How do I deal with a nasty father while trying to care for my mom?

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My parents have had multiple health issues over the last year and I have been able to help them out because I live close by and am retired. Recently things got worse for my mom and she was diagnosed with Parkinson's and dementia. Since she always did everything around the house, my father was at a complete loss with regard to cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. They were not eating properly and I wasn't sure my mom was taking her medications. My father wasn't even aware she was having a problem until my brother and I said we needed to take her to the ER because her conversations were very confused. I have been going over every day now to make them meals, clean and help my mother with her PT. Spending as much time as I have been at their house has been an eye-opener as I've heard my father verbally abusing my mother and in her "non-filtered" state now, she has told me some things I didn't know before (she always protected him but no longer does that). I will not allow myself to be treated like he has treated my mom so when he started with swearing and bad behavior yesterday, I told him I wouldn't allow him to treat me that way. He finally asked me to leave which was OK except I am now worried that my mom won't get the care she needs. I am very angry with him and while I recognize he is dealing with a number of issues that are out of his control, I am having a hard time coming up with a way to handle with this. I should mention what started the tirade yesterday - we had agreed that we would talk to an attorney about options available to us if their health continued to decline rapidly. After I set up the appointment, I was telling my father what the attorney would like us to bring to the first visit and he balked at and was difficult about every item. He finally ended up in one of his "explosive anger" episodes. I should also mention that my father does not act like this in public. People in his church think he's wonderful and would be shocked if they knew how he acts at home. To summarize - I really feel that I've been able to help my mom get to a better place with her health and don't want to lose all the hard work she's put into it but I also don't want to be in dealing with my father's behavior as it is puts so much stress on an already stressful situation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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AVA:

Talk with the pastor @ his church and ask for divine intervention. Share, in detail if you have to, about those fits of anger and the verbal abuse your mother has to endure. ... Who knows? Your father might be "muse" in the pastor's Sunday sermon. And maybe knowing that God is watching will help him tone it down a little.

Despite the fear & confusion that trigger his anger, it's time to awaken those dormant cooking skills of his. One way or another he's going to have to become a little more self-reliant.
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I would like to add another thought: your dad's tirades could be anger he is unable to express because of the frustration and confusion over his present life situation and his inability to process or change the direction that things are heading. It's tough inside and out!
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Would it be possible to have another person go with you when you go to care for your parents? That way you can work with our mom while the other person occupies Dad. We hired a person to help with light housework and to cook meals to put in the freezer. Maybe this person could cajole your Dad to help chop veggies or fold towels or play a card game! Your dad might have an easier time taking advice or instructions from an outsider. This extra attention could change his overall mood. Just be sure you brief this helper about the situation beforehand to avoid Dad feeling like all of you are taking over while his back is turned and your going to take over making all his decisions for him. My dad suffered from great anxiety, resisence, and anger over those feelings. Best wishes..
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Boy, did your post hit close to home! I have just sold my home and left my job (as a CNA) to move to Arizona to care for my parents. My Mom is 91- Dad is 85. I adore my Mom (she is an Angel!), but my father is mean spirited and always has been. Nevertheless, he is my Dad, and I have learned to accept him as he is- he certainly will not change now! In my work caring for folks with Alzheimer's and Schizophrenia ( I know, strange combination )- I have discovered the only way to manage the stress is to laugh. You need to have at least one friend you can call or text at any moment when the mood is tense. After you vent your frustration- its time to laugh about. Some of my worst experiences on the job have made for great comedy later on. My jokes are shameless, and of course stay private between me and my friend- its been a great way to cope at work. I sure hope it will be the same as I care for my parents!
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Thank you all for you your responses. I appreciate the feedback and knowing that those of you who have dealt with something similar are still sane!
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Ava, also, the being nice to outsiders is classic narcissism. Dad did this, friendly, funny, charming. But alot of people saw through him. Mom on the otherhand is too weird to cover her tracks so all her family knows she is a crazy lady. In the end, they are always "outted" one way or the other.
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Ava: Is it possible that your dad is suffering from some dementia? For your mom's sake, try to have another talk with your dad.
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I had a similar situation, but in the reverse - my mother verbally abused my father who is now deceased; so I understand what you are going through. As mentioned above, you cannot change the narcissistic personality. My mother is like your father in so many ways and the description you gave.

I'm so glad you are considering talking to someone - I had to and it truly helped. The Elder Services in the town my parents lived in saved my sanity. My parents were receiving services from them so I spoke to different members often regarding problems I was having. This was over the phone, until things got worse and they recommended I come in and talk to one of their counselors. These professionals deal with these circumstances so frequently, and were soooo familiar with the narcissistic parent and gave such helpful advice.

Narcissism is a personality disorder,but that is not an excuse for bad behavior. I learned through research that they know what they are doing and manipulation is their desire. When you are on the receiving end of this; it is difficult to convey to others the verbal abuse as they can be so charming to other people. I'm so sorry you are going through this and my heart goes out to you. My mother is in a facility now, but I still have to deal with the verbal abuse, it never ends, unfortunately. I've developed a thicker skin, but it is not easy.

I was my father's confidante and he was able to vent to me; and protecting him as he was frail was my main concern. This is where the help of Elder Services was vital - they gave me coping skills. Bless you and take care.
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I think my mom took the brunt of this in the past and she did enable it to continue (unfortunately). I believe the dynamic that could be going on now is twofold: In my Mom's current state, she is not standing up for him anymore and, since I have been taking over some of the household responsibilities, he is trying to transfer his periodic verbal abuses to me. He isn't always like this but I can never tell what might set him off. He also will never apologize for his behavior, even when he knows he should. This makes it even more difficult as it would allow the opportunity to have a civil discussion on what occurred and how we can stop it from happening again. Thank you for your response - I am considering talking to someone so I can better learn how to cope.
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Has he been this way your entire life? Who covered for him when you were growing up? His "true nature" so to speak may be coming out now or he may have issues of his own.

If you feel he has always been this way read up on narcissism and verbal abuse. My father verbally abused me most of my life, even up until he died. And you guessed it, I don't miss him at all. However, my mom let him. As long as he was abusing me, she got off the hook. She is also a narcissist and controls all the money.

So take a good look at the past for answers. You can not deal with a narcissist. Maybe outside help is in order. There will be many comments to your question. Many of us have had abusive parents. Good luck
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