Follow
Share

My father, who is 86 who has in the past had an outburst of anger without cause is now having these episodes more often. He doesn't like anyone and calls people names but out in the public appears normal and nice, except every once in a while. I am at a loss of how I can help him. He is not religious so he will not talk to my Pastor. He refuses to see Doctors, Counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and etc.. He sleeps all day long and stays awake all night long. He is a Vietnam Vet. I know that must have affected him but he refuses the company of fellow Vets or anyone. Everything must be done on his terms or he curses and starts screaming. I am absolutely at a loss. Please help!!!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Yes, I am the only heir. I'd rather see him spend money on things that needs to be done, like his lawn. Yes, he does live in a subdivision that has annual fees, policies, and requirements, including the architectural committee that governs what could be built, lawnscaping, maintance, and etc. He has threatened in the past saying that he doesn't care, (give a d---), that he'll set his grass on fire before he pays anyone too much to maintain it. I know writing this makes me realize that it is almost comical that he feels so strongly about such a small matter for such a small amount of money. My father has always been thin skinned and could get real ugly even when I was growing up, but then he would become remoresful, which he no longer does. Now, it's almost like he doesn't have a conscience, and incapable of any kind of regret or remorse. I remind him about his bills and he waits until the last minute to pay them. I think because he doesn't want to part with his money. He is not the responsible person he once was. He worries me constantly because he doesn't call me if he needs something, won't answer my calls when I call, yet refuses my offer to live with him. When he doesn't answer for days, and I go over there and knock on his bedroon door to wake him up, sometimes he yells at me, but seems to be just fine. He doesn't seem to worry about anything or care about anyone except himself. It really hurts me to see him this way. He is the only parent I have left, since losing my beloved mother in 2012.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

He doesn't pay his bills. He yells and screams.

Tell the doctors the behaviors that you are seeing.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Are you his only heir. You say he is "quite wealthy," and that you are a widow on a fixed income. You say you don't care about his money, but don't you want to inherit his money?

Do you know if you ARE his heir for everything?

You shouldn't be spending your own money on him (paying your grandson for mowing his lawn, building a garage on his property, etc.). If he doesn't mow or get his lawn mowed, then (at least where I am), he will be cited for a code violation and the city will mow the lawn (and it's not cheap). Why not just let that happen?

Yes, he has mental illness issues, but these are not yours to solve. Make sure his doctors are aware.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Keep coming here Sadandlost, this is the BEST place to be!!😉 You are going through a terrible time, and you will get much loving support and wise advice here.

Thinking of you, Bella
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi SadandLost, what was his character like all the years you've known him? We hoped my father would "mellow" with age but it seems like age and illness has exaggerated his quite unpleasant character. My fatherinlaw and uncle had Alzheimer's for many years, they were both very pleasant men and in their illness they were also pleasant, I suppose everyone is affected differently though. My father has all but alienated his small family. 3 weeks ago he yelled me out the house in total fury after spending 3 hours doing his garden cos something I did he didn't like, something totally minor & which he had given me permission to do! Me & kids have been sorting his overgrown garden for a year now, suddenly he'll do it himself or get someone else in. We visited him yesterday & I got the silent treatment - totally expected cos that's happened throughout my life. Doing my research he is a classic narcissist parent. His illness is CHF with diabetes. & for the last 30 years it has all been about him & his health. My kids have never known their grandad in good health.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Sadandlost, I'm smiling. I probably do need help, too. But I am not at all envious of your VN war veteran father. I would hate to live life being ugly, bitter, hateful, and/or angry. But the independence, seeing only who he wants to see on his own terms, being able to lock his door, drive, eat what he wants, and sleep when he wants would surely appeal to a lot of folks locked into the orderly routine and lack of privacy in a care facility. And instead of being bitter about it, they would probably be cheerful.

He needs help paying bills. Does he let you help with that?

He needs help maintaining his lawn. You have stepped in and you pay to have it done. What would happen if you didn't do that? If he lives in a neighborhood he would eventually be notified that he must keep his lawn free of noxious weeds and no taller than x". He would either conform or face consequences, right? And if he lives somewhere in the outback with no neighbors to complain, I suppose he'd be providing a nice habitat for all kinds of critters. Does he want your help maintaining his lawn? I imagine that he is very angry that he can't do it himself any more, and not at all gracious about accepting that kind of help.

What other kind of help does he need, in your opinion? Shopping? Cooking? Cleaning?

You are at a loss at how to help him. What is it you want to help him with? Being more pleasant? Not having outbursts of anger? Being more appreciative? To the extent that this might be based on a medical problem, I think all you can do is try to bring it to the attention of medical professionals. I hope that brings some good results.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

So you think it's alright for my dad to call his great-grandson a S.O.B.? Who has never done anything but love him and help him, or yell, curse, and scream at his family without reason, refuses to answer the phone and cause his family needless worry? Acts ugly, bitter, hateful, and angry at the whole world. Lives like a hermit, not being able to deal with anything including his bills? Not appreciating anything anyone says or does for him. That he's living the life everyone in the 80's would love to live? I don't think so. You sound envious of his life style and condone it as if it was normal. Perhaps, you need help too, jeannegibbs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I reread your initial post, Sadandlost. It sounds to me like your dad is behaving as most people in their 80s would like to. He lives where he likes. He has privacy. He can still drive. He sleeps when he wants to and is awake when he wants to be. He has full control over his health care. And, gosh, he even has some of his expenses subsidized by a loving child. What could be wrong?

He still has enough of his social filters in place to behave in public, mostly.

Why do you think he needs help, Sadandlost?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you for your feedback. He doesn't take any medications. I have high blood pressure but he doesn't even have that. The only complaint he has lately is a sore throat. A specialist had Biopsy, all kinds of scans, MRI, Blood Test, Urine Test, and "you name it done". He came back with a clean bill of health. They could not find the reason for his sore throat. My dad says it doesn't hurt bad, just worrisome. I have an appointment scheduled for him next week to have it looked out again so whatever it is we can catch it early. He was supposed to go last week but missed his appointment because he overslept. I gave him Double Alarm clock but he refuses to use it, stating he has all kinds of Alarm Clocks. (It doesn't do any good because he won't set any of them.) He also refuses to have a Cell phone even though I offer to pay for it. He won't answer his phone 99% of the time. I have to call him once an hour many times ten minutes apart but he still won't answer. He tells me most of the time he has the ringer off so no one will call and bother him, especially the Telemarketers. I tell him to go ahead and answer that he could always hang up telling them not interested and take me off your list because it maybe one of us (his family) calling. He refuses. He doesn't care. I normally go couple hours ahead and bang on his bedroom window ( I have to get all scratched up from a large bush grown right up against his window, in order for me to do so). After knocking on it about 15 minutes he normally comes to the front door. He will not give me or anyone spare set of keys to the house or to the car. The only reason he missed his appointment last time is that I had to pick up my granddaughter from Ballet class caround that time and couldn't make it to his house to knock on his window in time. By the time I got there and knocked on the window and 15 minutes later he came out, it was too late. I called the Nurse but since Daddy's appts are always the last one they have around 4:30 P.M. they had to reschedule for next week. They are all so good about working with me on daddy's appointments because they know. I had daddy sign where I can be privy to all his medical needs. I also make all the appointments for him but sometimes he refuses to go. He never goes with me in my car, he always insists on driving his car. He is a good driver, thank goodness, no problems there. I feel so stressed though, lol.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

First of all: he lives along by preference, so he is isolated, which comforts him somewhat. Secondly, he is 86 and still able to drive. He likes his independence, even if it is for an hour or two at a time a day or for the week, so he is willing to be stubborn, to anyone, which he will defend to the point of any outburst of anger as long as he is convinced he was won the argument, even if he really won 25% of the argument. Or he may have brought up a new issue that he could win which dismissed the point you brought up.

Thirdly, he refuses to see doctors, moreover likely specialists. You said you go to visits with him; that is good; keep doing that! A primary doctor will refer him to a specialist or change dosages to medications, if he deems him a fall risk, in order to reduce his falls from being catastrophic, but the doctor needs to "know" that he has fallen or has cognitive issues, in order to take action. The doctor needs to see a trend of either or both to recommend change, I think. Fourth, he sleeps all day, and stays awake all night. This means his schedule is completely opposite of what any caregiver living with him could manage, I think. Impossible to manage if not living with him 24x7. Changing that schedule is tough to do once it is in place, because it appears that is his current lifestyle that he sees comforting in the past or the present.

Fifth, I think most doctors who treat 80+ year olds know that making too many drastic changes has more of an impact versus keeping them the same, due to lifestyle habits are beneficial, unless routine lab or at the actual visits the doctor readily sees something is wrong. If the doctor is not aware of what actually is going on, then that doctor is on the on the fence as to what he would recommend. Smart patients with a potential disease are smart enough to hide the problems, as in the case of any type dementia. Dementia. Review the "types of dementia" and perhaps you can narrow it down a bit . 6th point: dental hygiene reducing: start with cleaning and xrays at least twice a year; showering less: that is normal, unless he showers at night when he is awake. Showering daily will only occur with full-time caregiving in the home or at a facility, I think. Last point: lawn maintenance: this happens all the time even with multiple kids sharing the load or hiring a person. I think a lot of advisers will tell you if it is his idea, then he likely will be more agreeable. If the house is in good shape, and it is just the lawn maintenance, then figure it out. Since you are only child, you must focus on the health concerns, but I can see it: large lawn, twice the problem of an 5,000 sq. ft lawn that needs weekly maintenance in summer. That is tricky to handle and changes every season of the year.

In summary, increasing follow-up visits to 3/6 month visits instead of once a year should help doctor and you. It can give the doctor a better idea of what changes to make or not, based on health status, but if the doctor thinks he is normal as he was the last visit, then it's wait until the next visit to see if medical care needs to change. Due to privacy laws, patient-doctor confidentiality, you can possibly discuss some concerns with the doctor's clinical/medical assistant who will know what to share to doctor about medical issues: stick to the medical issues only. Doctors are responsible for the patient, not the lawn or house issues, for example. They only have 15-30 minutes to recommend a change, so come prepared, and I don't think you will get a doctor to make a change while you are in the room, unless you have legal authority to do so. One issue that may be worth discussing is: driving. Some 80+ year olds can do it, others cannot when they are mentally or physically unable or have enough medical issues, i.e. heart-related, multiple visits to hospital in last year where a doctor will restrict the driving in order to protect his patient and others are on the road.

Just feedback and hopefully your next approach will work. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Sadandlost, your father sounds like he has a schizoid paranoid personality. These personalities are your archetype hermits. I don't think they bond well with much of anyone. And stingy! Goodness, yes. They will pinch a penny until it squeals. You won't be able to do much about his personality, since he's lived a long time with it. You can only decide how you can help him. I wish you could get him to spend some of his money on the things he needs. You're probably covering way too many of his expenses. Maybe he'll let go of some of it for landscaping if he is able to negotiate the price. A lot of older people still think it should cost $10-20 like it did when they were young.

Anyway... it's not you, and I doubt you'll be able to change him. I don't know any drugs that would be useful if it is his personality. The only thing I can suggest is to decide how much you can do and not to overextend yourself. I bet he loves free labor. :) If it gets too bad, talk to the county about sending in a social worker to evaluate any needs he might have. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This is so sad. It reminds me of my FIL. He has become quite verbally abusive. He blew through all his money, never took care of his health and now sits in a nursing home screaming orders at the staff. The social worker called me last week to tell me he scared her to death that day. He had called me earlier just to cus me out for the reason being that no one else answered their phone. He has lived his whole life for himself indulging his every whim and now he come to the end of himself and instead of looking at his own responsiblity in his situation blames everyone else. Bitterness is an awful way to end a life.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I'm so glad you go to the doctor with him
I was misinterpreting something you said about him not wanting to be involved with doctors.

You can say to the doctor "I'm concerned about my dad's angry outbursts lately." Or you could contact the doctor via letter or fax and explain what your concerns .
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I always go with him to the Doctor to make sure he goes. I can't talk to the Doctor in private because he'll be suspicious, thinking there may be something wrong with him that we are not telling. I try to keep him comfortable as possible and not feed into his suspicions.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Paranoia is often an early symptom of dementia.

I think one of the important things to remember here is that this not personal. It's a disease talking.

Have you ever watched any Teepa Snow videos? She's an awesome professional who specializes in training folks who are caregivers to dementia .
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Paranoia is often an early symptom of dementia.

I think one of the important things to remember here is that this not personal. It's a disease talking.

Have you ever watched any Teepa Snow videos? She's an awesome professional who specializes in training folks who are caregivers to dementia .
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Yes, I thought about that as well but if he is he is a well-functioning Alsheimer patient. I thought of Dementia as well. The problem lies in him agreeing to see professionals. Or for that matter, anyone at all. He keeps all the doors locked, including his bedroom door and is quite paranoid. It is as if he's afraid someone stealing something from him. One of the reasons we have such a tough time doing his yard is because he keeps his Garage door locked. (That's where he used to keep his riding lawnmower) I finally with much difficulty talked him into keeping it in my storage. I had one built on his land. That way we have access to it whenever we need to do his lawn, as he sleeps during the day. The times my late husband and I used to wake him up so my husband can do his lawn for him. He would close the Garage door quickly and locks his door. This used to really hurt my husband and myself. We wouldn't dream of taking anything from him. All we ever have done was help and love him. I thought maybe Paranoid-Schizophrenia. Yet here again even if I got him to Psychiatrist, he'll refuse to take medications. Anytime Doctors prescribed meds he would read the side effects after he fills the prescription and throws it out without taking them. I appreciate your suggestions above, very much.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So, when you say something like "dad, I'd really like to meet your doctor the next time you go", what is his reaction?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No, he has no reason to dislike Doctors.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The verbal lashing and emotional aggression he's displaying seems to point to Alzheimer's of some degree. A lot of times, when displaying this aggression, it doesn't come from a place of hatred, but more so fear. Let's put it this way, if you have a routine in your daily life that gets halted or sidetracked by an obstacle, typically the normal approach is to work through that obstacle because it is merely a speed bump in the grand scheme of things. For people experiencing Alzheimer's, that tiny speed bump may seem like a mountain to them. Structure and routine is important in these individuals, because any subtle change can completely throw them off. It's the same reason that there are facilities that offer Memory Care for patients suffering with a form of Alzheimer's or Dementia. Typically, the rooms are smaller in size without many distractions so the patient doesn't feel lost. Too many sensory distractions can have an adverse effect on these patients, and it is another reason why these specialized care facilities don't have televisions in patient rooms, because even the news can be confusing for someone who is mentally not living in the same year or capacity in their minds that we are.

If he is truly leaving you no option for getting help for this or willing to transition into a new life at a facility, then you might consider seeking a home caretaker that works well with these particular types of patients. They have the training and experience to know what these patients need, and may over time be helpful in providing that his current home transition into a place that won't set him up for these outbursts, by creating an environment that is free from distractions that cause this behavior.

I wish you the best of luck with your dad. I know it is not only hard seeing our parents age, but seeing them act out of character can add a whole new level of hurt.

-The Delegated Daughter
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

The person he needs to see is a geriatric psychiatrist. Is there a reason he doesn't like doctors in general?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I never cared about the money. I have been generous throughout my life to others and I still do what I can for others. What I care about is his mental condition and how I can provide him with some help. I am sad that I've seemed to have hit a brick wall. Obviously, you don't have any answers either. Thank you for your time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks for the details.

So, it sounds as though your dad is mentally ill in some significant way. You're probably right that this may be service-related in some way, but if your dad is competent, there is not a lot you can do if he chooses not to get help.

It sounds as though you are sad that he is not more generous, both in terms of money and affection.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thank you so much for responding. He lives alone by preference. After my mother passed, I was going to move in with him so I can look after him, however, he refused, stating, there's not enough room for me. He has a 4 bedroom 3 Bath house but it's full of furniture that he refuses to part with. He is physically healthy and able to drive perfectly. He doesn't take care of himself as far as daily showers (maybe only couple of times a week) and will not go to the Dentists. He rarely goes to a Barber complaining they charged too much. (They don't). He allowed me to trim his hair several times since that was free but now he says he'll go to a Barber but he doesn't. He is a miser with his money and refuses to give his great grandson little bit of money for cutting and weed-eating his lawn. He has a very large yard. He has stated he'll burn his grass before he pays the SOB too much ($35). That comment really hurt me as he is talking about my daughter and grandson, who has been nothing but good to him. Yesterday I went with my grandson (he's 16) and he spent over 5 hrs, working non-stop as my dad's yard was really overgrown. He had refused to get his riding lawnmower fixed before and we couldn't cut it. He finally agreed to get it fixed. He had refused to pay outside person to cut his yard. (They wanted $70). I paid my grandson plus paid for his Breakfast and Lunch. I could understand it if my father couldn't afford it but believe me, he can. He is quite well off. I am a widow on a fixed income and his only child. My grandson lives about 40 miles away and he doesn't have a part-time job so he has to pay for his gas to get to my dad's house.  My dad treats us like strangers and won't even answer the phone most of the time. I have to call about dozen times throughout the night before I could get in touch with him. He refuses to get a cell phone. He doesn't care that I stay awake half the night worrying about him. 
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Are you living with him or he with you?

What are his needs in terms of caregiving? Can he take care of himself in terms of Activities of Daily Living?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.