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He lost our mom 3 years ago( they were married for almost 51 years when she passed.) He has always been opinionated, likes to be the center of attention, His daughter in law is 28 years of age with two of his grandchildren (4 & 3 years of age). She can't do anything right! He has pissed off her mother, brother and father with his comments. Dad thinks everyone should drop everything and do what HE says or wants done! Dad is a Vietnam Vet: worked several years for the Tx, prison system; and retired from Travis County Sheriff Office. I don't want the family to alienate him due to all of us live 1 hr. away. and since he owns a gun now; im not sure what he would do if he's cut off from the family. His parents wasn't very much in our lives due to he HATED TX; they were from upstate New York.

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This issue is complex. If the 73 year old angry man does not have dementia, than I believe the "tough love" advice listed in these inputs is on target. However, if he does have dementia, then he needs a caregiver or a loved one who can convince him to seek help from professional help. Without professional help, if he has dementia, than it appears correct that he is a power keg that is best given space and distance by the vulnerable in his life.
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I will and have let him know that It's their life and he CANT tell them what they should feed their kids; who they should talk to ; how they raise their kids and so forward
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Thanks for all the advice! My husband and my counselor ( I suffer from PTSD and anxiety) have told me not to get involved. I'm the oldest of his two kids; so I've ALWAYS felt I had to take care of him and mom. So I'm going to take a little bit of each advice and realize I HAVE to continue taking care of myself and MY Husband first. If Dad alienates my sister-in-law; then that's up to them to talk it out.
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yikes I made a bunch of typo's . I will try to do better.
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I hope I don't sound too goofy but under the circumstances of being a loving child with all her heart and no professional degree these are things that only have made sense to me in trials of trying to understand and alleviate stress making everyones life less stressful by just trying to understand a world we do not know yet when it comes to dementia.
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by the way the best way of dealing with any kind of dementia is knowing that it feels real, no matter how much it doesn't to you,to them. Just try to figure yourself in their position as being real and what it would be you would would want to calm yourself under the same circumstances they feel.
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To terry 512... we can't know all the circumstances. He may have nort been spoiled for instance and maybe the children have.
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No matter what war a person was subject to, it is hard for them to understand the trivial wants children expect today.
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Awk...take the gun away!
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I would be disgusted by a raving bully, but terrified of a raving bully with a gun. That would be the last he ever saw of me and his grandkids. Sounds like a huge accident waiting to happen, the least that could happen is like the loon up the block who shoots up his basement, target practice. Apparently it is perfectly legal. I'm sure in Texas it's just part of a well rounded day.
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It is not the family alienating your father but rather your father alienating the family. Guns in the hands of mentally ill people is a big problem seen on the evening news every single night. Are you concerned that he will use the gun on himself or go on a shooting rampage? Is the gun properly stored or is he being irresponsible with it?

I'm confused about what Texas and Upstate New York have to do with your dad and the family.
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You've probably heard "but he's so young" more times than you can count. Here's the sad truth: He is not too young to be exhibiting signs of dementia. There are many forms.

Do not fall prey to the magical thinking of "he always knows what day it is and he knows everyone's name, so it's not dementia." Alzheimer's gets all the buzz, but there are many, many forms of dementia. Vascular, Lewy Body, fronto-temporal -- to name only a few.

The non-Alz dementias manifest via one or any combination of thr following: personality changes, apathy, inapproriate anger, "no filter," impulse control, inability to reason, problems executing and completing "life maintenance" tasks.

It might be time to examine dad's blaming, lashing out and withdrawing in a new light. The condition of his home and car will give you clues, too.

The questions that you & your family would like answered will need to be answered by a geriatric specialist and neurologist. Start plotting now. And don't beat yourself up if dad never gets there.

However, if dad is ever hospitalized or in an ER for any reason, pull aside the attending physician and head nurse -- and lay out all of your observations and concerns. Sometimes that's the only way to get to the next step.
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You could say something akin to "dad's going to say some mean stuff. Ignore it."
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Perhaps time to protect yourself!
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I would refuse to respond to his tirades!
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ronsdeebaby, your father sounds like a spoiled brat who has demanded his way for most of his life. I doubt if it is from a stroke but it could be from the beginnings of dementia or Alzheimer's. He obviously likes giving orders to people but he really shouldn't get irritated if they don't obey him. If it were me, I would find that gun and put it in a locked box so the grandkids can't get their hands on it. Also, he can't settle any argument by getting angry and picking the gun up. Not everyone here in TX is a gun nut, some of us have a little more sense about uzi's and AR 15's, ak47's, etc. Personally, I don't think a person needs an AR 15 or AK47 to protect their home but that's just me. Others feel differently. Once someone starts acting a "little differently, whether it's due to age, illness or grief over the loss of a loved one", guns need to be put up for awhile. As for the thoughtless comments to family members,, someone should tell him that it's rude and hateful to say things "just because you can" and no one can stop you. You are right in the statement that you're not sure what he would do if he was alienated from the family and if he's suffering from any illness such as dementia, his thought process could be hampered by his revenge against certain family members. It sounds like a family meeting needs to be called. Make a list of all the questions you want answered and get names of whom to call when you need something done. It may be time for assisted living (he'll have to do something about the gun by then). Don't let him bully you or anyone else though about wanting something done. He's used to barking orders and he needs to get a male assistant to help him in his daily chores who can handle him if he's not bad enough to go into assisted living. Anytime a person acts strangely, making comments that are not warranted or is said in anger, it could be due to either medication changes or side effects, a med he needs but is not getting, a possible small stroke, a chemical change in his body but if it continues, he needs to be checked out by his doctor or a psychiatrist to see what you need to do next. Sometimes a person who reaches a certain age thinks they can say anything that falls out of their mouth regardless of whether it hurts someone's feelings or angers another but don't just let it pass. Say something to him, tell him that's not appropriate and you can't say that again. If it were my father, I would just tell him to stop it and he can't bully anyone else in the family nor can he insult someone just because he wants to and then leave the house. Once everyone leaves every time he insults them, he'll be more careful with his word choices.
Again, don't take any small child over to his house until you know for sure the gun is under lock and key. I don't know if this will help but I took care of my father after my mother passed and he lived with me 9 years during his 70's. We went from his being completely independent to him needing someone to come bathe him. My brother came over to my apt every other day to help him shower and change his clothes. I had a lot of the same problems that are listed here. Good luck with your Dad.
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Lindaz makes a good point. Often, people who are having cognitive decline, early dementia become cross for no apparent reason. Dealing with them can be exasperating. They may seem to be upset for no apparent reason. We have a family friend who has increasing signs of dementia. Recently, she was verbally abusive with a server at Wendy's over a cup of ice. This is not who this woman is, yet, this condition is causing her to be unable to go out in public without incident. I'd look into the situation to get more detail about exactly what is going on. I understand that he may have his ways, but it could also be something more.
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I'm from upstate NY (near Saratoga) and it's quite nice here and so is Texas...in fact I was born there! I'm still interested in knowing if your Dad has any form of dementia. Because if he does, I don't think that it's a good idea for him to have a gun. As for chain of command....my Dad is also a vet and he was in the army for 21 years retiring as a Sgt.Major, so yes I've grown up with this, but your dad seems to be abusing this and he shouldn't. BUT if this is new behavior for him, or if has gotten markedly worse, I think he should get a good neurological consult with a doctor who knows about dementia (not many really have a good grasp on it unless they are a specialist. The rest of your family and you should not be abused physically or verbally and if you find out that he does have a dementia at least you have a reason for this behavior and you can deal with it, with more understanding. I hope this helps....Blessings, Lindaz.
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Beckytodd1 has nailed it. Excellent ideas.
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If someone is acting obnoxious, uncivil and unpredictable, I wouldn't go around them, especially if they have a firearm.Plus, you say that he has had strokes. He could have some cognitive decline. Often, people who should no longer own a firearm don't realize that they shouldn't own a firearm. I'd keep myself and the kids away.
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OH stop babying him!!! If he alienates people, that is between him and them. My dad learned pretty fast that holidays are lonely when you are rude and nasty to people. Don't get in the middle - all you will get are people mad at you.
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Let the family take care of themselves. If they want to alienate him, then that is their right. Who wants to be around someone who is nasty? You can only control YOU. You cannot control your father. Unless he is a danger to himself or others, if he has a gun permit, then he has a right to have one. I wouldn't want to be around him, but he is not my father and I have no ties to him. I would however protect those young grandchildren and not let them near him unless he controls himself. They do not need to be around such negativity.
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Sounds like dad has had a career in "power/control" type positions. He is used to being "in command" and as parents age; this innate behavior doesn't change and actually becomes worse. I'm guessing your mom did everything he asked and pretty much "served him".

He misses her, and he misses the power he once had in getting his way and having people serve him.

This scenario plays out often; where spouse dies, kids/friends volunteer to help and fill in the gap while the person grieves and then whamo; dad wants that "service" to continue forever more. It's not sustainable. Therefore, the person becomes more beligerent, continues demanding and criticizes everyone else for "living their own lives".

Is dad with a church? Sometimes there are church groups that provide "services" errands, light housekeeping, getting groceries, preparing meals, doing laundry, etc. for free or donation.

The other option is to set up above services for dad and pay for the someone to come in a few hours a week.

I wouldn't suggest alienating dad. Certainly don't address any of the "hurts/insults" right when they happen or when dad is tired/agitated -- BUT you can address with him when he is calm and let him know of his hurtful behavior and that you want to be there for him and offer some help but that you just can't help full time as you have your own family obligations. Secondly, since you all live 1 hr away; you can always set up a schedule where maybe you have one or two days a week he can count on to have your companionship -- take him to a grandkids soccer game, out to dinner at Arbys or McD for the evening. Maybe bring over Sunday dinner and have that with him on a Sunday afternoon and watch some football with him.

Its hard, but set boundaries, and be with him at his "best times'. When his behavior becomes abusive -- don't hesitate to get up calmly and leave and tell him you'll come back when he can be nice.

And yes to other posters, dementia will make all this worse -- so get with sibs, come up with a plan and start having conversations with dad about what he wants in the future "should his health or mental state start deteriorating" and does he want assistance to stay in his house, is he open to that?, would he prefer AL, etc. -- let him have input while he still has his mind. THen start looking at his finances as to what is feasible. Sibs need to start talking so that when that time comes, a lot of ideas are already in place.
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You said it Vietnam Vet TEXAS PRISON SYSTEM AND SHERRIF DEPT.
your mother was his subordinate replacement after he stopped working.
Chain of Command. Most of his life majority of his life there has been organized chain of command. Sheriff Dept. TEXAS I presume. Texas doesnt have a Lone Star State Reprutation. And as state I belive Won OWN Independance amount of times Award.
Lot of people immigrated from Moussri to Texas back and forth. Right to bear arms openly in public. Get him a dog to train something that already has basic training obedience and well house trained will play catch. this might work.
Chain of command he is general of his home. And family extends to his home.
Did mom jumped or anticipate his commands and fufill them before hand as a good first Lt.
to base commander.
Texas Sheriff is tough. Dont tell me he was part of border patrol too Thats the old longriders. If that so. pack it in make visits brief cordial with appointed maid to do his bidding. or hire someone for visit to tend to his needs.
Its hard for someone used to organized chain of command to adapt to being without a totem pole when spouse is gone.
Didnt say his rank but maybe giving him the RESPECT for those who served overseas in a unpopular conflict CIA advisorary status action(war) and those who voiced the truth about the war being a war and why in an unpopular time.
Address him with his rank and thank him for his service.
Now you can try to respectively request a conference out of respect for him ,with him.
For what good it will do.
in least amt words explain other family not as well organized as he dont understand chain of command and are misunderstanding his affections.
Ask what how he would like visits organized to provide comfortable pleasent enviroment for family time visitation.
Try to involve in some time organized planning he can be TOP GUN of. This might help. if not theres always skype
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You say your dad has had a stroke - that can definitely affect someone's mental abilities. Has he always been this way or is he worse now than before? Is he on any medications that might be causing his behavior? He's pretty young to be experiencing these kinds of things without something causing it, unless he's always been this way.
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ronsdeebaby, Does your father have any signs of dementia? Has he ever been diagnosed with some form of mental illness?
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