My father calls the police whenever I leave the house - Part 1

Started by


I wasn't able to post my comment the regular way as I kept getting an error that certain formatting characters weren't allowed.

I am about to have a nervous breakdown. This will be a 2 part post as it is so long and is hard to make shorter. I am 55 years old. My father has only been my father in name only, he has never showed me any kind of affection or love my entire life and he ignored me my whole life. I was extremely close to my mom and I was devastated when she passed away because now I was forced to have some kind of relationship with him and I dreaded that.

My father had a heart attack in 1998 and his doctor put him on medication which he has been on constantly until last year when I made his doctor take him off of it, he was on it for 18 years. I believe this medication is the reason for his mental state. I noticed that he was starting to have memory impairment earlier this year but it was just some forgetting. He is 87 years old, very intelligent graduating with honors from Berkeley when he was young, had a great career and he retired in 2001 to take care of my mom who had had a brain aneurysm. In February of this year I had to take the car keys away because he lost the keys twice in one week. The first time he lost them, he parked the car in the park across the street where he walks and claimed that he left them in the car in the cup holder with the door unlocked and someone went in there and took them. The keys to the house were on the key chain. I looked everywhere in the car and couldn’t find them and had to call a tow truck and have a locksmith come out and get a new key as well as have the locksmith change the locks on the house. The 2nd time he lost them was a few days later, he had driven the car to the store to get his groceries with the new car key, he says that the keys wouldn’t work when he tried to drive home after shopping, but they worked as he had driven to the store, and because he now thought this he left the keys on the floorboard, left the car there and walked home. That was in the morning on a Sunday, I was out doing errands and when I got home my caller ID said he called but he left no message. I tried calling him throughout the day but he never answered, I continued to call through the early evening and when I couldn’t reach him I drove over and there were 2 police cars in front of the house and he was in one of them. The cops said that they found him walking on one of the busiest streets around 8:00 p.m., I asked him where the car was, he said the keys didn’t work and he left the keys on the floorboard and left the car there. He then reached into his pocked and pulled out the first set of keys that he claimed were stolen out of the car. I was shocked, I asked him where he found them and he said they were on the side of the driver seat which was not true because I looked every inch of that car and didn’t find them. But, there are about 10 hours of unaccounted for time between when he called me and when the cops picked him up that I have no idea where he was. I don’t know if he walked home after he claims the keys didn’t work and called me, then waited at home for awhile, then went back to the car to try them again, then walked back where the cops found him. Now we had to get his car back, I drove him over in my car, he got in his car, I turned on the headlights then he turned them off, I turned them back on again and he started to follow me very slowly. When we got back to the house, I got out of my car walked behind him and his car started toward me, I ran to the front of the car, yelled for him to put his foot on the brake and then I put the car in park. I asked him if he knew the car was in reverse and he almost hit me and he said no, that he couldn’t see what gear it was in because the console light was dim. Not true. It was at that point that I new I had to take the keys away. I moved back home with him last weekend because his mental impairment has worsened but it has gotten even worse in the last few days. I have been in constant contact with his doctor and tell him everything that he is doing. The day after I moved in he made me oatmeal for breakfast which I was shocked because he has never done that and I didn’t really think anything of it. The next day he made me breakfast again but this time it was horrible cereal that he eats but I would never eat, but I ate it to not offend him. Then he started asking me about when I was going to eat lunch and dinner and he started to make more of his food to give to me and he is on an extremely restrictive diet that he has been on for years which consists of vegetables all mixed together and other things that he makes into a type of stew. It’s horrible stuff and I kept telling him that I have my own food but he won’t listen. I even wrote a big note, not to make me any food, he read it but he doesn’t comprehend what the words mean.
You have a gigantic project in front of you. Am I correct in the fact you are now living with him? Sounds like he cannot be alone.
1. Driving needs to stop before he harms someone else.
2. He needs a geriatric neurologist work up.
3. Sounds like you are in touch with the doctor....but has he been in recently.....tell him it is time for his annual physical...and get him in and hand a note detailing all of his behavior directly to the dr.
This is big and you have my warmest thoughts. Anybody at all to lend you some support with this?
Glenda you have some serious big decisions to make.
Are you prepared to become the full time caregiver for this man? You could be sentencing yourself to years of servitude and abuse as his condition worsens.
A good work up by an MD may provide a diagnosis and give you some facts to help with your decisions.
Are you an only child?
It certainly sounds as though dad's mental status has taken a serious nose dive and there are many reasons why this may have happened including worsening of his heart condition preventing his brain getting a sufficient blood supply. he could have also had more heart attacks and not realized it.
Do you have things like POA in place medical and financial. Consult an elder care lawyer before approaching Dad so you have the best chance of agreement.
I realize you are very anxious a feel trapped right at the moment but try and approach this calmly.
After reading all three of your posts, the thing that strikes me is - you are attempting to reason with someone who is incapable of reasoning. You are expecting appropriate behavior from someone who no longer understands what that is. If you are going to survive this for any length of time you need to educate yourself on dementia. Your fathers brain in dying - he isn't in control of what he is saying or doing nor able to recognise that there is anything wrong with anything he is saying or doing. I know first hand how hard this is to understand and accept yourself. Perhaps it would be better for you to live near by and manage your fathers care rather than attempting to provide it yourself. Begin to spend down your fathers money by way of hiring caregivers - it is an acceptable expense in preparing to qualify for Medicaid.
I can sympathize easily. I profoundly disliked my father after being abused...he should have been in jail. I told him in his old age that he should hope he dies before Mom because the most he can hope for is that I will ensure he gets into a good assisted living/dementia/nursing home facility. Don't expect any contact. He died first. You don't have that luck. For your own health, both physical and mental, you need to insulate yourself from him. He is generating a giant drain hold and sucking you into it. Exit while you can. Fax (generates written record with date) his doctor(s) and tell them his specific behaviors and your opinion of them. Tell them he has no caregiver available. Find out who has the DPOA, and advise them he's their responsibility. If that's unfortunately you, get an attorney to help you. Don't get destroyed in some misguided attempt to care for this man.
Thank you for your responses.

Mincemeat - I took the car keys away in February has he was not alert enough, his insurance is HMO, I'm trying to get an appointment to see a psychiatrist but it is very hard, I have been updating his doctor constantly.

Veronica91 - I have a sister that lives 7 hours away by car, my brother passed away from cancer in 2011, he was going to help me with my dad, he lived in Michigan and was going to sell his house and move out here, then he got cancer. He had a Catscan yesterday to see if he had a stroke, it showed he didn't but his behavior yesterday prompted me to call my sister. He now thinks I am trying to take over the house and he said he was going to call the cops about all the junk I have in the house. I talked to my sister after this and she is going to move him up with her and her family, she will take care of him for the rest of his days, there are a lot of people there that can help, I can't do this anymore. I have POA for medical and financial, he has a DNR, I am successor and co-trustee of his trust.

Rainmon - yes, he does not think that anything is wrong, I have stopped trying to reason with him. He has too many assets to spend down quickly and I don't want to do that.

sophe509 - I am very sorry that you were abused, parents should be subjected to worse abuse for doing that to their children. You had every right telling him that. I am disliking him more every day. Due to more behavior changes yesterday, he now thinks I am trying to take over the house, he told me yesterday that he was going to throw my junk away, that I was moving his stuff aside to make room for mine. I was putting my spices in a kitchen cabinet and he thinks I am taking up all of the room, they only took up 1/2 of a shelf and he had 2 shelves above it both half empty. He said he was going to call the cops about my junk. After he moves with my sister which will probably happen next month, I probably won't see him again and that is fine with me. I have POA for medical and financial. The first thing I'm going to do after he moves is take a much needed vacation, the last one was in 2009 (have to renew my passport), haven't been able to go anywhere due to a lot of things. This is going to be such a huge relief, now I can finally get rid of the stress.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support