My father is 68 and I am 25. He developed dementia since nearly a year ago. He has abused alcohol most of his life and is still dependent on it to this day. Since his illness took effect, he as confabulated stories several times about my mother, strangers and myself included. He also has a history of domestic violence and aggression. My mother left him a few months ago because of verbal and physical abuse. I am now his primary caregiver, as there are no other family members able to care for him. However, lately, he has become violent towards me, wanting to start fights in his belligerent states. This behavior was not present up until a few days ago. I manage to deescalate these outbursts, but it is still very distressing. I have thought about calling the cops at times. He has been on anti-depressants, sleep medication and as well as medication for his alcohol dependency (though this has not been very effective). I wish to get my father the help he needs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Thank you all for the kind words and advice! To give some context, yes I am working currently. I took him in when his dementia started and especially because of covid. I do agree that I was way in over my head to try to take care of him by myself the last few months.

I am seeing his psychiatrist tomorrow, and hopefully he will reevaluate his medications, and I will also ask for his advice for further treatment/help. I will definitely look into programs such as al-anon or something similar/a rehab center - as was pointed out.

Reading your posts has definitely further reinforced the idea that I need outside help and that I should not feel guilty for calling the cops - if I feel in danger. Again much appreciated for all your kind words and advice.
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SnoopyLove Jan 2021
Good for you for taking charge of the situation. So glad to read this! Please keep us posted.
... and if you have any guilt for calling the cops when he’s acting out, please don’t! You aren’t giving up on him. Quite the opposite. You’re getting him the help he needs to stay alive and safe. Unless you are a doctor, therapist, and a police officer all rolled into one, there is no way you alone can care for him at the level he needs.

If he had cancer, would people expect you to treat it yourself? No! Because you aren’t qualified to do that. It’s the same with mental illness.
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Most definitely call the police the next time he starts up. They will bring him to the hospital and they will likely detox him off the booze there for seven days.
Ask to speak to a hospital social worker and tell them that you cannot and refuse to be his caregiver because you are afraid for your safety. Do you live with him in his house? If yes, then you will have to vacate the home. Even if your father is an alcoholic, they cannot force treatment on him for the alcoholism or the mental illness. He has to want to help himself and if he doesn't want to, then there's nothing anyone can do. You are the one who will have to go. Then the state will get involved they will determine whether or not he's considered a non-functioning adult and can't be left on his own. Let the state take over. There's nothing you can do for him and you're only putting yourself at risk being there.
Please do yourself a favor. Go to an Al-Anon meeting. Al-Anon is for people who have alcoholics in their lives. You will meet other people there who are going through situations like yours. You will learn all about alcoholic behavior and how they manipulate and control others. You are your father's enabler. You are not intentionally making his alcoholism and abusive behavior possible. By helping him, taking care of him, and tolerating his abuse you enable him to remain active in his addiction. The abusive behavior towards you will continue and it will get worse if you don't get out of the situation.
If you want to help your father, you can by only being willing to help him in ways that aid in his recovery if he wants it. Nothing else. Good luck.
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You need to call 911 the next time if he becomes aggressive or violent. Tell the police he needs at least a 72hr Physic evaluation that you fear for your safety. This is called the "Bakers Act". I agree, he needs more than 72 hours but this will get things rolling. What may happen is he will be taken off all meds and "dried out". Then meds brought back one at a time.

Your Mother will need to be involved, probably, to make decisions on his behalf. Take this time to see if this is what you want to do, take care of a person with Dementia and may go right back to drinking when he is home. The responsibility really is your mothers. She needs to make decisions on how she is going to deal with this. I can see where she is coming from, she has put up with his drinking, now Dementia, which was caused by his drinking. She may want to divorce him and sell the house. Your only 25. Dad is not going to get better. He will and may now need more care than you can give him. You can't deal with this alone.
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Your mother leaving him and dumping all the responsibility on you was very selfish of her. Does she not care if he abuses you? Doesn’t care that you’re sacrificing your safety and your youth so she can be free?

I’m guessing you’ve been the family scapegoat for a long time.... the one who gets dumped on and left to fend for herself. I’m sorry you got thrown into this mess.

”There’s no one else to care for him” is not true. There are multiple facilities that are there to care for him. This is too much for you to do alone, or at all. You don’t deserve to be treated like this. You sound like a good person and you have much to offer the world!

You get only one shot at this life and you need to build your life while you’re still young enough to do it. PLEASE take the advice others have given you here!!
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Your father needs way more help than you could ever provide. You are too young to be putting up with his nonsense, and abuse. Don't ever tolerate any kind of abuse from anyone!!! Next time he gets abusive, call 911 immediately. And when they take him away, you get out, and don't come back. Time for you to get some help for yourself. Please go to some Al-Anon meetings, and they will help you better understand, your father's disease, and how you respond to it.
Your father needs to be placed in a rehab facility, to start with, then placed in the appropriate facility, where he will receive the care he needs. And if he refuses rehab,(which most addicts do at first), then he more than likely end up in jail, if the abuse continues. Please take care of yourself. God bless you.
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Have YOU done al-anon? There are meetings now -
RIGHT NOW, online.

You CANNOT get your father “the help he needs”. YOU need to be there for YOURSELF for the care YOU NEED.

”CALLING THE POLICE” is your job. “De-escalating” HIS actions IS NOT YOUR JOB.

Your “wish” is understandable as his child, but UNREALISTIC.

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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 2021
So true! I had to step away from my brother when I was his caregiver.

I was in way over my head. It became unbearable for me to deal with.

Unfortunately, for him, it never improved. He died as a result of his lifestyle, drug addiction. (HepC)

It broke my heart to see him spiraling downward but I finally found the courage to save myself.

As much as I would have liked to save him from his demons, I just couldn’t. No one has that kind of power.
Has he been prescribed Antabuse? This situation is already out of control. Mixing alcohol with the medications you mention is potentially very dangerous. He really needs placement for at least 30 days. He likely won't agree but you should remove yourself from this situation. That may sound harsh but there have already been dangerous warning signals. You could indicate a willingness to return if he seeks treatment and follows up with AA meetings. This just sounds like a ticking time bomb and you don't deserve this in your life.
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Oceanzz Jan 2021
He was prescribed nalxatrone for his alcohol dependency.
Please call the police the next time he becomes threatening. Domestic violence or abuse doesn’t become OK just because you’re the only victim available to him now.
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I suppose that you feel responsible for your dad.

I can’t say that I blame your mom for not wishing to be his caregiver.

I don’t think that it was right to leave you with his care.

You are in a dangerous situation. You need to protect yourself. By all means call 911 if he is violent towards you.

Have you told his doctor about these outbursts? Clearly his meds need to be monitored closely and modified if needed.

Are you working or in school? What would you like to be doing at this time? Tell us a bit more about your life and family.

Your father needs more help than you can provide. Have you looked into placement in a facility for him?
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