The Downsides Of Living With Your Elderly Parent


It’s time. Time for me to break the silence.

I’ve kept quiet about this for far too long.

There are what I will call downsides of living with your elderly parent. Some of you may know about these because you’ve lived with an elderly parent. Some of you may have been born to older parents, and even gotten some experience with it before leaving the nest.

Some of you will be completely oblivious to any of this. It is you I wish to educate.

The Temps

As I sit here in a pile of my own sweat, wondering how many pounds I have lost just by melting into the couch…stripped down to the thinnest pair of yoga pants that I own and a tank top that is in and of itself too hot…

I realize that the temps are the absolute biggest downside of living with your elderly parent.

Old people get cold. My father – who has lived with us now for going on two years – is 73. As soon as he turned 70, a switch flipped and suddenly he was cold all the time. All the time.

I realized it once he went out of town with us and shared a hotel room, something we will never do again (the sharing of the room). I woke up at about 3 in the morning, drenched in sweat and thinking there was something wrong with me.

Nope. Nothing wrong with me, my dad had just turned the heat in the hotel room up to 84.

Now at home, if the heat is not turned up at a minimum to 78 degrees, my dad wears something that looks like a parka, walking around the house with layers of blankets draped all over him, whining and bitching about the cold in the house. Finally, at some point, it became so intolerable that I just said ‘screw it’ and turned up the heat.

So we all swelter while my dad walks around all smug in his short sleeved t-shirt.

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The Candy

Old people have a thing with candy. And cookies. And cake.

If there isn’t a healthy supply of candy and cookies and cake around, old people get crabby. Every night, around the same time, my dad comes downstairs and asks where the candy is. If I say there is none he opens the pantry and says “don’t we have any cookies or any chocolate cake?”

Nope, not on the regular, dad.

Then he goes into a rampage about how there’s never anything here he wants or can eat, which is strange because there is always a ton of food he likes and can eat. It’s just not typically candy or cookies or cake.

The Thirty Minute Questions

My dad asks a lot of questions.

He needs help with the Wifi. He doesn’t understand the cable. He has a question about Microsoft Word. He needs to ask for opinions on how many new pairs of socks he should buy.

What seem like quick and simple conversations with another human being immediately become a minimum of a thirty minute commitment when the elderly are involved.

It’s just a fact.

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The McDonald’s

I cook every meal that we eat of the day. We never eat out, except for the rare occasion that we go to In N Out.

I make really good and full meals too. There’s always multiple fruits and vegetables per meal. I worry about proportions of meat to grain to produce. What I’m saying is that I put a lot of planning and effort into every meal, and yet for some reason my dad always prefers to eat at fucking McDonald’s.

I make gluten free meatloaf with homemade whipped potatoes and corn on the cob with steamed asparagus and green beans?

Dad wants fucking McDonald’s.

I get up excessively early in the morning to prepare fruit-stuffed waffles with scrambled egg casserole and a fruit slush salad?

Dad wants fucking McDonald’s.

I spend four hours hand rolling homemade gnocchi, making from scratch a large batch of pasta sauce and homemade noodles, making sure to cut the noodles in the different shapes that everyone in the family likes?

Dad wants fucking McDonald’s.

The 9 o’clock Bedtime

It is 9:06 pm. My dad just told me he’s going to bed.

The children don’t even go to bed that early.

It’s not a problem because the living room and his room are far enough apart that there should be no problems with noise.

Although every once in a while he complains that we were too loud later in the evening.

The real problem where this comes in is when he gets up earlier than everyone else in the morning and bangs and smashes around the house until we’re all up. And I’m making  a huge breakfast,while sweltering in the house that is now clearly over 200 degrees, only for him to go to McDonald’s anyway.

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One Comment on “The Downsides Of Living With Your Elderly Parent

  1. Hilarious. Shim over here, I’m always freezing. We could have a long whine about all you hot blooded people with the heat turned on full force while wearing our beanies and coats.

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