My 75 yr old father lives with me and has become abusive and it's getting worse.

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He has had 3 strokes and been in and out of nursing homes for the last 3 yrs. He always lives with me when not residing in a nursing home. He has been here 4 mths this time. He gets around really well but still needs some assistance. He is paralyzed on his right side. recently he became very agitated over my decision to purchase him a lift chair. (with his money) he became so out of control that I thought I would have to call the police. He tried to hit me with his quad cane and broke some of my things. he attempted to leave the house (we have 4 large steps at our front door) & he cannot manage these on his own. My son talked him into going into his bedroom and calming down. Tonite I got him ready for bed & went to check on him 5 minutes later & he was in an extra room we use for storage going thru an old dresser. when I asked him what he was doing he started yelling at me and accusing me of all kinds of things. (not letting him have a phone, he has no shoes, etc) then he came at me shaking and screaming in my face. recently he has asked me if someone lives in this extra room because he hears noises all nite. He talks about conversations we did not have. most of the time I just change the subject. But I do answer him about no-one living in the extra room. I reported this to his Dr last week and a psychiatric nurse came and spoke to him. he was very lucid when speaking to her and she acted like I had a problem! She even said he needed to live elsewhere. She is due here tomorrow for a follow up visit. he thinks she is coming to move him out. & call the police on me. Everyday he talks about going back to a nursing home and 10 minutes later he's gonna stay at home. I have 2 siblings but they do not help at all. I hired a lady to keep him company a few days a week so he can have company because he has no visitors. I figured he'd like some company. he does ,but doesn't want to pay her. he agreed to help with rent and utilities in exchange for me quitting my job to take care of him but tells everybody I'm stealing his money. I think he needs a psych eval at a hospital. How do I arrange for that? Also, when he gets so out of control that he could hurt himself WHO do I call and what do I say to make them take me seriously? I'm at my wits end.


Rosie, I am so very sorry you are going through this!

Everything you describe is consistent with dementia. I suppose it could be some other kind of mental illness, too. He definitely needs a psych eval, but I don't know whether it needs to be in a hospital setting or on an outpatient basis. Has he been tested for a urninary tract infection? That can bring on symptoms that look like dementia.

I feel sorry for your poor dad. He did not ask for this mental illness, and if he really understood what is going on, he'd probably be appalled. But bottom line for you is, you cannot put yourself in harm's way. No one needs to risk abuse. This time he broke some of your things. Next time what if he breaks your arm, or worse? He needs to live elsewhere. If he gets a clear diagnosis and he gets on some meds that calm him, you can reevaluate the situation. But for now, that nursing home sounds like a real good idea.

By the way, being lucid and charming in front of medical personnel and company is so common in dementia it has a name -- show-timing. If that psych nurse has any experience at all with dementia, she will know that.

Good luck!
Ditto to what Jeanne wrote. If your father has had three strokes, chances are high that he is exhibiting signs of vascular dementia. The exact symptoms of vascular dementia depends on what part of the brain has damage. It will be very helpful to your father, as well as to you, to have him evaluated by a neurologist. There may be medications to help prevent further brain damage and medications aimed at symptom control. I hope that you will be able to get him to go to the neurologist without any anger on his part. Another thing you may consider as a last resort is to call the police if he becomes violent again and ask them to take him to the ER. If you explain the situation, the ER may hold him for psych evaluation. Please check with the hospitals in your area to see which one may have a good geriatric psych program. That will be the ER you will want your father taken to.

Good luck. My thoughts are with you. {{{{rosie123}}}
BTW, the last resort option of calling the police sounds handy, but it can have some long-lasting effects on family bonds and trust. I hope you are able to find a gentler way of handling things.
Considering the strokes, it sounds very much like vascular dementia. My father has the same thing, but your father is much further along; he is now believing you have someone else in the other room. My father has moments that he becomes angered, but having noticed this early on, I had the neurologist place him on something for his mood disorder; he's on Depakote. It's not a cure all, fix all as he still has moods now and again, but it makes him much easier to deal with.
Your father definitely requires a psych evaluation. If you are receiving any type of home health, a social worker can perform a mini psych evaluation. It sounds as though meets all the criteria for NH care, based on his daily activities of life.
Contact his primary care physician if you don't have home health and have him evaluated. It's for both your sake and his.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Wearing the T-shirt are not alone.
I am not sure which state you live in but in California the police have the ability to place someone on a hold "5150" for 72 hours to be evaluated in a psychiatric hospital. It is a pretty brutal way to go but it does work and gets them into a unit for evaluation. It does sound like vascular dementia but does the diagnosis really matter? If his behaviors are putting you or a family member - or himself - in danger it is probably time for a long term facility. It is sad but in all probability he is only going to get worse. A neuro exam would also be helpful but in his state he will probably not be too cooperative. Good luck and please do not put you or your family at risk because some of society deems that adult children are to give up their own lives to take care of an aging parent who would probably do better in a nursing home. Good luck to you,,,,
I may get blasted off this forum, but reading what you are going through. I have been through a little similiar situations with my mother and she makes me out to be a monster. After some time of putting up with this from her, I no longer care. I've been abused all my life and I will not take it any more at my age of nearly 60 years.
She is now living with her "favorite" neice for two months, and the neice is ready to drop her off at a nursing home. My cousin had no idea how my mother really acted. She thought that she could handle my mother because she is a tough cookie herself, but my mother is battering her emotionally. My mother of 83 years old is and has been a bully all of my life. She tries to bully me from 600 miles away and I no longer allow it. I don't care any longer.
I will not have my mother in my home treating me and my husband of 40 years with her outrageous abuse.
You are being abused. Even if it is dementia, why on earth should you put up with being abused?
Do whatever you have to do. Get a tape recorder from Radio Shack and tape him abusing you verbally. Get a camera handy and take a picture if he goes to raise his fist.
Do whatever it takes to prove to other people that you are being abused.
Document as much as you can. Document all expenses so that he cannot convince anybody that you are stealing if he so happens to be lucid when talking to them.
I know what you are going through and it is a nightmare.
I would get a pysch evaluation. See if he can be treated with meds to make his behaviors less aggressive. If that does not work, you need to protect yourself. He should be placed in a mental institution/ nursing home. Do not put your safety at risk.

Good luck.

A facility for elders with this problem is likely the better answer to all that abuse. It's hard to love someone abusive and it may help you both if dad gets treatment and you live without all that dangerous abuse. Try it.

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