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My fiance and I moved across country to help his elderly mom and step dad. Because his mom is older than his step dad and is a fall risk (and deaf, with a cochlear implant and a native of Japan), we thought he needed help taking care of her. She has previously fallen and broken her neck and is pretty hard to slow down when she is feeling good. He was happy that we were coming because he wanted help with cleaning and to be able to leave the house without worrying about her.

What met us when we arrived was a completely different situation. The house was filthy and there was some hoarding going on. They were fighting constantly. The house was not safe for her at all. There was expired medication EVERYWHERE. Covering the dining room table, filling a large filing cabinet and all over the floor of the closet. A few days in we discovered that he was giving her some meds that had been prescribed to him. I investigated and found out her was giving her his Alzheimer's meds. I began a ten day cleaning/organizing project. In the process, I found Alzheimer's meds going back to 2007, mostly untouched, except for the bottle that he had written her name on.

We have now been here for two months. In that time we have had nothing but trouble from him. Every other day he is threatening to call the police and have us thrown out. He won't let my fiance spend anytime with his mom without supervising - even though we are in the same house. When they leave, he locks their bedroom door as if we are going to steal from him. We have already had to defy him to call the ambulance for her - she ended up in the hospital and then in rehab. Since she came home a few weeks ago, he has gotten more and more agitated. He tells people more and more crazy stories as the time passes (he invented the electric blanket, he invented the drone, he could go to the pentagon and disable the fiber optics so they can't spy on him anymore, he is responsible for the recent groundbreaking for a new VA nursing home, etc.)

He has firearms and a concealed carry permit. There is a large box of assorted ammo, mostly shotgun shells in the spare bedroom, but we haven't been able to find the guns.

I am the main focus of his anger. He thinks I have some power to control my fiance and have convinced him to come and ruin things. The whole situation has had a negative effect on my fiance's mom. It wears her out and will set her memory back. Some days she will not get out of bed or eat.

The hospital she was recently in (both the attending physician and a social worker) filed reports with Adult Protective Services due to my fiance's step dad's behavior at the hospital and her health when she was admitted. Because she was sent to a rehab facility, APS did not follow through. The nursing home/rehab center (where she has been several times and they are very familiar with her husband's behavior) refused to file any reports and would not go on record with what they told my fiance - that they were only releasing her to go home because he and I were there to make sure she was safe and cared for. The director said that they "do not get involved in family disputes."

We have sent letters to the VA (a social worker and his primary physician) informing them that he is not taking his meds and behaving, well, strangely.

We are not sure where else to turn or what to do. As it is, I only leave our room to leave the house or clean. I am afraid of the step dad and not able to cope with the way he treats me. If I spend time out in the rest of the house, my fiance feels the need to defend me and they get into a fight.

Any ideas? Help!

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Thanks for your advice. The step dad has two kids, but they live across country, as does his brother. None of them are very active in his life and one of the sons is a cross country truck driver with a gambling addiction, so right now we are all there is. Our plan is to contact his brother first, but not until after we get someone official involved. The step dad is pretty good at faking it, especially on the phone. We ourselves did not know how bad things were until we actually got here and when we came, it was supposedly to help him care for mom because she is so frail. I appreciate all the advice and answers. You are all very kind.
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Whatever you need from every agency you are dealing with, put in WRITING and state you will hold them liable if someone gets hurt. You will get the action you need! Does the stepdad have any relatives?
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Stepfather no doubt has all the guns in their bedroom, which he locks whenever they leave. He has kept mom isolated up to the point when we got here. He would take her to see other Japanese ladies, but would not allow anyone to visit. He has always had a difficult personality and only has one friend, so there aren't a lot of folks who would have noticed anything made the call re his guns. And I am not sure what Tennessee gun policy is - I'm guessing it's pretty fast and loose, because his concealed carry permit renewal arrived in the mail just after we got here a couple of months ago. This is a very RED state, so I am guessing they don't take the background check very far or update that info regularly.

Having had a grandmother that succumbed to Alzheimer's, I know that this gets worse and worse. I am wondering how long it will be before he can no longer "fake it" and becomes extremely symptomatic. I know every case is different, and he's been diagnosed since 2007. I know there have been a few instances where he got lost going somewhere familiar, but for the most part he is still able to get around. He goes to VA appointments for various things every other week - some an hour away. Of course, he does have gps...

I guess what I am asking is - how long before he forgets how to use the gps? Is he going to get them both lost on one of these shopping trips? At this point he is obsessive about paying bills himself - could that be because it is difficult for him and that makes him afraid? Also, he has been wearing the same shirt for the last three weeks. I've only seen him variate once, I am assuming that the shirt was in the laundry. LOL.

I'll talk to my fiance about going to the police re the guns. As I said earlier - it's doubtful that anyone reported the guns before.

Thanks so much to everyone - I am so glad I found this forum!
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liebekatie,

Ahhhhh, I see the situation now. Cultural barriers. Plus your fiancée is not blood kin to the stepfather. That does make it more difficult doesn't it? Your only recourse I can think of is APS. Try to get the VA to step up but as you said, you can contact APS if the VA is a dead end. At least it's something.
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Second thought: if your stepfather has the permit and the ammo but there's no sign of the guns, is it possible that they were removed by the authorities some time ago, before you were on the scene; perhaps because someone else reported concerns? I don't know if you'd have any luck asking the police to check their records and see?
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It sounds as if you're both doing a magnificent job in an incredibly difficult situation. I hope it gets resolved quickly from here.

Just out of interest, what did the rehab centre record on their discharge notes, then? Presumably they had to state where they were sending their patient: were they economical with the truth, just blandly stated that the home was satisfactory?

Your fiancé's stepfather is as mad as a box of frogs and He's Got A Gun. I really don't know what to think on hearing that the police didn't come round and remove all weaponry without pause. Whatever happened to an abundance of caution?!
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APS doesn't want you to contact the police because it would make them look bad. Go ahead and see the Chief of Police in your location.
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Thanks for the responses! First of all - this is my fiance's step dad, so he can't legally have any discussions with the doctor at the VA, but we did send that doctor a letter today (as well as a social worker at the VA) by certified mail. We detailed everything and included pictures of the pills he isn't taking but has been getting since 2007 and noted that one bottle has his wife's name on it in his handwriting. We removed all those bottles of Galantimine (there were about 12) so he would stop giving them to my fiance's mom. She doesn't have Alzheimer's, but she was recently diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Also - the cultural issues. His mom is native Japanese and mostly deaf. Communication is really hard. She can't hear my fiance, but she can hear me. He says what I need to say in Japanese and then I mimic it to her. (She thinks I speak really good Japanese as a result!) Her memory issues being what they are, we often have to have the same difficult conversation with all the extra effort, about every other day.

I called APS almost immediately upon arriving here. They told me that my fiance should ask the rehab facility to file a report (see my previous statement) and to inform the VA. If we get nowhere with them, then call APS back.

As to talking to the sheriff - I wanted to do that immediately, but APS told me it might the situation worse, especially because non-blood relatives, we can't get any doctors who see him to talk to us about his condition. He has no blood relations for 1000 miles and they aren't very dependable or emotionally close to him.

We have, however, been compiling a file. My fiance is keeping a journal of everything that happens and we do use my cell phone camera from time to time.

He is a veteran, so he would go to whatever they have available. We plan to stay with mom. She's a peach and that's the Japanese way - it's important to my fiance that we do that.

The biggest road block, it seems, is that neither of us is a blood relative and his wife is traditional Japanese and won't go against him. She has lucid days. Recently, during a lucid moment, she told my fiance that her husband was released from the VA hospital because they didn't think he was a threat to anyone. We have no way of knowing how long ago that was, though. Hopefully, once the VA (either the doctor or the social worker - my money is on the social worker) gets the letter, they will assess him and do something about this.

Of course, as everyone knows, earlier stage Alzheimer patients are really good at seeming "normal" when they need to be.

And to the driving - he insists on driving her everywhere. If we are going somewhere and want to take her, he drives her separately! And, HE ENCOURAGES HER TO DRIVE even though her arms are too weak to use her walker and she can't hear!

Thanks for hearing me!
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Yikes, that's quite a situation you have there. Although there is another thread on this site with almost the exact same issue. The girlfriend of the son moved with him and into the son's dad's house. Everything was well and good in the planning phase and when the son and the girlfriend finally got to his dad's house it was a huge mess and they had had no idea what was really going on. I wish I remembered the name of the poster but I don't. But the girlfriend ended up hiding in the bedroom most of the time to get away from the boyfriend's father who treated her like crap and the boyfriend, she felt, didn't defend her enough to his father.

But anyway.....The first thing that jumped out at me were those guns. You absolutely must get your hands on them and dispose of them. This guy is way too volatile to have weapons in the home. Maybe the police could help you find them? Find a time when the dad is out of the house and call the number to the police station (not 911) and ask them what they suggest.

It sounds like this couple is falling through the cracks of the system. You can call APS yourself. This situation is pure chaos and I don't blame the mom for staying in bed some days. And the situation won't get any better, it will only continue to deteriorate. You and your husband have to get out of that environment, his father sounds like a maniac. Is he on medication? Anti-anxiety? Anything that would calm him down? Your fiancée should get an appointment for his dad with the dad's Dr. and see about getting some medication to calm him down.

And last but not least I would start looking into alternative living arrangements for Dad. From what you wrote it doesn't sound like he'd do well in an assisted living facility if they would even accept him. His next stop may be a nursing home. Which leaves Mom. Do some research and see if you can find an ALF for her. Once she's out from under this guy's thumb she may thrive and enjoy her new surroundings. Goals, in order, in my opinion:

1.) Call APS
2.) Call the police
3.) Get an appointment with Dad's Dr.
4.) Begin looking for a nursing home for Dad and an assisted living for mom (you need to talk to APS before you begin searching for alternative arrangements for Mom and Dad),

If Mom is lucid and I didn't read anything that makes me think she isn't, talk to her about all of this. Obviously you can't talk to Dad rationally as he is not a rational person but Mom should be in on all of this.

I'm so sorry you have to be involved in all of this and I'm sorry your fiancée has to see his parents like this. But situations like this are not unheard of. Nothing like a little Alzheimer's to bring out the dysfunction in a family.

Good luck and I hope you come back to vent and let us know how you're doing.
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Pay a visit to the local police chief and explain the situation of aggression, list dates and times and events, Alzheimer's (bring proof, MD letter is good) and ask them to retrieve the weapons. File a written complaint! I anticipate Dad will kick up quite a fuss and may resist the officers. That would be a good time to have him hauled away for a 72 hr psych eval. Get as many written statements from as many people as possible to validate your concerns, especially the VA. If you have a cell phone, capture him on video when he's acting out. Good God he should not be driving in his deteriorated condition, either. A psychotic behind the wheel with a pistol permit is a tragedy waiting to happen. If you have a nanny cam, you may even see him knock her around when they are alone. Delay no more, please!!
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