My elderly father who is 82, is gotten increasingly disrespectful to my Mother, to the point that I believe it is verbal abuse. He is constantly negative, yelling at her, and just seems like he is so unhappy with his life. My Mom is a doll, she really is the picture perfect "Mrs. Smith" (and she makes great pies too!!). She has a heart of gold. I can see her trying to do other things to keep busy. She gardens, paints, and try's to stay active. Dad on the other hand, wants her to be by his side watching TV all day and night. He doens't understand her other hobbies, and is very vocal about he doing things. He even yells at her when she comes to my house to help out (I have a two year old and five year old). He tells her she is basically dumb everytime she asks a question, and has called me large and ugly just recently. This is NOT the Dad I use to know. I have expressed this with my only other sibling, and he listens, but doesn't seem to think it's too urgent, as I don't believe he knows the severity of it, as he only see's them about 4x a year. I fell like I am trying to comfort Mom, who is walking on egg shells every day of her life, but yet I need to do more. I have expressed to Mom to take Dad to the doctor, and that he needs a "happy pill" or estrogen or something, but all she says is that he won't go. I am at my witt's end. It is becoming VERY bad, to the point my father has embarrassed my Mother so much that she no longer wants to do things with him. Any idea's or thoughts?

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Ask your mother to sign up here, and we'll convince her that he needs to go to a doctor! Tell her you're afraid she will die young just to get away from him. Tell her your kids need their grandmother. We can give you lots of advice, but she is the one who would have to agree to take action.

It might be that for her to "run away" is the only thing that will get him to move, but that can be dangerous. Are there guns in the home? That multiplies the danger.

My mother was very anxious that the neighbors not know that anything was less than perfect. It would have taken a LOT to get her to leave the verbal abuse she suffered.

Does your father ever go to the doctor? The next time he has an appointment, send a letter to the doctor telling him/her what's going on. As a last resort, you can report him to Adult Protective Services for elder abuse, especially if the abuse is physical..
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I know someone who was abused verbally finally she gave the threat to leave if he didn't see a doctor. He did and the pill citalopram worked its wonder.
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Your father is out and out abusive to your Mother and something needs to be done about it immediately. You say this is not the father you once knew, but have you had a conversation with your Mom about him and his behavior? You need to find out how long this has been going on, it may be longer than you think! You need to ask your Mom to come over to help you and you need to have a long sit down conversation without interruptions to delve into what is presently going on and how long ago it started.

This may be due to mental decline but it is classic verbal and mental abuse.

My family moved into a neighborhood many years ago and became good friends with the woman next door and her two children. As time went on she met and married a man who had a son and we were happy for her. They wound up having a daughter together. We began hearing horrible fights, screaming and yelling from the man. We could hear it in our house and would listen to hear what was happening to see if we should phone the police. This went on for years, but it only happened when their kids were out of the house on a date or at school. 45 years later her kids still do not believe the abuse she went through because he was a master manipulator and made sure there were no witnesses to his abuse.

She was a beautiful, fun and loving person, who loved to cook and is capable of the best desserts ever! She worked for a company, which was her place of calm and quiet. She would have to drive round and round after work to get the courage to come home and then drink to make it through the evening and abusive screaming. He was a big wig at a well known company and was Mr Congeniality to everyone he met, it was only us who knew and could hear his abusive behavior towards her. When he retired, he demanded she do the same thing, she hoped they could travel, he decided to basically hold her hostage.

One day we found out their house had been sold and he was moving to Arizona and she was going to Wisconsin to take care of her sick mother and was to later join him in Arizona. This was her escape, she was NEVER going to go back to him once she got away. She was lucky that he became sick and was not able to force her back with him.

I have told you this story only because of the fact that your father may have been a very nice man, but his mental illness has made him mean and abusive towards your mother. You have to have this conversation with your mother, because he may have been abusive to her all along and you never noticed what was going on.

If the current problem is due to illness, you, your brother and mother, must stand together as a united front and tell Dad that you have concerns about his behavior and you need to speak to his doctor and get him in for a medical and mental evaluation. You cannot leave your mother in the lurch trying to handle this situation alone, as it sounds like he bullies or overrides her and her wishes.

Do you know if your father has a Trust? If he does, you need to look at it and find out if anyone has been given his Power of Attorney. If nothing has been done yet you need to talk him into getting a Trust and make sure a Power of Attorney is assigned to you or your brother. I would not recommend your Mom as she may not be strong enough to stand up to him. With the Power of Attorney you become in charge of his Healthcare and Financial matters when he becomes mentally incompetent as in diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer's. What you need to tell him to is , Dad we need to get this done now, just in case you become ill in THE FUTURE it will be taken care of. The truth is, if he is having a mental problem, you will need it now or sooner rather than later, but do not tell him that or he won't do it. If you wait too long for his mental illness to get worse, he will not be legally able to give it to anyone as he is considered mentally incompetent.

You have to know that all people with Dementia or beginning Alzheimer's live in denial, they do not think they have a problem and will scream that fact in your face. They can be very difficult to deal with and it takes a very strong person to stand up to them, especially men to HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN CHARGE! Don't misunderstand me, women are no cakewalk either!

You cannot leave your Mom alone in this situation, now that your eyes are open and you see what is happening, it is your responsibility to step up and help any way you can. You need to get your brother and fill him in on all the details and let him know how serious this matter is and that his help is needed.

If his behavior gets worse your Mom may have to leave or he needs medication or he may have to live in a facility that can control his behavior. Your Mom sounds like a lovely wonderful woman, she should not have to live the last years of her life in an abusive situation!

God Bless You All!!!
This is never easy!
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You didn't mention your dad's health. I would be concerned about his anger and his possible physical abuse toward your mom. Does your dad have any friends or religious connections who might help you to convince him of his need to see a medical professional. I have found that Home Health Care has answers for family members - they can give you suggestions on how to approach your dad. Family interventions are hard, but may reach him on a level others would not be able to do.
Please don't wait too long - it seems to me your mom needs your loving attention soon.
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If your dad's personality has undergone significant changes, he may be starting dementia or some other neurological disorder. Will your dad listen to anyone about going to the doctor? A minister or friend or your brother? Would your mom ever consider moving out? If she's like my mom, she wouldn't, but I'm just trying to think of ways to shake your dad up a bit so that he realizes he needs to treat your mom with more respect.

Does your dad have physical problems that prevent him from getting out and doing things or has he always been like this?

I'd certainly recommend that your mom leave the room whenever he starts in on her. Then he's just talking to himself. And you stand up for yourself if he's verbally abusive with you. But if this is a very different way of behaving for him, I'd try to check out medical causes first.
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