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My family has a situation that seems to get worse by the month. My father-in-law is in his mid-80's. He has had 2 heart surgeries, a diabetic and when they were still performed many decades ago, he had a lobotomy (only helped a little). He has had erratic behavior for as long as my husband can remember (he is almost 50). He has been moody, would spend long times in his room and when opportunity provided he would gamble which only increased after the death of his wife.
He has been more home bound the last 2 years with the last year the worst. He has had a past that has involved violence (one court record is sealed). My husband feels part obligation to help him and also does so out of part fear. He has informed me that his dad is worse mentally but if he asks for a mental help evulation or takes him to a mental health facility that if he gets out, he would kill him. He has said many, many years ago before he got to the mental/physical state he is in now, that he threatened to cost my husband his job if he did not jump when he said jump.
I have spoke to health care professionals just as recent as last year during a hospitalization of my father-in-law and they have told me there are no distinct signs of dementia or alzheimers. He may have a little sun downers because he gets sometimes confused at night. He has visiting nurses come in and it does no good talking to them. They just flirt with him and think we have no clue what we are talking about.
He screams at my husband, comes up with ideas that are just far-fetched (nothing new) and changes power-of-attorney papers at the drop of a hat. When he could get out of his house on a regular basis and do things for himself, we would not hear from him for 4-6 months at a time. He had no interest in our family until he needed help.
I am worried for my husband's safety. My husband is miserable, does not sleep well, is having night-mares and is difficult to be around when he has had to deal with his father. We have a young child and while we try to protect her from this, she does know a lot of what is going on.
I feel trapped and so does my husband. Stepping on eggshells for fear of bodily harm or having someone threaten your job is miserable. I know this man is old and cannot live forever but I am becoming increasingly converned because in all reality, this could continue for years. I hate to sound cold because I am not that kind of person but I feel like marking off days on the calendar.
There are no siblings to help and no support system from doctors/health care providers, etc. Any suggestions?

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I would not put up with him if it was just me. I have only had to be in the same room with him once since the fall. I am worried for my huband.
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You just have to stay on it. He knows you are smart. You don't seem afraid of him to me. He is bluffing. Scared to, um, death. Hang in there, steely eyed, you will overcome this. Blessings to you:) xo
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Thank you Christina (any everyone else who has been so kind in respoding). He was going to a doctor at the VA and was actually able to get some of his meds for $2. He stopped going and they told him he needed to keep his appointments and he refused, so they dropped him. To my understanding, he blew it.
Last fall his card-playing POA buddy died and he had "an episode." We had contacted his back up power-of-attorney who lived 4 hours away in case an emergecy came up. The visiting nurse came over and was asking him if he ended up in the hospital, how to contact his POA. I gave her the info and my FIL started yelling that the person did not know and I said she did, that we had contacted her. He got mad. The visiting nurse essentially told me off when he was out of the room and when my husband and I came back from picking up his medication, my father-in-law told him to take me home. I have since learned I have been forbidden to come into his house. He said there is nothing I could do for him. He told my husband when he was helping him, "son, it sure is good to have you home."
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Your fil is a piece of work. Can you call VA and ask for help? This is a very crucial situation that needs aggressive action. Don't let the old bully win!!!
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There is no way to talk to the doctor who did the lobtomy. It was done over 50 years ago. It was done when they were still performed regularly and it was done when he was in the military. He was having stress and also became intoxicated and shot down the American flag at a base saying that the wrong side had won. He was an MP at the time. He barley avoided court maritial and was sent to 2 psychariatic facilities. While at one he said he had a "nose surgery" to help his sinuses. Once he described it and we started going through old letters when his mother passed away, we then put the puzzle together. We cannot request his military records unless 1) he agrees or 2) is deceased.
He was seeing a good doctor but got into an argument with him (essentially the doctor told it like it was and he didn't coddle him). He then switched doctors and when the doctor move her practice he refuses to go. He has the visiting nurses and the nurse practictioner that works for the company write what prescriptions he needs and he often does not take those.
He has been prescribed Valium in the past and currently has a prescription. Since he refuses to take his regular meds, it is anyone's guess it he will take a Valium.
According to his POA (which he revoked from my husband and gave to a card-playing buddy and then when he died gave it back to my husband), he has to be declared mentally incompetent by 2 doctors.
A social worker would talk to the visiting nurses, who will not be much help.
He last tried to drive his car around 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, the battery had worn down and the car would not start.
Yes, he has a gun. No, we cannot move. I have one parent left who is not in good health and I won't leave them. My husband is 8 years from being able to retire (and we have about that long left to pay off the house). We would lose health care and all retiremet benfits if we leave.
He has threatned once in the past that he would cause problems with my husbads job and he has shown up at his work place unexpected. Sometimes he calls there instead of calling my husband's cell or our home phone. My husband has a job that involves working with young people. All my father-in-law has to do is call and accuse him of something or call up his boss and start something. To give you an example, when my husband was in college he was an honor student. My father-in-law came on campus and my husband was talking to his professor. My husband introduced them and my FIL looks at him and says, "huh, so this is a professor? Doesn't look like Sh&* to me." That was the only C my husband ever received for a course.
My mother-in-law cost my husband 2 jobs before she died and tried to mess up this one. I would not put anything past him to try to cause a problem.
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More details to quantify the threat might help....how mobile is your FIL? Does he have a gun? a car? How is it that he could cost your husband his job? I'd say if at all possible you and your husband should avoid ever being alone with him. Perhaps carry some mace and a taser too while you are at it....
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Has he been diagnosed medically? Are the doctors afraid of him, too?
He must be on Medicare. Are you able to meet with a social worker and report him? I'm just thinking out loud here, maybe some one will have a good idea. Please go to mental health site and ask questions. Try to talk to dr who did his lobotomy.
Lots of bullies are cowards in disguise, remember. Keep your daughter safe and encourage your husband to have a burly friend join him in a discussion with his Dad. He needs back up to face him. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Have you talked to a Psychiatrist or your local senior care agency? I am not sure what they could do but surely they would have some advice for you. You and your family's safety should be priority number one.

If the man is homebound, my first thought would to move far away without leaving any contact info; even if this meant changing jobs. Father would eventually come under the care of the state, depending on how long his money lasts. I would stay away completely and let his CNA's have full responsibility since they think he is such a sweetheart.

Very scary situation. No one should have to live like this. Best wishes!
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Thank you, he may have a psuchosis, there is certainly something wrong.
A restraining order would not necessiarly lock him up. If he did go to jail (which would be doubtful), he would probably be out in 24 hours. I do not know how long they would keep him with involunary committment. If he can fool them, he would be out in 2 or 3 days. They would probably keep him for evulation until his health care is exhausted. After that if he gets out, my husband says his job and or life are most likely gone.
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This is a tough one. Sounds like he has a history of mental illness. He may not have dementia, he may have a psychosis.

You would have to check on this, but I think a threat of violence is considered simple assault. Maybe your husband could file charges and take out a restraining order. Then while he is locked up, you could file for a court order of involuntary commitment. There would be some risk involved in this, but your family is at risk now, it sounds like. You have to protect your kid.
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