavior towards you becomes abusive or threatening, you may need to obtain a protection order. This is a legal document that prevents him from contacting you or coming near you. It’s essential to protect your safety and well-being, and you can seek help from the court system to get a protection order.

2. Guardianship or conservatorship

If your father is unable to make decisions for himself due to mental or physical incapacity, you may need to pursue guardianship or conservatorship. These legal arrangements allow you to make decisions on behalf of your father, such as medical decisions, financial decisions, or even where he lives. It’s a significant responsibility, but it may be necessary if your father is unable to care for himself.

3. Power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to make decisions on behalf of your father. It can be helpful if he’s still capable of making decisions but needs help with certain tasks or doesn’t want to handle them himself. With a power of attorney, you can handle things like paying bills, managing bank accounts, and making medical decisions.

These legal considerations can be complex, and it’s essential to seek professional advice to understand your options fully. However, they are vital to protecting yourself and your father in a difficult situation.


  • Protect yourself: If your elderly father’s behavior towards you becomes abusive or threatening, seek help from the court system to obtain a protection order.
  • Consider guardianship or conservatorship: If your father is unable to make decisions for himself due to mental or physical incapacity, you may need to pursue legal arrangements that allow you to make decisions on his behalf.
  • Use a power of attorney: If your father is still capable of making decisions but needs help with certain tasks, consider a power of attorney to handle things like paying bills or making medical decisions.
  • Seek professional advice: Legal considerations can be complex, and it’s essential to seek professional advice to understand your options fully.

Know that you’re not alone: Many others have faced similar challenges and come out stronger on the other side. It’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist during this difficult time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *