Paranoid and delusional elderly Dad.

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87 year old father who is defensive about even the slightest question; unpleasant, irritable; potentially violent; keeps guns and knives; has delusions that those who have done most for him are now trying to harm him; very poor judgment; spends thousands of dollars on items he cannot use; will not clean up house--leaves food to rot and collect maggots; if he drops food or trash he just steps over it or leaves it where it fell; cannot make out checks and doesn't pay bills. I am the only one of my siblings who is able to deal with my Dad.
Sometimes I must take things on a moment to moment basis as he is very paranoid, delusional and confrontational. He is financially well off but has started to spend foolishly.
For example he has purchased 2 new ATV's and he cannot operate even one.
I have recently started writing the checks for his bills and giving them to him for signature. He spends hours on the phone with a female 40 years his junior who is an opiod addict and who is married. He will not consider an ALF and will not permit me to hire a caregiver. To be honest I am frightened of him in some instances as he keeps weapons hidden all over the house and never know when he will turn on me. He constantly eats and is obese and in poor health. I have to take him to physicians in another city because local doctors will not treat him due to his unpleasant behaviors. I am at a loss on how to plan his care as he has so many issues to contend with.


Wow, what a load you are carrying! As the oldest you are what, sixty or so? Time to be moving toward a little relaxation, not what you are dealing with here.

It really sounds like your dad has dementia, or some other mental impairment. Ideally he needs to be seen by a geriatric psychiatrist. Would that be possible?

I think you need to disengage from this situation for your own safety. Naturally you will not want to abandon your father, but you have limited power to do anything for him. Adults who have not been judged incompetent by a court are free to made their own choices, including very foolish or self-destructive choices. But you do not have to put yourself in harm's way.

I think I'd start by calling your state's agency on aging. Describe the situation and see what options they can suggest.

You might also consider calling Adult Protective Services and explain your father's situation, that you are afraid that his habits are a threat to his well-being. Caution them that he might become violent.

His county Human Services office may be another source of help to you. Explain that he does not need financial assistance but you are worried about his welfare.

Start with the Aging Agency and talk to others. If you decide that the route you are willing to take is to responsible for him, and two doctors believe he is incompetent to manage his own affairs, you could pursue guardianship. Personally, I wouldn't do that, but it would give your authority to make decisions like where he will live and whether he can keep weapons in the house. But having the authority isn't the same as being easily able to enforce it, is it?

Others will be along with other suggestions. Please keep us informed about how this goes for you.

I am sorry you have to deal with such a challenging ordeal with your father. It certainly sounds like there is some form of geriatric psychiatric issues going on and it could very well be dementia. I am unsure what state you are in but every state has laws that if someone is a harm to their selves or others, they will be involuntarily admitted for treatment for 72 hours. If he ever becomes a threat in that manner (threatening to harm himself or others in anyway) you call 911 and explain the entire situation, that he is elderly and delusional due to a cognitive issue, they will send out EMTs this might be your first step in getting him some kind of treatment since he seems to not want to do things on a voluntary basis. Also, I would also do some self education the Alzheimer's Association is a great place to seek education, many free to family/caregivers. They will help you learn to deal with his behaviors and provide you with additional resources as well I hope this helps. Once he is stable perhaps you should see guardianship over him as it sounds as if he is very incompetent. I wish you the best!
Thank you for your comments. I have attempted to take my Dad to a geriatrician. He refuses to cooperate. I have reported his condition to the DHS and advised that he has weapons which he has threatened to use. They sent an investigator and he outright lied to to the investigator. He cannot safely live by himself but I am going to notify DHS of his predicament and remove myself from the environment.

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