When no one does anything...

Started by

My 89 year old fathers' behavior has gotten worse. He has a very unhealthy obsession with my sister. If I or anyone else gets close to her he becomes insanely jealous. It does not matter who it is. Me, my other siblings, my children. He will get extremely upset. I cannot take it anymore. Within the past month alone, he has gotten into VERY Heated verbal confrontations with myself, my sister and brother. My children have wound up crying over these incidents. On Monday, I nearly had a nervous break down after an argument with him. Everyone threatens to "have him evaluated" but no one does anything about it.
It seems like all we do is threaten in the situation, myself included. On Monday I screamed into the phone at my siblings that if they did not do something about him immediately that I would leave. Nothing has been done. It make me wonder, if I really did leave if they would finally take action. Im not working from home anymore and I am earning more money. (Still not enough to get any apartment where I live).
His behavior could be due to dementia but honestly, I remember him acting this way from the time I was little. If he does have Dementia, what can be done ? Although he can do things on his own in terms of taking care f himself, I think he should be in an Assisted Living Facility. At home, he sits on the couch staring at everyone or acting helpless. Yet, he does not want my sister to lift a finger. At this point I cant stand the sight of him.

22 Comments

Does he have a regular doctor? If he does, you should write a note, outlining his worsening mental status. If you and your siblings do not have Medical PO.a or a signed HIPAA form, the doctor can't discuss him with you, but his doctor should have this information.

Are you doing caregiving tasks for him? What is your status in his home.? How old are your children?

I agree that his doctor needs to be informed about his behavior. Perhaps, he can be treated.

I would try to discuss the situation with the family and explain that something is not right with him. Theatrics, screaming and getting out of sorts is not really going to help. I would not take his behavior personally. Figuring out the cause and solving it would be the best use of your time and effort.

I would not leave any children with him, until the matter is resolved, since his behavior sounds unpredictable.
My status is unpaid maid lol. I do some cargiving tasks, such as give him his morning medication, on the weekends I fix his breakfast and give his morning medication. If the HHA does not come, I handle all of the the meals medication management for the day. Physically he does not need assistance to bathe, dress, he mainly just needs companionship. I also pay his bills online for him. My children are 12, 14 and 16. Why do you ask ?
I ask about your children because I wonder what their interaction is with him that leads to tears. I wonder if what's going on might be considered verbal abuse by Child Protective Services.

It seems as though, at the very least, your dad is mentally ill. This may be dementia, or just a worsening of a lifelong condition . In your shoes, I would choose what to "argue" about with care. If he says there are elephants in the room, or that your sister is Eleanor of Aquitaine, I'd agree.

Decide what is important (safety, maybe some hygiene ) and leave the rest be.

Call your local Area Agency on Aging and find out what services are available locally.
Sorry for misunderstanding Babalou :)) They get upset because of the fighting between my father and whatever adult he is arguing with . He basically ignores them or has horrible things to say about my oldest child.
My siblings and I were all adopted so now in this late stage of life he throws it in our faces every chance he gets. Our mother could not have children of her own so they adopted us each from different families. My older siblings were infants or very young toddlers I was 3. Honestly Ive always felt he never really wanted me around. A child knows, just like my youngest says she has known what type of person he is since was very litfle. After our mother passed away, his real feelings began to show or should I say, he no longer had to pretend.to love any of us. He does not even acknowledge my children as his grandchildren at one point he was calling them "his nieces" From the moment I stepped foot back into the house, he has been horrible toward me and everyone can see it. He even told our HHA that Im not his daughter..She of course took that and ran with it. Thats why she thinks she is in charge of the house because he has made it clear that I am nobody. The other night he reminded my sister that she is not related to my children. Sorry for oversharing but this is a very hurtful situation and it only continues to get worse.
toomuch4me, it really is too much. Babalou is right - if you are finding it nearly intolerable, those children of yours are being scarred permanently. Unless you find some immediate miraculous way to let his behaviors roll off your back like water off a duck, and other family support you, this is not working and could result in DCFS considering it YOUR failure to protect your children. If finances don't allow you to do anything else then get out of there to a shelter. Your providing "companionship" is worthless in this situation. All you are going to do is get angrier and angrier at each other because he is not rational enough to make any changes in what he is doing and saying. He has an HHA. Get out, get your self-esteem back, heal your children's wounds, and get steady again on your own two feet.

I'm an adoptive mom. We would NEVER in a million years accept anyone saying our kids are not our "real" kids. When you adopt someone they are yours. Sure, they have birthparents too, but adoption is real and that's that.
vstefans, that is wonderful that you are an adoptive mother :)) I often think of exactly what you have said. Ive explained to my family numerous times that my children are not used to this type of behavior. My family assumes that because the home (meaning the house) we live in is lovely and the neighborhood is nice that my children's lives are so much better. In that respect it is, but they have never been subjected to this type of behavior. I did make a call to Safe Horizon a year ago, they were no help. I guess they felt "how bad could an 89 year old man be ??"
Growing up, my parents never ended brought up the topic of us being adopted. When I had children of my own, we never made an issue out of me or my siblings being adopted. My children know my siblings as they Aunt and Uncles nothing else.
You don't argue and get out of control with a mentally ill person. It's pointless. If you are the adult in charge, then it's up to you to get the man help and protect the children. Verbal combat is not appropriate for the children. If you are not able to do that, then seek the immediate help of someone who can. When someone is obviously disturbed, you don't focus on matters like favoritism within the family. I would consider the big issue here, which is his overall mental and medical condition. Patients with some mental and medical issues say all kinds of things that they don't even realize they are saying. Look beyond these things and try to determine the cause and treat it.

I would imagine your children are very upset by this experience. It should be immediately addressed. They should not be subjected to such scenes.

Why not discuss this with his doctor? It could be a number of things causing he behavior. You indicate you are giving him daily medication. Why not call his doctor and inform the doctor what is happening. I would think they would want to know about a change in his mental status.
Thanks Sunnygirl. In terms of being in charge, My sister is the POA for everything.
If your sister has the POA, then I would inform her of the situation and explain what needs to be addressed, immediately. I know your post says you are frustrated about the failure of anyone to act. If she still refuses, then I would decide if I am going to step forward and do it without her help or just protect my children from the environment. I wish you all the best.

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