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My mom had a cat scan, ( normal), blood work, (normal), urinalysis ( normal). She is not normal however, verbally abusive to my dad, accuses him cheating, poisoning her, moving things, etc. He tries overlook it. I want to get help, but does dad have to make the call? They live at their own home & are 76. She also thinks house is bugged & people follow them.

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Hi Joannes, I am facing opposition from mom for help & dad protecting her at his cost of peace. She just begged me to believe her that he took her pills out of her Fri box, injected her in her sleep with drugs to put her in deep sleep. Then, 5 shots in her neck & ea leg. This us every day conversation. They have an 80 acre farm. He rents the land now. She thinks the share croppers are after the farm & their wives are having affairs with dad. I am calling area agency on aging as soon as the baby takes a nap. This is my next step. I like the idea of an aide in there for housework. They both are showering fine right now on their own. I hope your mom follows her friend to AL. It's too lonely to be old & live alone. I talked to mom about AL & she said she wouldn't know anyone. She doesn't exactly have a social life now. They are only 76 & I'm 53. Wish I had gotten more good years out of them. But, Dementia goes when & where it wants.
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Theresa53....We never have our own ducks in a row, I do not think! I can suggest, teach and reflect on how I walked and how many corners I turned and came full circle before I found something that worked, but, believe me, when I am in the middle of the crises, or one of Mom's outbursts, I just want to sit and cry like everyone else! And the steps I mentioned, were NOT an easy list. I've been doing this with my folks for 3 years now....and still feel like I am treading water! I can suggest what I wish someone would have listed to me in the first year because there was so much wasted time, energy and tears to get these few things to work. RE: help in the home....it was DAD who needed help but said he didn't. I worked with Mom to say that SHE needed help 'with cleaning'. She didn't want to even pretend to say she needed help. I can see now, that even three years ago, her resistance and communications were her dementia already showing up! Anyhow, finally...after months of talking and arguing and calling me with every crises....calls from Mom: " Would you call your dad and tell him he didn't take his medicine this morning." "Would you call your dad and tell him he needs to take a shower". And my Dad would say that Mom was crazy.... and, in so many ways, he was right! I couldn't tell the manipulations between them from what was real. And I live 5 hours away! Anyhow, finally they agreed to try a helper for 30 days. And, one of the selling points they grabbed on to, had to do with someone calling APS. We had had police there several times over one summer, due to them fighting and yelling with the windows opened. One time I actually called from here for a welfare check. But lawyer suggested I use those calls as a way to say, that if the neighbors called APS, we ....me, them, the lawyer, would not have any say so about decisions made if APS didn't think they were safe. Lawyer said if WE had a health care helper coming in and we were contracted with an agency, then APS would not remove anyone from the home, or put anyone else in charge. NOW it was a bit of an exaggeration because if APS can find family who will take charge, they won't take over...but, as the lawyer, said, why not just give them the worst case scenario because it COULD happen, especially when I was out of town and could not take them in. Well, that got their attention! AS with most their age, they wanted NO involvement with any gov't agency prying into their lives. So I stressed, " Well we create our own plan. We have a helper for the minimum number of hours that the agency requires and if you still hate it after a month, we'll stop it and think of something else." The gal we got (AND you can request a MALE too!) was amazingly experienced with dementia and she understood how to befriend dad, AND help Mom and help Mom see that she could handle Dad and stop the bickering. At the end of the month, Dad's dementia was such that he didn't remember she had not always been coming....and Mom started to appreciate the 'help' she was getting too. That person stayed a year, including 5 months after Dad was placed because Mom was lonely alone and needed help adjusting. Then the caregiver got ill and had to quit and we've been with no one. Another suggestion....call the local council on aging, in your town, or senior center. I got a group of volunteers involved in coming to do chores, mow the lawn, wash windows, minor repairs. They could be helpful to your Dad. In our town, they take donations, and no charges. They also now bring Mom fresh veggies weekly and call to offer to take her to activities to get her out of the house. She generally refuses....but at least it's an invitation. I even called the VA and the VFW to try to get a volunteer from there just to stop by and visit with my Dad, cause he loved then to talk about his war experiences and he didn't drive anymore, so couldn't get out of the house unless Mom took him somewhere. My dad was in a paranoid state for awhile and he accused Mom of meeting men at the grocery store. She did leave the house every day at approx. the same time, and go do runs to various stores to look for 'specials' and often came home with nothing, so could see WHY he wondered about her trips. He would call me, totally anxious...and even tell me that he had followed her and yes, she went into the grocery, but then she came out and followed a man away in both cars. And he wasn't driving so I knew he had not even followed her and misinterpreted what she was doing! He needed meds. I didn't understand until he first got placed and got involved with a geri psych office. The meds didn't zonk him out or anything....just helped him feel more normal and sleep better at night. He could have come home again with some caregivers....but Mom couldn't help him with anything at that point because she was going downhill too much and they always negatively fed off each other anyhow. My Dad is now 93 and my Mom is 89....so you can see where it would be much harder for one to care for the other. I am 70 myself...and life is getting harder for me everyday! My long term goal for them both, if they live much longer, is to move them both into a full service AL in Phoenix....where I have a daughter and family living. That is only 3 hours from me, plus I would be staying with daughter then, and not at Mom's house, with an endless supply of things she wants me to do while there! And in between my visits, my daughter could visit them and be my eyes and ears. It would need to be a place that had Memory care for Dad....and eventually, I am sure Mom would also need memory care anyhow... But then, they could visit each other as much as they wished, and Mom would not be driving and they would have increased assistance as they needed it. Mom would have others for friendship and socializing. She's not hearing of any of it at this point, so it's help in the home, but just this week, she's learned that her close friend, who is 94 has been convinced by her sons to sell the house and move into assisted living. Mom is going with her friend to look at places. Her friend has asked Mom to think about moving in with her too...we'll see! But at least another friend is going through the same issues in old age, so that might help Mom come around and think about it more. It is all very hard. For them...and for us!
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Wow Joannes you have spelled it out for me & I so appreciate your time. I am going to sit down with dad & tell him these options. We are at the beginning of trying different things to help her. I do have to walk a different path now because nothing else has worked & she's getting meaner every day. She is suspicious when I phone dad & often yells at him to hang up. I don't think an aide would work because she thinks he's cheating with every woman they see & even men occasionally! I still want to try for an aide to clean. I live 80 miles away & take care of my grandson full time. Dad does all the housework, cooking, & outdoor work onthe farm. It's a load for a 76 yr old man. I have no sibs nearby to help or relatives close enough to drop in. So sorry your hubby has Parkinson's. You are really overloaded. It sounds like you have your ducks in a row. Thanks so much for sharing. I have felt so hopeless lately.
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Went through this in reverse with my parents before we got my Dad placed in Memory Care. You won't get much fixed without a diagnosis, so everyone knows what your Mom is dealing with. Meds will help. IF Dad wants to try to keep them together, then you and he need to be together on a plan. If her doc is approachable, even set up a private app't with doc to discuss the help you need and/or fax him a detailed paper. He needs to refer for a neuro psych exam or to a geri psych doc as others suggested. Current doc would still be her doc. The geri psych would just handle diagnosis and meds. It sounds like dementia to me...but other ailments can affect brain as can meds reacting with each other as another suggested. A doc has to look at the whole picture. A diagnosis with some meds to calm down her brain may enable her to be home with Dad and happier. Is there a chance of getting someone to come in a few hours a day to buffer and help Dad? Another set of eyes and ears even for you? We eventually got help in home for Dad, but I had to pretend she was there to help Mom and got him to initially agree to a '30 day trial' By the time a month was up, everyone was happy together. A daily helper is also a sane person to communicate with Dad and give him ideas. My Dad would shower and change clothes, take meds, etc for the helper, where he would fight over everything with Mom. Once Dad can understand a diagnosis, if things don't get better, its easier to get him to look at other solutions. Long term, would be Mom placed, and either Dad at home and goes to visit with her or take her out for dinner and social activities, or both in AL with possibly Mom in Memory Care at the same facility. What I had so much trouble with in the beginning, was coming to the realization that my job, first and foremost , was to keep them both safe. I could not keep them both happy because all the things they wanted were not safe, and they were past the point of having intelligent discussions. And finally, do you have POA over either of them? You may need to work with Dad, who is still able to think well...and see an eldercare attorney to get this in line, before Mom is so out of it she cannot legally sign for this. Either that or Dad should have POA over Mom at this point. I needed to use my POA authority several times to get done what my parents needing done. Otherwise, unless they both agree, you cannot force a doctor visit or use their money to pay for an in home worker or move them to AL. Whoever has the authority to spend the money, can say yes or no to these decisions. So either Dad has it for Mom and you and he get on the same page, or you should have it. Actually you can have POA on both parents but not invoke it for the parent who can still make sensible decisions. That's how it is right now for me. Mom can make some decisions so I consult with her, but I pay all the bills for both and assume medical decisions for both, but where Mom is able, I ask what she wants to do and try to get her involved in the decision. Currently trying to get her to see that if she wants to stay home, it's time for a helper in there again for her. And we have to decide what investment we pull from next for money to pay for this. She's not on board, but I have an attorney who will call her in for a meeting and he will be more of the tough guy who lays the choices out, short term and long term and then says, " If you want to stay home, we have to start selling things and cashing in investments aside from your house...but as you get worse, it will be moving you and hubby into AL living together, with him in memory care (and maybe her as she gets worse!) and selling the house to pay for it all. That's where I am. It's all very rough for all of us here. Worse for those who are the direct care givers and have had to give up lots of their own lives to do this 24/7. I think GOD had a plan when we had to move out of town 9 years ago, because I do it long distance, but now have a husband with Parkinson's too....and no way would I have survived this, with 3 in my home, or me having to go to their home to help daily, and leave hubby at home!
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We had her right there at E. R. being evaluated by Meridian Services ( mental health) & he still took her home! My hubby says he needs to man up because she is suffering too with paranoia & delusions galore.
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Yes, CentralMass she has always controlled my dad thru their 58 yr marriage, but always makes herself out as the victim. Now it seems with this condition all thosebad traits have magnified to a nasty intolerable level. Perhaps, I could keep her 2 weeks & dad keep her 2 wks. He won't agree to calling 911 & taking action. I tried it once & he wouldn't follow thru. He needed to say he didn't feel safe going home with her & he wouldn't do it. I was crushed.
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Call 911 and the hospital can do a social admit until she is placed .. Just say you can't take care of her at home and they will have to admit her
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Dear Theresa53
First, let me say "don't call APS" - they will only make things worse, secondly, if I may, don't tell her she needs help as that will only make her more agitated. See if you can get some help from another doctor. Has she always had the tendency to be aggressive? If not, diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer's, and others can sometimes change a person's personality. I don't think a psych doctor is the answer either. Maybe like cameo2014 suggested, some meds to calm her a little. It would also help to get them away from each other for small breaks - like dinner, movies, shopping, etc. - if that's possible. Also, you need to take care of yourself and give yourself a break because it wouldn't be good if you got run down or sick because then you wouldn't be able to do all you need to do for them. So sorry you are having to deal with all of this, but it will get better eventually. Good luck and God bless all involved.
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Gladimhere, I didn't know the VA would help a spouse. I've got some things to look into. Yes, Babalou dad did step out about 40 yrs ago. She never forgot it & has been suspicious of his every move since. I'm sure this dementia or paranoia feeds on it. Your advice on getting them to the psychiatrist might just work. No, her Dr. is not geriatric. She's had him for years before she was old.
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I would concentrate on getting your Dad safe. Look at assisted living for he and Mom, separate units, memory care for her. Then plan their move the next time Mom stays with you. They may not like the idea, but sounds like the best option to me. Your Mom, as his spouse is also entitled to Aid and Assistance thhrough the VA and it would help to pay for facility living whether it is a VA facility or another.
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If dad is the crazy one, that's reason enough for him to go to the psychiatrist. You might point out to HER that it's not the crazy one who needs the psych doc; it's the one living with the crazy one." Proof of sanity, mom, is that you're willing to go see a psychiatrist. Perhaps these antidepressants will help you deal with the sadness over dad's affairs"
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The fact that she is calmer at your house suggests to me that she'd also be happier in Assisted Living. Just speculating, but given the rocky nature of their marriage, perhaps there was an extra marital affair at some time in the past.

the thing about her doctor? I'd call up her doctor and discuss this with him/her. Perhaps they are concerned about losing an alliance with her, or about losing her as a patient, or that her doctor simply is out of his depth here. S/he's not a geriatric doc, right? That's what she needs. And you need to be able to say to her, "no mom, you're not staying at my house again until we get this checked out. I just don't feel safe with you in this unstable mental state. I'm your child. I want what's best for you"
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Cwillie, I've thought about AL, but she would never agree because ,"nothing" is wrong with her. She talks of divorce, but I can't see her managing alone with this paranoia. She is welcome to move in with us, but she says this isn't her home andshe sshouldn't be run out of her house. (not true) Whatever we do, it will be forced on her. She has dug her heels in that she is normal & dad is the "crazy" one.
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Babalou, she is calmer & happier at our house. However, she obssesses over dad & what wonan he is with. She talks constantly against him & how he treats her. I don't believe her, but don't dispute as much as I can. His VA nurse called me because she acted out during his apt. I have also spoken to her Internist & his nurse. They denied our conversation to mom. They left me hanging & now she thinks I lied! What is up with a Dr doing that. He shld have said, yes we are concerned about you, Mrs. Jones.
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Perhaps you need to look at this a little differently. If it was your mom that was the passive one and your dad was out of control you would probably move heaven and earth to save her from the abuse. Unfortunately men who are abused by their loved ones get no sympathy, but in reality are often even more vulnerable because they can not fight back without the blame falling on him. Even though he loves her and wants to maintain the status quo I think you should look into separate living arrangements for them, even if only temporarily. She would not be able to fool staff at an assisted living facility if she was there any length of time, and perhaps it would be the impetuous needed to get her some help.
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What is she like when she's at your house? Is she calmer? Do you treat her differently than he does? What nurse spoke to you about mom? Glad the pistol is gone!
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This is why I even considered APS because she won't admit anything wrong & seek treatment & dad is so passive he just tries to get through the day & keep her happy ( impossible). It helps when she stays with me for a couple weeks.
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Actually Babalou, I don't know if she's taking meds properly. She has said dad or sometimes their neighbors are messing with her pills. She won't let me set them up. I know she takes 8 in all. Vstefans, I asked dad for his pistol yesterday & he gave it to me. She grabbed it angrily & started unloading it. Dad finally took it fromher. HHe's too permissive with an unbalanced person. He's a vet & she stormed in his apt Fri trying to rush them up. She feared they were discussing her,which they were. The nurse even called me to ask if I noticed changes in mom. H### Yes I have for the last 2 yrs! If mom had been the vet she said they could have done something. The nurse wasn't much help on action for us. Sympathy doesn't get us out of this boat. Arguing doesn't help because we can't reason withDementia. Dad is so beat down, he just says he lives her & she merrily belittles him all day. She's cruel!
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APS often but not always does the right thing. Now here's the rub- you would actually be calling APS *on your dad* for not getting your mom into the psychiatric care she needs...dad is not a vulnerable adult being abused against his will. It could reach a point where that is exactly what your dad needs someone to do if he can;t see fit to get or allow someone else to get her into care and it escalates to the point of one of them being homicidal or suicidal.
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Theresa, you mention "one more pill". Have a talk with their pharmacist to make sure there is no drug interaction that could cause these symptoms, or a particular drug whose side effects include paranoia.

In any event, make dad the focus of the intervention, especially as regards the psychiatrist. It might make her want to go.

Also are you certain she's taking her current meds properly?
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Thks so much for this help! You are angels. There is no internet in their home, but I can let him read my tablet & see the suggestions.She says she won't take 1 more pill.The geriatric psychiatrist sounds promising. I agree he may need an antidepressant. He has spoken of this driving him to his grave. They gave had a rocky 58 yr marriage. They've called on me several times to intervene & they pull thru. She's always ruled the roost. She's angry because she thinks he's cheating & poisoning her & for dropping lint & paper on the floor(strange). I won't call APS. Thanks again. I have things to try. I hope she doesn't shoot it diwn.
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Convince, not convict!
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Calling APS is only going to help I'd dad tells them "I can't live like this anymore". It sounds like he's not willing to do that.

Your mom has dementia. Her brain is broken (alternatively, she's got some kind of mental illness that is causing paranoia). You are not going to convict her of anything; she is apparently past the reasoning stage.

If your dad is her full time caregiver, HE'S the one to worry about, and to work on. One third of all caregivers die before the person they are caring for does. This is especially true of older spouses. He needs to see that the best way he can express his love right now is by getting her to a new doctor; whether it's a geriatrician, a neurologist who specializes in dementia or a geriatric psychiatrist, any of them will have better ideas than her GP. Just make sure you or dad slips the doctor a list of symptoms beforehand.
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My mom was like this with my dad also. In younger days, was theirs a happy marriage? Or dysfunctional. Sometimes that influences elder behavior. My dad was passive also. Have you asked her what she is angry about? My mom seemed angry and called dad names also. Their marriage was not great but they stayed together. Doctor said mom had organic dementia. Perhaps some meds to calm her down would help if she will take them. My mom put up a fight with that also. I think some elderly behaviors are influenced by confusion ,animosity toward spouse and just being afraid. Perhaps your dad and you can discuss a plan of action (with a geriatric physician) Change doctors!! Don't think she needs a psych doc. And APS will be useless to you, not needed at this point. If giving them time apart improves the situation than so be it. Its a break for both of them, if you can do it. Best Regards to you and your folks.
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If mom wants a divorce, could dad get her to a cooperative geriatric psychiatrist using the ruse of "marriage counseling"? Would mom be amenable to taking meds?

If something like that won't work, can you investigate an involuntary psychiatric evaluation? You might go with your father to visit a geriatric to describe mom's symptoms. Dad probably needs antidepressants at this point, and it would probably do him good to get a professional opinion on HIS ability to cope with this ongoing abuse.

With a demented mom and a passive dad, it sounds as though you're going to have to be the grownup here!
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Will dad vent here? It might help him to see what others in his shoes are doing to get their loved ones the help they need.

You need to get dad to see that there is help for her and it's not a loony bin or sedatives. He needs to get himself educated so he can help her.
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I get worse than that all the time from my demented husband. Try relaxation techniques for yourself. Good luck.
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He does put up with it. Although he calls me & needs to vent. He is reluctant to act because he pictures her in the looney bin. He says he loves her. Maybe I should back off. I just worry she'll hurt him. I have taken her to my home for a couple if weeks at a time. It helps, then he begs her back because he gets lonely. It's so sad. Dad is passive & she's super aggressive. She just called him an S. O.B.
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What does dad want? Does he want you to help get mom to a psychiatrist or a neurologist? Is he willing to put up with her behavior, for whatever reason? If he's
"ok" with this you should back off from working on mom and going on about what's wrong with her. Try to get dad away once in a while for some relief. Let it go. If he wants help, make a plan with him, then carry it out.
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No I haven't talked her into seeing a neurologist. It was an imaging center. She was told by her Dr. that he was checking for a stroke. He had to trick her into going. I suggested psychiatrist, she refused. She is in deep denial.
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