My mom is 87-years-old and paranoid, but high functioning. She wants to divorce my 90-year-old dad after more than 60 years of marriage. What are my options?

Asked by

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
I don't know but I did want to say that my mother also mentioned "divorce" when she and Dad got into their 80's. It was weird, because they had always had a fantastic marriage..... but Dad had developed dementia/personality change, and I think she couldn't take it anymore. It shocked me to hear her even entertain the idea of divorce, after having been married for over 50 years. Mom soon developed cancer and then died, so the divorce issue never came up again. You say your mother is "paranoid"...so I understand that to mean she does have diagnosed mental illness, which perhaps has just come about in later years. If I were you, I would talk with your parents' doctor about this. If the idea of your parents divorcing seems totally irrational to you, it probably is. If that's the case, I'd try to steer your mother away from the idea.....somehow or other. Good luck.
Thank you for your thoughts. Her doctor is unreceptive to my requests for help as I am not listed on her POA...it is so frustrating. My mom is growing increasing more anxious and irrational, but insists she is fine.
What I get from this is that she is grasping for another chance at life. It is not rational, from a younger perspective, nor is it realistic, but it resembles an advanced stage "Mid-Life crisis", doesn't it?
Is she taking anything for the anxiety? Effexor or Paxil? Can you get POA?
Lastly, I would remind her of her "vows":).
Hugs, christina
Wow, I am so sorry that you have to go through this, I honestly wish I had something to offer you. Just know I am praying for you and hope a resolve comes soon. What does your father say? Do they sleep in seperate bedrooms? Can you say for money reasons it is best they stay in same home but stay away from each other? How does your father feel about this?

Blessings, Bridget
Horselover, I can really relate to your post. I "get it" as far as your mother becoming more and more irrational, yet she insists she's fine. Also about the doctor being "unreceptive" to your request for help, and his saying this is because you are not POA. I ran into a similar problem when my husband and I were trying to "take the car keys away" from my Dad ( who had developed obvious-to-us dementia). The doctor refused, although he could have helped us here with a doctorly talk with Dad. The doctor said to me : "I don't like to make people cry in my office." I thought that was very strange, but apparently doctors have pressures of their own. In my opinion, it makes sense for the doctor to be the "heavy" in situations like this. So... without the doctor to help us....I ended up finding a trusted relative, who is also a physician, to help us out with getting Dad to stop driving. ( Mom was still alive at this point and was "blocking" us from getting Dad to stop.) Dad accepted this news when it came from the trusted relative and he stopped driving ( he only put up a brief fight).

In your case, if I were you, I'd try to find another doctor who WOULD agree to help you out----He/she could do this by talking to your mother at an appt. about what your mother thinks she wishes to do. Or else you could find another person who could hold some sway over your mother's ideas-----some kind of "authority" figure in her life----a trusted friend, relative, clergyperson.....who could perhaps "talk some sense" into her. I feel for you, horselover. I found that these years of caring for my parents were the hardest---the years when they still had a lot of their marbles, but were starting to quickly lose them, and still insisted they were just fine. Mom would say things to me like: "I don't need a daughter who's trying to run our life." and "If your father can't drive, he'd just as soon be dead." It was so difficult hearing statements like this, while I was trying my best to do right by them and help them through their final years. And perhaps the hardest part was I could not talk about these things to any relatives-----it would have felt disloyal to my parents on my part, and the relatives didn't see what my husband and I could see anyway. So I plodded along alone, with God, my husband, and a counselor for support.

Just remembered another strange thing my mother said, during the same period when she had mentioned possibly divorcing my Dad....She mentioned to me wanting to look up an old boyfriend on the Internet ( She was 82 at the time.) I would just re-direct the conversation and then in private get back to my praying!

I do recommend a counselor during these trying years----when things are just starting to "fall apart". I couldn't have managed without one. And a footnote to support you: Just before my mother died, she thanked me for all the help I had given her and my father during the last several years. And I could tell she really meant it. That felt good. Good luck with all this, trust your gut, get help wherever you can, pray, and keep yourself strong.
My mom hates my Dad and always has. She is a very mean person.
6 years ago when my Dad had a bad stroke, he was placed in a nursing home for his recovery until he could go home, after a year he though he was going home but she decided she did not want to "wipe his butt" feed him or move any furniture around to make room for his wheel chair. We moved him to a nursing home near us. I am his oldest son. He has been in there for 4 years now. They own a house that is upside down, she sold what was left of his business and took his car, and he has nothing but his social security check, which she gets to keep to help pay the mortgage.
He wanted some spending money but she said she would turn him into the government and then said she threatened a divorce. She wants all the social security check. He wants a divorce too. The question is would he have to pay her part of his social security check as alimony?
They are both in their 70's. Dad lives in a nursing home, and would rather have the nursing home get his money then her.
He wants a divorce and to get his social security check back, he found a residential home he may be able to move into and pay with that check.
It is literally all he gets in the world. He is fully covered by medi-cal and medicaid since they have nothing other then a house and a car they owe money on. No insurance or savings or anything but just debt.
I have gotten 2 different answers,. Social security told me that it is his check no matter what his martial status, but their social case worker said he would have to pay her alimony from his social security check.
What if he moved in with me, would he get to keep his check?
My mom hates my Dad and always has. She is a very mean person.
6 years ago when my Dad had a bad stroke, he was placed in a nursing home for his recovery until he could go home, after a year he though he was going home but she decided she did not want to "wipe his butt" feed him or move any furniture around to make room for his wheel chair. We moved him to a nursing home near us. I am his oldest son. He has been in there for 4 years now. They own a house that is upside down, she sold what was left of his business and took his car, and he has nothing but his social security check, which she gets to keep to help pay the mortgage.
He wanted some spending money but she said she would turn him into the government and then said she threatened a divorce. She wants all the social security check. He wants a divorce too. The question is would he have to pay her part of his social security check as alimony?
They are both in their 70's. Dad lives in a nursing home, and would rather have the nursing home get his money then her.
He wants a divorce and to get his social security check back, he found a residential home he may be able to move into and pay with that check.
It is literally all he gets in the world. He is fully covered by medi-cal and medicaid since they have nothing other then a house and a car they owe money on. No insurance or savings or anything but just debt.
I have gotten 2 different answers,. Social security told me that it is his check no matter what his martial status, but their social case worker said he would have to pay her alimony from his social security check.
What if he moved in with me, would he get to keep his check?
Sorry I posted twice and the in the wrong area as well, please remove these two posts.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

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