Follow
Share

My Mom is wheel chair bound except for bathroom needs and then she has to be very carefully guided and transferred and then helped throughout with the self care, She is almost 75. She had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's but her neurologist just recently said she may not have it as her cognitive abilities are not declining as expected. She took herself off Namanda (sp?) about a year ago and hasn't had any more plaque development on the brain so I guess that is good.
However her physical abilities have been non too slowly regressing. The neurologist said it is from a brain stem stroke. One that appears on her MRI but they do not know when she had it. She is taking blood thinners and had a very brief run of PT for the stroke.
That is all I know about her medical history because my Mom and Dad will not let me or my siblings ( one older sister -involved and one older brother -not very involved) know more. I ask to go to the doctor appointments but am blown off. I think there is something more going on with my Mom because she is declining physically. I know the doctor had wanted her to do more tests but my Dad did not think they were necessary. They tried a few different tests for awhile with no results and then they just stopped. They both get yearly physicals and as my Dad tells it everything is fine but I see my Mom is declining!
Here is the big issue, though, my Dad does not want to accept any outside help. He will allow me and my sister to come and sit with my Mom for a long weekend so he can go gambling but that is about all. My Mom's needs are pretty demanding and my Dad is going to be 80 in Feb. We tell him he needs to get a part time in home caregiver to help with my Mom's baths and to give him more breaks but he is refusing! I live 4 hours away and my sister lives 3 hours away or we would come every day and help.
They live in a big old house with lots of steps and narrow halls and tiny bathrooms. Now my Mom did get my Dad to put in a stair lift a year back but it is really hard to get her in and out of the lift and the only full bathes are upstairs. I suggest to my Dad that they convert the living room that is never used onto a suite for my Mom and put on a walk in tub on that level and he thinks I am crazy. I asked if they should sell the house and downsize and he said not until he was dead would he leave. I asked again if he would please use his after care insurance to get a nurse and he says he is doing just fine. But HE IS NOT!!
He drops my Mom a lot while transferring her and she is scared when he goes to help her because of this. She begs him to get a nurse but he won't! But the worst is that he yells at her all the time! He calls here names -Crap-I am starting to cry-this is hard-it has taken me days to work up the nerve to write this- and he blames her when he drops her. He says things like " SHARON-not her real name- GOOD JOB! LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO! " as she is lying on the floor. When she spills something on her lap-which is often -part of her disability, I think, he screams at her "GOOD GOING SHARON! WELL DONE!! YOU CAN JUST SIT IN IT! I AM NOT CHANGING YOU!!". I have had numerous discussions with him about how he cannot treat her like that and he says he knows, he knows but she just doesn't try hard enough. And these are the things I hear. What is he saying when I am not around? I ask my Mom all the time -do you feel safe? Does he hurt you? And she says "he yells but he takes good care of me" last time I was up , before he left for his trip, he was trying to get my Mom from her lift chair to her wheel chair and she fell and my husband heard him whisper( he whispers loud because he is very hard of hearing and refuses to get a hearing aid) "Sharon, you asshole. What is the matter with you?".
I keep telling him he needs help. He is overwhelmed but he is refusing! He has plenty of money. He even has insurance for home health care but he does not want to have to pay the 100 hour deductible. This makes me so mad because he will spend his money gambling but not on my Mom. He even told her to reuse her Depends if they are not messy!!! We told him NO WAY! I just found out he leaves her alone to go shopping. She should not be left alone! She has an alert necklace at least but still.
I love my Dad but he was never really a hands on Dad. He traveled all the time when I was a child and never really took part in raising the children. He is not a natural caregiver. Some people just are not. And he yells. He yelled at us kids growing up and now he is yelling at my Mom. But he is yelling at her WAY worse than he ever did at us kids. I wish sooo much we could move to them but there is no way we could sell our house or have my husband find a job by them. So my sister and I are planning an intervention soon to force my Dad to get help. The end line is if he doesn't Mom comes home with me. Any suggestions about how to do this? Any ideas? Please...

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
it's a step. one of them at a time, and you have a plan!
(1)
Report

Well, just thought I would give an update. Mom is still the same. I really think she has vascular dementia but Dad won't look into it. He did, however, set up PT for my Mom twice a week!!!! YAY! That makes me soooo happy. He is still refusing to get in home care to help him but I do not want to push him right now as he just got the PT. The fact that he is allowing someone in the house twice a week really makes me feel better. My sister and I were afraid he didn't want anyone in the house for fear that they would say he was not doing a good enough job with my Mom or that she needed to go to a NH. I, personally, do not think she needs to go to a NH yet but I am still going to try and get her a in home caregiver.

My Dad just asked me if I could watch my Mom for a week in March while he goes to Vegas. I am a little put out by this as this means I will have to leave my daughter at home -for school- and my husband will have to work half days. my daughter is 16 with special needs and I am a stay at home Mom. She has been having a very rough time lately. In fact, we just got back, yesterday, from a psychiatrist for her to start her on anti-anxiety meds. Switching up her routine-by me leaving-right now is going to be really hard. She has a very set routine with me at home. Crap. Sorry-this is just bad timing. I wish my Mom could come down here but she gets very anxious out of her house and we have steps that she could not navigate to the bathroom. I would ask my Dad to change the week but it coincides with my sister having a conference in Vegas so he goes with her. I want to help him , give him a break, but a whole week away from my girl? And my husband's work has been crazy. Maybe I can ask my brother to watch my Mom for a few days and I can watch her for a few days. He lives 30 minutes away from them. Oh, I am rambling. Sorry. Really I just wanted to say that my Mom is getting PT now (YAY!) and we are still working on getting her in home health care. If I do go up for the week( which I probably will) I am going to just use my Mom's money -with her permission-and get a caregiver signed up for the month!!
(1)
Report

Thanks ba8alou! And a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours as well!
bookworm-wow-how nice of you and your sibs to do this for your Dad! I wish that we could do something like that -however -I lack the funds as do my siblings for very long. However if we did pay for a bit maybe he would see the value and, unlike your Dad, realize it is a good thing and pay to have it continue-or use his insurance that covers after the first 100 hours.

Well, blessings to everyone this holiday season. May we all have a peaceful and joyous holiday!!!
(3)
Report

Mishka, I hope your father eventually gives in. When I first presented to father about hiring a caregiver for Saturdays (I work), he was soooo against it. In frustration and in desperation, I asked bro and sis if they could chip in and share the cost of the cg. They both agreed. I hired someone. And I told father that I hired someone and that I am paying for her - not him. (So he can't fire her.) I told her straight out that I'm the one hiring her not father. He does not need to know how much I'm paying her (he would have a cow if he found out!) Let him continue to think I'm only paying her $50.00 for the whole day. It's been like 6 months since we have her and he still - weekly- wants to get rid of her because we don't need her. I have a feeling that he will Always be against it. So, I hope you're able to succeed.
(1)
Report

Great update! Will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Have a lovely Christmas and hope the New Year brings health, peace and contentment
(1)
Report

ba8alou, hi, thanks! Visited them over the weekend and things seemed much better. Dad was much calmer and we talked a lot about my Mom's doctor's appointments and diagnosis. Still need to convince my Dad to get help that is for sure-but I do not , sincerely, think there is abuse going on. I really took a good look at the situation and though it is not perfect it is not as dire as I first imagined. I think Thanksgiving was very hard on my Mom-me making the dinner without her being able to help other than be a taste tester and add some advice- and so she was very very obsessive and demanding with my Dad for days previous to the holiday and I think, by the time I got there, he was at his wit's end. This by no means(!) excuses his behavior and name calling but it does shed a little light on the situation.
Mom was very obsessive ( she has OCD-has had it all her life) about her sewing machine and trying to get it to work this time and my Dad was frustrated after going out to buy parts for it and trying to fix it and reading the on line manual and all and it still not working( she really got it messed up-she can sort of sew still-little bags for Christmas goodies- (funny thing is ( not haha) I remember my Mom getting frustrated with her Mom -my Grandma-for trying to sew and breaking HER sewing machine when she had Alzheimer's) -anyway- Dad was frustrated but he did not yell and he seemed to totally understand that Mom needed to be able to do something still that made her feel , well, normal. It was good to see him being empathetic.
We are still going to talk with Dad to make him see he needs help. My sister is spending Christmas with them and she is going tell me what she sees and then after the New Year we will have our intervention/discussion. I feel confident that we can wait that long. I would not wait for after the holidays if I was not confident that we could. In fact I told my sister that if I saw ANYTHING that needed addressing while there last week I was going to go ahead and force the issue (my sister could not make it up this last weekend ) without her. But after talking with my Dad , getting more info about Mom's health and diagnosis and watching my Dad transfer my Mom without too much difficulty I feel that the intervention can wait. Still I pray every night for them both and for guidance.
Thanks again to everyone who posted -it really helps!!! And I will keep you all updated.
(4)
Report

Mishka; I am hopeful that your situation has improved...keep us up to date on what has transpired if you can.
(2)
Report

God bless you , Mishka. You and your sister need to travel to your parents home, and stay in an apt. or hotel until this situation is resolved. First, contact an Assisted Living Facility and get on their list. Second, call Social Services for an outside evaluation of your mother, your father and the living conditions under which they now live. Contact your parents doctor, PCP, or internist. Let them know of the situation and ask for their opinions. Eventually, you know that something must change. You didn't say how old your father is, but I believe that your mother must leave their home first. An outside "aide" is only a temporary solution. You may ask for this immediately, but you have to work on a permanent solution , a move for your mother to an ALF or an Independent Living Facility. It's tough, but life is full of changes, some nice, some not so nice.
(0)
Report

Hi all
Took a day off to let things sink in a bit and focus on my daughter. You all have been so kind with your advice and concern.
Chimonger- I just do not know if my Dad has any dementia. My first instinct is to say no but , honestly, until a few days ago I just assumed he didn't because all the focus has been on my Mom's health. I did not think that his anger could be a defense mechanism against his own failing mental abilities. I will watch for this. I do know that stress itself can have a very adverse effect on mental health. I kinda thought that was why he was acting the way he has been. But it could be something more serious.
Agingconsultant - I really do not think that their debt load is more than their savings -and I think that their insurance is ok but the key word is "think". I know so little about these details in their life and have no clue how to get to that information. My dad is of the mind that he would not have to pay for anything-that Medicaid should take care of it but the fact of the matter is if you have money you will have to pay. I think that is his problem. He is mad that he will have to pay for services for my Mom. In the mean time my Mom sits there with no care outside of what he can give her ( which is not great ) and whet my I sister and I can give her ( which is limited by distance).
Ruralwannabe- my head is spinning too! So much to think about and I feel like I don't have time on my side. Thank you for giving me your opinion! The more views I get, the more info, the better prepared I hope to be when we go to talk with my Dad.
It is so strange ,-my Dad. He can talk like he is just fine with the whole situation. I sat with him one night and asked him how he was. I said "BS aside, Dad how are you? Really? ". I reminded him that I know just how hard it is to have to take care of someone full time( my daughter's special needs) . To always be watching out for them.( more than a typical Mom) - Helping them with their personal self care.--- Having life pull the rug out from under you. And he just acted like he was just fine. He said God gave him and my Mom many many good years together and he was thankful for that. BUT -see- in his head he believes that but I think in his heart he is hurting. And tired. And frustrated. His words do not match his actions.

OK-thanks again all for the great info. I am definitely considering it all. I will be making some calls to some agencies and then making decisions. I will let you all know how it goes. Please pray for my Mom and my Dad. Please pray that we make good decisions. Blessings to you all!!
(0)
Report

MishkaM...to anwer your questions...Concerning gaining access to medical records and health care for others...this isn't something that can be handled over the phone. Doctor's offices need a printed and signed document to place in medical records of their patients, so that they can check to see who is allowed access. Therefore, you need to go to your parent's doc's office to get the blank form, complete it with your name and your siblings' names if you also want them to be allowed knowledge of your parent's health care, and then each parent has to sign it (a separate document for each parent), approving that the doc & office share info about their health and health care to you and whoever is listed on the document. Then the document has to be returned to the doc's office for them to include in your parent's med records. I wouldn't be surprised if your dad refuses for himself and he may also speak for your mother. That's why I suggested approaching her first (before he's had a chance to talk her out of it) and when he is not around to influence her. Secondly, if both parents or just your mother allows their health care info to be shared with you, you will be better able to help her/them get the care she/they need and be better organized in an approach. The more you get involved the more you will realize that there will be many decisions to make, paperwork to complete and hurdles to jump. To do it well and clearly (and hopefully better than they can/are doing for themselves) you will need to have doctor's/nurses share info with you and you be able to make decisions for them. Without your mother's approval or both of their approvals, your efforts to help them will be hindered.

It's a possibility, from what you've told us about your father's attitude, that you may need to be more forceful in the future to help them. If it does come to that, it will be to your advantage if she/they have approved your access to their records. This tells authorities that you do have the right or position to be involved.

Finally, both of my parent's signed the "access" document but my mother was reluctant. While she never stated why, I think it was a concern that control would be taken away from her. At first though, my siblings and I thought there was something in her records she didn't want us to know. Come to find out...there wasn't any secrets. So, It must have been the control thing that concerned her. But, we assured her our intentions were to help by asking questions, getting answers, interpreting medical lingo (which they didn't always understand) and to be an advocate & liaison for them. "We will go with you and be another set of ears to receive the information. We can discuss it, if you wish. But, YOU will make the decisions." There was never any concern or regret shown by my mother again concerning allowing us access to her medical records. I think she, both of my parents, realized it was the right thing to do and actually brought them some peace.
(1)
Report

Hon, my head is spinning with all you've read and written, all right on. It may also help you to hear my opinion that regardless of the right or wrongness of your dad's actions (and we all agree there are mostly wrong ones), he will not just live a life quietly if she were not there. He is validated somehow by her presence and without her, he will probably become a shell, whither and practically blow away mentally. I hope you can do your intervention exactly as you outlined, and somehow keep them together. They were good for so many years, maybe intervention and professional help can get him to see the light and regain some of that.
(3)
Report

I am so sorry about what you and your mother are going through. You got a lot of excellent comments already but here are a few more thoughts. I don't know where you and your parents live but some states impose a duty to report elder abuse by a caregiver, which is what your father is. Likely your mother's doctor also has such a duty and will know the best channels to start an investigation. I would guess from your comment about your father's gambling that they might be shutting you out because they don't have the money that they may have represented to you that they had. Check to see what their debt load is and whether they still have the insurance you think they have. I would raise that as part of the elder abuse inquiry if you cannot afford your own attorney. Also, I might get a second opinion about your mother's health ....
Good luck, you have a tough situation ahead.
(2)
Report

MishkaM,

Your Dad has some behaviors too, that probably have not been evaluated.
And, there are SAFETY issues!
Not just for your Mom, but for your Dad as well.

He is NOT thinking clearly and, because he is "in over his head",
it can make him feel frustrated and angry because he can no longer cope adequately.
He might be ok mentally if there was no stress on him, but care-giving is hugely stressful, like that....
Being over-his-head care-giving, can tear a healthy person down to the point they make mistakes and bad choices, much less a frail elder!
The more it happens, the harder it becomes for them to cooperate with suggestions family members have to remedy things.

==He MIGHT have forgotten the insurance coverage they have, OR cannot understand how it works anymore.
==He MIGHT be having trouble keeping track of finances, AND be extra conservative to make sure they have enough--OR, might have forgotten some of their resources.
They grew up with the Great Depression, which left indelible imprints that cause people to be very tight with finances, too
--the more they fear, the more they pinch pennies, or do odd things with money and things, even if they have LOADS of money--seen that happen!

When people start Forgetting Important Stuff,
or having trouble "tracking", etc.,
they can be very defensive, trying to keep that covered up--it is a survival mechanism...that happens when people have illness, stroke, etc. that impairs their abilities--hiding their deficits is a survival mechanism.
But behaviors will "tell" on them, with anger, bad attitude, bad words, bad choices....they both need help.

Please contact their Area Agency on Aging; let that agency know what is going on; ask for help and direction!
They can put you in touch with Social Services.
An in-home evaluation can be done, but it might require a few "well-checks" from the Sheriff's department first, to kinda establish that something needs done there.
Call their local 911 to request "Well-checks", let the Sheriff's office know what is going on, that you fear for your Mom's safety, as well as your Dad's.

IF you fail to get results that way, you can call your folk's local Adult Protective Services [APS]: let them know things have deteriorated at your Folks' home, that they are not making healthy choices, that their choices are endangering your Mom, and they are refusing to allow family to assist them in their choices, or to help them PROPERLY at all.
==Report what you have recounted, above!
APS is about helping elders get better treatment, safe shelter and care.
Unfortunately, this happens too often.
APS will not block you out of your folk's lives--that is not what they are about--they would only block you from them, if you had something to do with the bad treatment of them--even then, not entirely blocked out.

Clearly, they need help!
It can be a great relief for you and family, to help them get help, to reassure yourself and family, that they are being better cared for--that is an awful weight of stress, how things are.

I hope things get a decent resolution, soon!
(0)
Report

Waddle1- sorry to hear you had difficulties with your Dad as well. Thank you for sharing that with me. Mit does sound cery similar. Please - tell me how did you handle your situation with your Mom and Dad? Did you have to take control?
Can you explain your first paragraph more for me. Do you just mean that I need to make sure my Mom's health needs are being met or do you mean if we have to go thru litigation we will need her health report? This is so new for me and I am stumbling along. I know so little about the law. I know that HIPPA laws (sp?) require the permission and I may be able to get my Mom's permission. Can I call the doctor with my Mom's permission and have him talk to me over the phone?
I agree with you about men, pretty much. My husband said he thinks most men are just not natural caregivers. That does not mean that men cannot be great caregivers just that it may not be as natural for them. And with my Dad he is definitely not a a natural. He was brought up to believe that his job as a parent was to provide for our monetary needs-he worked very hard ( and loved his job) to put all three of us kids through college. We were not spoiled but we never lacked for anything. That was his role as a parent , in his eyes.
He does love my Mom. I see it. Maybe I didn't see it this last time, he was at his worst, but they will be married for 55 years this year and he would never think of abandoning her ----but isn't he ? Isn't he abandoning her needs? I don't know. It is late , my head has hurt ALL day. I need to try and sleep

I cannot thank you guys enough for all your responses! If anyone has anything to say please respond. You never know what might be the one thing that makes the difference, the one agency or tip that helps us find the answer. I keep asking God to guide me in our decisions. I already have a better idea of what needs to be done and said. I also have a much better grasp about how I really feel about the whole situation-and it ain't good-but at least it is facing things. I really need to take tomorrow to spend the day with my daughter so if Ai do not respond tomorrow that is why. But I will be reading and posting the next day!!!!
Blessing and hugs to you all!!!!!!
(0)
Report

Mishka...somewhere in your response plan you need to get a clear report on your parents' health. However, with privacy laws, you must get their documented consent to allow medical records to be shared with you. This is usually a paper that their doctor's office can supply you. From what you've said about your dad, I would assume he would not sign the paper granting you access. But, your mother may. I would try to get her approval, when he is not around. That will help you to better respond to your mother's needs...including you and/or your siblings taking control of medical care in the future.

Some of the things you described I experienced with my parents. Especially concerning my father's behaviior towards my mother. My father, a quiet and reasonable man and devoted to my mother for over 60 years, found it mentally difficult to care for my mother when her mobility began to decline. Her early dementia (not bad IMO) was also causing turmoil with them. While he didn't say it...I know he was thinking...'I shouldn't have to do this....this is beneath me...this is women's work'. It eventually led to yelling at her and hitting her. He even suggested that he didn't love her anymore. I think it was mainly due to the stress involved in caring for her, assuming new and more responsibilities around the house and HIS life changing. It was too much for him, I think more mentally than physically. He didn't know how to handle these strange things going on in his life and in his mind....and caused this ugliness to surface.

I'm generalizing here, but based on my personal experience with men in my life (father, brother, husband, friends etc) many men, perhaps most, are more self-centered and are lost when it comes to being nurturing and compassionate to others, even though that's what they expect when they are sick. Especially older men of a generation which strongly defined roles for men and women. To get to the point...I think your father's behavior will get worse. I agree with others here that your mother needs more help than he is providing and you should step in. However, I think it's doubtful that your father will change his tune via an intervention. He is stubborn, protective of privacy and independence and perhaps in denial. So, you need to explore what services and options are available to you. Inform yourself before the intervention, as you may very well need assistance to get things done, after he is tipped off to what you're up to.

I don't mean to throw your father under the bus. I actually think it's good for a caregiver to get away and enjoy themselves (gambling for your father?). Though hopefully he's not losing more than they can afford or using her money. In addition, I think your father deserves some credit for his devotion to your mother. He may very well think he's doing all he can do and the best he can do. He may shun your questions or suggestions for outside help because he thinks it is his job, his responsibility as a spouse to care for her. Perhaps in his head, utilizing outside help, means he failed.

I truly hope the intervention works, if not for both your parents, at least it brings assistance to you, your siblings and most importantly your mother. I wish you and your family, peace.
(2)
Report

notsowellmyself-yes, I think that that is what is going on with my Dad -I think he is prideful, frightened and sad. And my Mom is depressed and feels guilty for being sick. I think my Dad is in denial at how bad my Mom is and when she falls it goes against the reality he made in his head that she is not so bad off. So he gets mad. And I think it scares him when she falls/he drops her and his first instinct is to yell.
I am afraid of making my Dad mad. But I am not afraid of him hurting me. He never called me names or anything. I was not abused growing up but he did yell. He has a short fuse. He is different now though. Worse. And it could be stress, pride, fear, and it could be cognitive regression. I have a feeling it is all of the above.
Your post makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much. And you are right, bringing my Mom home with me will not be easy. My daughter has a pretty set schedule with her special needs ( she is our only child) and it would be difficult to try and meet both of their needs but I am a stay at home mom and I could do it. My husband is very , very supportive and that will help. And I cannot let her situation stay the same. I will try to get help if we have to bring her to our house, though.
Blessings to you!

Thank you all!
(2)
Report

Another thought, perhaps your father's anger, lashing out and refusing help is due to pride. An independent, self-sustaining couple has now found they are older and not so self-sufficient. It is frightening for both of them. Perhaps he is yelling because he is doing the best he can, (and yelling has always been a habit) and she is taking it because she feels guilty that she is causing him problems. It tells me a lot that you are afraid of him, even if only of his reactions. I am worried about this situation. Even if your father has no evil or otherwise mean intentions, even if he is not suffering from any type of dementia, if he is stressed, how long will it be until he reacts to his frustration? He could hurt your mother accidently, out of frustration or simply because he is tired and lost. Please get your mother out of her current situation. It may be that your father is still able to take care of himself in his home, but he canot take care of both of them. That has become painfully obvious to you and your family.
I also want to add, if you do take your mother home with you, please arrange for help. It is very difficult to take care of a loved one by yourself. You will occasionally need a break and you don't want to wear yourself out.
Good luck in all you are facing. I am glad you have your husband and your sister to back you up.
(4)
Report

Ba8alou-how sad for your poor aunt. I am wanting to say that that could never happen with my Mom and Dad but then I remember my Mom thought her collar bone was broken from a fall out of the bed and my Dad didn't want to take her to the doctor. After many days of complaining he did and it was broken but their wasn't anything they could really do. But I do not think he would pull her around on a rug-but he does definitely ignore her needs. I promise I will not let my Mom down. I will do what it takes. I just need to make sure I do the right thing.
(2)
Report

Emjo(Joan) - thank-you for your posts. I will give them careful , careful consideration . You are very kind. Thank you for the hugs and the prayers! I am going to send my sister over here to read these posts. I do not think she fears my Dad's temper as much as I do. She is the oldest and always had a better relationship with my Dad than I have. She may be the key to getting him to listen. She said he was not nearly as mean to my Mom when she was there -I think this last time I was up was the worst I had seen him but by far not the only time I have witnessed his yelling and name calling. My husband can attest to this. She does worry so much though about his ability to take care of her. Hugs and prayers back to you and yours!
(0)
Report

My experience with my aunt and uncle was very like this; my uncle, who we could all see was slipping cognitively, would not allow help in the house. My aunt fell one night and broke her hip. My uncle shifted her onto a scatter rug and pulled her around the house for a week before anyone realized that something was wrong. PLEASE, PLEASE don't subject your mother to his dementia-tinged treament.
(5)
Report

(((((Mishka))))) I meant having a male that is not family there with you as part of your party -someone to help with the intervention -give a little more heft What you say about your dad's family says to me that the possibility of addiction is high, however, in his favour, he does not use your mum's funds and still has money himself - so far. I think your analysis of your mum is spot on, Addicts tend to have abusive behaviour - which he is exhibiting. And tend to "protect" the family from outsiders which he is doing also. You say you have told him not to do it, and you mentioned maybe telling him not to gamble. Dear soul, no one has that kind of control over another person, It is like telling the wind not to blow. Yes, I think he is hurting because of your mum's condition and his own aging, but you are right, that does not permit him to take it out on her, and he is. I see your fear about calling APS and having them decide that everything is OK. I really don't know the likelihood of that happening. Could you talk to social services and see what they recommend. It seems to me that a frail senior with bruises would raise a big red flag. I think contacting their priest is a good idea -anyone outside with some kind of suitable background. I hate that your mum just sits there and takes it - that indicates that she has been.is being seriously abused, and has lost all hope. Surely a nursing home would be better than that -she would have people to interact with and trained professionals to care for her needs. Not saying that you couod not do that too. Could you ask someone else call APS - like a priest, who could visit and see for himself and then do it, or as neighbour? They must have a doctor who has some resources. If she went into hospital the social worker there could intervene. I do hope you move on this and quickly. Like sunsetsheila i have concern about his anger, and the possibility of him harming her physically whether intentionally or just not having the skills to move her.You said before they just shouted, and now it is worse, and likely to escalate as her needs increase, and also his frustration. Yes definitely he needs trreament too. My prayers are with you and them. let us know how it unfolds. ((((((((hugs))))))) Joan
(1)
Report

Texasdaughter12- so sorry to hear you are facing a similar situation. Could you post some details here? Maybe we can help each other? Are you doing an intervention in January?
Clarae51- oh my , yes, the intervention is for my Dad! My Mom wants an aide terribly. He is the one refusing. We want to set him down and tell him -"listen, Dad, we love you but you are not making the right decisions. Mom IS GOING TO GET HELP and you are going to stop yelling at her and if you do not we will call the the authorities. AND we are all going to talk with Mom's doctors together." We -sister, husband-all think that once he accepts the situation he will be more in control of his emotions. Maybe we are fooling ourselves.
SunsetSheila-it is posts like yours that help me get my husband to see reality! He wants to bury his head -at times, -he hates confrontation-, and when I see posts like yours i make him read them!!!! I say -see- I say "read my first post, husband, read what I wrote -did I exaggerate at all? Did I lie about anything?" and he says "No, you told the truth". I say " could I not have even said MORE?" and he agrees and then I say "read this post( yours)- " and he finally sees that my Dad , a man ,my husband used to really respect, is being abusive. So I thank you.

ba8alou-I have just , in the last day maybe-started to ask myself that very question-could my Dad be slipping cognitively? Could that be part of the problem? I really cannot say. Sometimes I want to hide a camera in their house and video tape them when I am not there. I am definitely going to think on the subject of my Dad's mental state.

Thanks again to all!!!! Each of your posts help so much!!!!
(2)
Report

JessieBelle-I wondered about having to go so far as putting her in a NH but that seems so extreme. My Mom once said she should go into a nursing home but I think she was being dramatic and wanting me to assure her we would not do that. That is kinda how she does things now. --Except with my Dad's yelling -then she just takes it. She used to cry but now just sits there-My God-did I really just wrote that? That is horrible when I think about it. But it is true . She used to get really upset when my Dad yelled but now she just kinda sits there.
I do think she feels like she deserves it-not from having been abused for years because she wasn't but because she , I think, feels she is somehow at fault for her disability and a burden. She was so active -did Jazzercise into her 60's and prided herself on being independent. I think now she feels she has somehow failed. She can get very depressed. She was on medication for awhile for it but said it didn't work so she stopped taking it. But, yeah, she feels like she deserves some of his abuse I think.

Sebring-do you know what would happen if I call adult services? My Dad would know it is me if I called and they showed up -which , really, if I thought it the best route would not be a deterrent I just do not want to call them have them come out -determine that my Mom is fine and then have my Dad cut me off from contact with my Mom. And then I would not be any help.
birdfan- wow-sounds like you had a long road! If the intervention is not a success than I will be traveling on that road, I fear and would love to be able to ask you some questions.
Emjo-
I just do not know how much of an addiction my Dad has. But his mom and Dad were gamblers and his brother, my Uncle , lost everything to gambling so it is definitely inhis genes!! But how can I address an addiction if it isn't really causing any problems? Or is it and I am not seeing it? Honelstly I think his gambling is the one thing that is keepng him sane. His trips. If I take that away where will he go to get away and I want him to get away -actually I wish he would stay away at times!! I am not sure by what you mean when you ask if I have one make outside of the family with me? Do you mean does he have a friend that would back us up? No, he doesn't. He has his brother but his brother wouldn't say anything against him.
Hessaw- Yes, the abuse hotline suggested I see an attorney and one by them as county by county laws change. I really hope I do not have to but I will if it comes down into it. I know it seems that it HAS come down to it but my husband and siblings do not agree that it has. I really hope an intervention
will help. My Dad did not abuse her before so maybe?
Mdarnell-wow-you made some great points(well everybody here did-I thank you all!!) and I will be using your post as a guide. It is good to hear that you would not say such names to a girlfriend. I mean it is good for all of us to read that because I think many many people rationalize insults like that with-oh, he is just having a bad day or he did not mean that. But no one should say that. Ever! I may indeed be calling you in the very near future. Thank you for the offer!!!!!!!!!

I need to stop typing now because my head is starting to ache. This whole thing is making me sick. I thank you all so much and I hope we do keep this discussion going for my own selfish reasons and for the fact that this needs to be discussed-the abuse of loved ones, the feeling of helplessness when witnessed and the legality .
God bless all of you caregivers!!!!!
(3)
Report

MishkaM; First of all, hats off to you for being a wonderful daughter and for wanting to protect your mom. Your situation sounds scarily similar to what one of my cousins went through over the past 20 years or so dealing with her parents, my aunt and uncle. Has it ever occured to anyone that your FATHER may be mentally ill/cognitively impaired/demented? It certainly sounds like it to me.

In terms of an intervention, get Dad out of the house and get your mother into
SAFE care. Investigate her finances. Get her to a doc for those tests and find out what's going on medically. Call in social services to take a look at your Dad. I would not try to do anything vis a vis your mom with you Dad around, both because he may become violent and because she will not agree to anything while he's there. Hugs, B
(2)
Report

OK- wow- Skimmed through the posts. You all are so awesome and I can feel the concern you all have for my Mom. Just to clarify , though, she wasn't abused when I was growing up. She was a very very independent and active woman who went back to college at 40- back before that was the norm- and went on to work very successfully. She and my Dad yelled at each other often but she gave as good as she got and it never got violent-really-not even the name calling just loud. They had a good marriage though my Dad waas gone a lot for work -sometimes we would kid that was WHY they had a good marriage though because they could bicker.
As for his gambling-I just do not know if he has an addiction. He has plenty of money-he doesn't use her pension-I know because I saw her checkbook when I was helping her shop once and it had almost 60,000grand in it -that is what he "let's"her shop with. I do not think he would let her shop with all the money they have and it must be real as he is very sure to check that if we wrote a check while shopping it is recorded. They also own their house outright and have for many years. They are sound financially-which is great but makes me more angry that he acts like they cannot afford a nurse.
I think he gambles because he just doesn't have any other hobbies. He needs breaks-it is best if he can travel somewhere to fully get away--so he kinda fell into that scene. And , boy, do they -the casinos -just keep sending him invitations to tournaments amd free hotel nights. My husband says I cannot tell him not to gamble as he earned that money and can do what he wants with it so be it. I just do not understand his thinking-that he can spend money on that but not a home health care aide. !! And he can be so weirdly cheap about other things-reusing garbage bags- asking Mom to reuse Depends-.
So , no, Mom was not abused growing up. I can say that with confidence. But , yes, I do think she is now. And I have stood up to my Dad , I have repeatedly told him to cut it out!! But he is not listening.
My husband thinks my Dad is prideful and sad at the same time. He thinks my Dad does not want to admit he is getting old and needs help. He also thinks my Dad is very sad that my Mom is so sick and doesn't want to face reality. Inagree with my husband but that does not give my Dad any right to be so darn mean!! And my Mom can be so frustrating-I get that-with her OCD-getting stuck on a topic -like the stuffing for Thanksgivng and wanting to make it herself a week before Thanksgiving and talking about it non stop but that still does not mean he can be so darn mean. I gave her a timeline for the dinner and told her she was on charge of telling me when the timeline said it was time to make the stuffing, then the mashed potatoes etc-and she was also I charge of taste testing and she was much calmer. She had her paper and when she asked about the dinner I would point to the timeline and this helped. But see-my experience with my daughter and her needs is why I know how to help her. I am , quite honestly, a pretty good caregiver-because A.I had to become one and B. it is in my nature. I worked as a nursing assistant at 18 at a nursing home and then got a degree in Elementary Education. I have always wanted to be in the role of a care giver of sorts. My Dad-he was an electrical engineer and never really had to raise us kids and now is telling us he can take care of my Mom?!?! Why doesn't he just see that it is OK not to be able to???

I think I am rambling now! You are all right in that things need to change!! And quick. I am going to go back and read the posts more thoroughly and respond to each. This is an important topic-someone brought that up and I am so glad we are all talking about it.
(1)
Report

Oh my, I just got on line -had a horrible migraine this morning and went back to sleep and just now woke up- and found all these comments! Thank you all. My head is still kinda sore but I am going to read all your comments and get back to each of you. They all mean so much as I am at such a loss. Thank you all.
(0)
Report

i forgot to add one comment. continue to love your dad and help him get through this new change in living. it won't be easy for him. don't neglect him and let him know it will be good for him and your mother. He's a victim of his own success with abuse. Maybe it's not too late to help him see the light with professional help. He will be very lonely without her but it has to be done.
(1)
Report

As everyone has stated this is abuse. If you knew a parent that was treating a child in this manner you would call protective services. It is no different. Your father who was not a "hands on" dad is no forced to be care giver to the person who did it all, so he could be free to do as he pleased. He is angry and he will eventually cause her serious physical harm. Step back from your emotions and view the problem as if it were not your parents. An elderly frail woman being abused and neglected by her husband who is capable of going out gambling. God forbid something should happen while she is alone. Even with a life alert button so much can go very bad before help arrives. Please be the children your Mother needs you to be at this time in her life. Make those calls get professional in on the situation.
(1)
Report

iI think the intervention needs to be DONE ON YOUR FATHER, not your mother.

Your father appears to be showing signs of dementia if he is not recognizing that your mother is NOT causing the falls. Intervention on him might help him to at least acknowledge that he is no longer able to care for her, that he is harming her, and that SHE needs additional help. He cannot let go of her because he has always depended on her and with the children no longer there to abuse, she has increasingly become the central focus of his contempt for any shortcomings he has.

It will be difficult breaking this bond because it is all he has left of his past and he must continue to abuse her to hold onto his own false self-esteem. The bond won't be broken without immediate professional help.

It sounds as though you girls are as weak as your mother, therefore, even though you recognize the problems, you are as ineffective as your mother in standing up to him. What you must do is obvious and should have been done long ago. obtain PROFESSIONAL HELP AND SUPPORT. You can no longer continue to be a passive bystanders, in effect, acting like your mother has for years and letting him get away with such abuse. Time for you girls to stand up, confront your dad and TAKE CHARGE. PERIOD.

He will survive, but your mother may not. She obviously never had the strength to stand up to him and she probably will not support you either. She never will. But for you girls, it's now or never or watch your mother continue to suffer physical abuse, bruises, bones broken, spirit crushed. Though she cannot admit it, she’s counting on you to do the right thing quickly. It might be a good lesson for your brother as well to see you girls in action.
(4)
Report

This conversation is so important, Mishka, and I thank everyone who has entered into it. I am facing something similar in January only I live a full day's plane flight away. Thank you!
(3)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.