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Long story short, I just turned 18. I'm going nuts in this house, literally. My dad is getting dementia/has it already. Before it started getting real bad, basically his kids from his first marriage stole his life savings and property, and it seemed he went insane or something, and now since dementia has developed, he keeps freaking confusing freaking memories about it. Every freaking day and night, OH MY MONEY WHERE IS IT, IS IT IN THE BANK, OH SOMEONE ON COURT STREET HAS IT. It's safe in the bank, he doesn't remember. At all. Court street is where he lived as a child. He thinks he has friends there, but they are dead. HES 81. He thinks the TV is talking to him, telling him about his money. On New Years at near midnight, we had to go to the emergency room because he was trying to leave and get lost, he got lost in the summer for 2 days and they found him almost dead. The VA is like "oh he's developing signs of dementia" WTF he has it already, and they haven't put him in a home yet or recommended it. He's been trying to leave every single night. We have to sleep in the hall blocking the door so he can't leave. He's thinking night is day and day is night every day. I CAN'T TAKE THIS NO MORE. College is starting soon, what am I suppose to do? Wake up at 3 am and can't go to bed because he thinks it's day time? We are crammed in a 1 bedroom apartment because his kids took his house he owned. What makes it worse is I have an autistic brother, he needs looking after and a mother who can't walk properly due to an ulcer on her leg. EVERY DAY I FEEL LIKE JUST HIDING IN THE 1 BEDROOM WE HAVE. I can't concentrate, I can't talk to friends without him thinking it's some person who deals with money, I can't do anything. I FEEL PHYSICALLY SICK EVERYDAY AND I THINK I'M GETTING MENTALLY SICK.
What amazes me is this was just all of a sudden. Sure, he forgot things here and there, but they day he found out he got robbed, he was just weird for the next few days and started getting confused, forgetting things and what not. This wasn't overtime, it was sudden. I'm going insane. As I'm typing this he's trying to find shoes to leave because he wants to go to a lawyers office, it's 10:30 EST. He thinks it's morning, MY MOM IS SLEEPING BY THE DOOR BLOCKING IT AND HID HIS SHOES.

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I read in another thread that you can use outside docs with VA. The VA is a mess almost everywhere
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I was in a similar situation with my neighbor. I started running 20 minutes a day and trips to the library. If you can get some time to yourself, use it to your benefit. Spend more time at school; take naps and get counseling. Ask the VA What they plan to do about his deteriorating condition and when will other measures be taken for his safety and your sanity. Take care
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I'm a male :p. It turns out they discussed it during the night, I heard them talking (I woke up) but I was half asleep. It was around 3 30 am. Don't know when he finally went to bed but he woke up at 3 pm est.
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A school counselor could really help. I live in Toronto, here I called the city for a neighbor. A social worker met with us a few times and we finally got her put into a home. She was 67 and suffering from the onset of dementia. It took 4 visits from the worker to complete the assessment. This is too draining for you.
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This is exceptionally hard, Bananaman. It's more than one person can handle alone. Please try to see that school counselor soon!
Carol
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You are a strong young woman, however, you will run out of fuel at some point and break down if you don't address this at sometime. Even highly trained and skillef vets and first responders need support or counseling when they've Been thru tragic events. I would tape him and show it to people when he gets out of hand. A police officer, a city worker, doctor or anyone who is used to dealing with these matters. It seems clear to me that you are not equipped to deal with someone this Ill or you will become I'll yourself. Seems like you recognize your limits which indicates your still same and a sensible younger woman. Venting is good too. Do you have friends who can support you? If you've been isolated by this speak to a counselor or call a help center. Take good care.
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Wow! So sorry this is happening.

Have you found a counselor yet?
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Now I have to sleep by the door.
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My mom got into an argument and decided she's bringing him to his other children tomorrow giving them the responsibility because he just tried leaving again and she explained its 12 degrees out you will die out there. He wanted to leave so she said FINE ILL BRING YOU TO YOUR OTHER SONS TOMORROW. He thinks those are his brothers not his children.-_-. I said why are you not freaking bringing him into a program "BE QUIET YOU'RE ONLY A CHILD". I'm getting sick and f***** tired of being shot down with this oh you're a child BS. Feel like throwing something at her everytime she says it.
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Good call, Bananaman! Most colleges have at least two kinds of counselling services. One is academic/career oriented and can help you decide whether you are more suited to be a lawyer or an electrical engineer. The other is for life issues. But where ever you start the process the counselor should be able to direct you to appropriate resources within or outside the college.

Please do not wait for the next semester to start. The sooner you start the process the sooner you'll feel better.
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Please do that as soon as you can! And keep us posted. We are with you.
Carol
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I don't know about a mental clinic but my college does have a counseling center. I think I might do that. :)
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Jeannegibbs is right when she said that I'm not advocating for you to abandon your family. My point is that you must be taken care of first in order to help your family. It's the old "oxygen mask first" idea. On airplanes, the mother should put on her oxygen mask in an emergency so that she can then help her children.

In your case, you are young, but you feel a very strong need - which is admirable - to help your family. However, you can't do your best at that until you take care of yourself. If you can't live with a friend or other relative while doing so, then checking into a clinic is wise advice. Seeking help yourself will also bring you into an environment where you’ll have the advice of local professionals who can tell you what resources are available to help your entire family.

We are with you all the way! Please help yourself so that you can help those you love.
Carol
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I am very glad to see you posting today. I've been thinking about you and worrying! And I was very glad to see Carol Bradley responded to your post. She is one of the experts here, and she has a LOT of experience taking care of elders herself, and from dealing with many other caregivers.

When she suggested moving in with a friend I don't think she was advising abandoning your family long-term, but getting yourself into an environment to get help. I am glad that you feel loyalty to your mom. You are probably the one source of strength for her in that house. But I still agree with Carol that you need to take care of your own needs.

Since it will not work out to stay with friends, I am strongly hoping that you will try to get yourself into a mental health clinic. You deserve that kind of help! And getting strong and more confident yourself will enable you to be of more help to your family, and also help ensure you can work toward the future you want.

What do you think? Will you try to find some counseling for yourself?
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My mother says they tested his urine, blood, did cat scans, etc in the emergency room, and he seeing more doctors on monday. She said they are aware he was missing for 2 days. Infact, when they found him he was sent to a hospital and then my mom brought him to the VA
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Heart and lungs are ok? That's exactly what they said last time.
I'm sorry I could not be ok with myself leaving my mom to be by herself. Anyways even yet, no friend would let me move in with them. One has 3 people in 1 bedroom house, with family coming from Ukraine because they are trying to leave the country before they are killed
Another has a very sick father, another has a sort of a verbally abusive father.
In the emergency room on new years, they gave him a few medications. One for depression, another for his appetite because he is refusing to eat all his food. It seems the days he eats all his food hes fine for the most part, and then suddenly other days he eats hardly anything.
For the past few days he's been having conversations outloud while sleeping. I sleep next to him and last night I was waking him and he would say "whats going on I'm talking to myself??" and then a second later he's back to having conversations with no one. It seems he's saying things from his past, like he would say "yah the pool-sticks are over there, here's the pool table" or "Drinks are in the front" He owned a bar. I'm thinking perhaps thats a side effect of the medication? He also gets suddenly very groggy when he took the medication and me and my mom got really upset when we saw him like that.
Yes financial is also a worry. My mom constantly has to fight to get money from him because well he when he was fine would of course help with the bills but now he thinks people are stealing it so hes paranoid. Some days she says he needs to give me money I can't afford things!1 Other days she gets mad and says i dont care ill go get a job
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Hi Bananaman,
Your dad needs help from the VA and your mom can’t/won’t help. You’ve got a sick family and you recognize it, which shows wisdom and strength. I'd suggest that you take care of yourself, first.

This may sound cold, but do you have any friends you could move in with? It may easier for you to set up appointments and get help if you lived in a less mixed up atmosphere.
You deserve the chance for some mental health counseling to help keep you from going over the edge. This is far too much for anyone to handle, let alone someone your age.

If you can leave, do so and then call adult protective services to check on your parents. Your mom will be furious but something has to be done. Your dad could have a urinary tract infection as was suggested, but some dementias can present symptoms suddenly, too. Only a thorough physical given by a competent doctor will be able to get this handled. The financial issues can be address later if there is legal action needed but right now our need to get emotional support.

Your entire family would benefit from counseling, I'd think, but you can't control others. You need to take care of yourself and turn this tragic situation over to authorities in order to get your dad into some type of care. Adult protective services under social services should be able to get your dad in to some kind of care.

Please put yourself first, You can't help the rest until you get help yourself.
We will be waiting to hear from you.
Carol
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Bananaman, it very much sounds like you and your mom need to take dad to the ER or to his VA doctor snd have this sudden change in his behavior checked out medically. Can you help your mom do that today? Write down all the behaviors that he's been exhibiting so that you can report them to the doctors in an organized and coherent way, otherwise they are going to tel you that his heart and lungs are okay, and send him home. Please let us know how this works out.
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Does your autistic brother have a case manager? Try asking social services about help for him? Good luck. I know our social safety net has been dismantled, but I hope there is still some help for you.
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He could have a bladder infection. It makes the elderly really crazy really suddenly. In which case, antibiotics can help the situation. Also, maybe a doctor would prescribe something to get him to sleep through the night, giving you and your mom much-needed regular rest, even if it disorients him, as it might. Maybe your mom needs his income and is afraid if he gets placed somewhere else, that she won't have enough to live on? Try repeating to him that he's safe, you're safe, his money is safe, everything is all right now. Can you take him for a walk before bedtime to get his energy out? Then play some familiar music or his favorite movie. Local sources for you to get help and info: Senior Centers usually have someone who knows about services for elderly. See if your county has a Council On Aging, and ask to talk to a case manager. It'll be ok. You'll do your successful business someday soon, I'm sure!
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I see at least 3 problems here:

1) What happened to your father's assets. Your mother's fears are incorrect. If a judge declared your dad incompetent, his assets would be safeguarded for your father's care, not given to someone else. This is an important problem, but it is not yours to solve.

2) You father's deepening dementia and the care he needs to be safe. Probably being placed in a VA care center would be best for him (as Pam suggests). But again, you are not responsible for solving this one. The VA probably isn't being told the full extent of his needs, since your mother is so protective of privacy.

3) Your own mental health concerns. This is the one you can and should work on. I am so sorry your mother is not attentive to this concern. It is very scary to have a husband with dementia and she also has (perhaps unrealistic) concerns about not being legally married to him. (My husband had dementia. I know how awful your mom must feel.) I am not criticizing your mother or saying she doesn't love you, but it appears that you cannot depend on her right now.

Several years ago you had the extremely traumatic experience of being helpless while thugs discussed whether they were going to kill you. Did you ever have counselling for that experience? And now the world as you knew it is topsy-turvey, with your mother sleeping in front of the door and your father not in his right mind. You are feeling very, very angry and you are worried about it. You NEED help, and you DESERVE help.

Start with finding a mental health clinic that you can go to on your own. This may involve researching what health insurance coverage you have, what free clinics your county has, and finding a place to go. But you sound like an intelligent young man and I think you can accomplish this. Are there any more experienced people in your life (Ie, adults) you might be able to call on for help finding a counselor if you need it? A teacher or counselor from high school? A religious leader? One way or another, get yourself into therapy. If you think your mother won't approve or might try to stop you, perhaps you shouldn't tell her at first.

Once you are in counseling you'll have someone to talk to about your concerns for your father's care. But the absolute critical thing you have to do now is look out for yourself.

Please keep posting here and let us know what is going on and how you are doing. I sincerely wish there was more we could do for your directly. But at least we can cheer you on. Do keep in touch!
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My mother doesn't even know I'm posting any of this. She doesn't tell any family members that this is happening, doesn't tell his first marriages kids, just doesn't tell anyone. When we took him to the emergency room, I originally thought to call the ambulance to take him there,. She said NO I DON'T WANT PEOPLE UP IN THIS BUILDING KNOWING OUR BUSINESS. She would flip if she knew I posted this but I'm sorry I don't want to get sick
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I don't know if they know if he is at wandering risk. My mom has gone with him to every visit, infact he was there with her today, I believe neurology/psychology. Last time a few months ago they said everything seems fine so far.
Financial. No, they took the money and put it into stocks and bonds I believe my mom said. A lawyer told us they can be charged with elderly abuse, but my mom is afraid the judge would declare him incompetent and hand over his belongings to his son, and at the time I wasn't of age to get it. They aren't officially married so I believe she can't get anything if the judge did it. You see, my father hates his first marriages kids because they can give 2 shits about them. They don't care for him at all. They only came around a year ago because they knew he was getting old and can take advantage of it. He knew they were up to something too but too late his mind started going. He told us this money and property belongs to you guys when I die, not them.

No, I don't think my mom can assist. She thinks if I mention anything health related its because I'm picking up hypochondria that my dad has. Then says it's nothing. I believe I also have anger issues, I know it seems silly but I've done a bunch of basic test questions to see if I have anger issues online, and many of them said yes (according to them don't use it as an official diagnosis" but I get angry at everyone all the time for the smallest things and I am very argumentative. On new years when my father attempted leaving he got mad when I went to stop him and tried to punch me so I pushed him down into the couch and I feel very bad but I got real mad I couldn't help myself. I guess I'm just making excuses
No I haven't started college yet, long story short I found out my original college was a scam and so I'm starting a spring semester.

I don't know if this affects anything either, but when I was 13, I was hog tied in a house robbery above my fathers business in the apartment he lived in above. It was just me. They asked where the money was, I didn't know. They took the change for registers on the couch, then 2 of the robbers proceeded to argue for the next 5 minutes whether to kill me or not. Obviously they didn't because here I am. My father came up right as they left, and found me, ran down into his business and got security guards and his friends come up with him because well at his age at the time he couldn't do anything if they attacked him.
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It's time for the VA to take him in. Now you have to convince your mother to do that, because he probably won't agree to go.
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Bananaman, this is way, way more than you should have to take on at 18. But if you are the one there who is competent, then maybe you can take on the role of getting help.

First, do the doctors at the VA know that Dad is a wandering risk? If this wasn't made clear during his visits, or was downplayed, they may simply not know the facts. Has your mother gone with him to all appointments? Can she contact the VA now and update them about the situation? If not, would you consider contacting them? Unless your dad gives them permission to talk to you, they may not be able to answer you, but they can listen to what you have to say or read what you write.

About the financial situation: what has been done about the theft? Is this in the hands of the police?

Sometimes dementia does come on suddenly.

I can certainly understand that you feel sick, and question your own mental stability. You need/deserve to get professional medical help. Can your mother assist you with this? Does she understand how you feel? If Mom isn't up to helping you, can you make appointments yourself?

Have you started college yet? Most colleges have counseling offices that you assist you in getting the care you deserve.That would be a good place to start
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Before all of this happened which was last year, he was fine. Nothing was wrong. Me and my friends had a whole plan to learn about the computer business and have a startup of some business of our own. We were planning on moving in together in our sophmore year. I don't even know if I can do this anymore. We were planning it since 10th grade.
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