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Hello, I posted once before and appreciate the helpful and thoughtful comments I got back. I live in Illinois and my parents live in Florida. Things have been bad with my dad since about four years ago and have gotten even worse. To sum up what I posted last time, he blew up at my wife and brother-in-law for, essentially, hurting his feelings and started saying awful things to me about both of them. He said he never wanted to see her again the last time I talked to him on the phone which was 9 months ago. I hung up and haven't wanted to call him back. There's been no contact since then, no birthday cards or calls, no Merry Christmas calls, no Happy Anniversaries, etc. He's always had a really short fuse and I've heard some troubling things from my cousins who have seen him in Florida. There have been incidents of him picking fights with strangers and threatening them. He always carries a gun and it's not too much of a stretch to see him using it against someone or having it used against him. On a more personal level, I'm in an interfaith marriage. My wife is Jewish and I'm not. It was never an issue but my father has started acting openly anti-Semitic. My cousin went into his home and says he saw a large portrait of Hitler on the wall over the bed. He's also been telling awful anti-Semitic jokes and challenging Jewish people he meets over their faith. I believe these anecdotes even though they're hearsay. They're consistent with what I've seen myself over the years. I feel his hate for my wife brought this dark side of him to the surface. With so much hate and bigotry in the world today I fear the worst may happen. When do I call the authorities? He is an ex-police officer and may be able to talk his way out of an uncomfortable position. On the other hand, he may get into a shootout with anyone who shows up asking questions. I know these are "what ifs" but I'm stuck and appreciate help. Thanks.

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I'm so sorry. It really sounds like your dad had gone off the deep end.

I think I would call his local precinct and ask if there is a unit that deals with elder affairs. Start out by explaining that he is an ex-cop AND armed. Those arebthe two MOST important fact tthat you want not to get lost in this conversation.

Make sure that when you sum up, you repeat those.

Ask the officer what kind of preventative action (Baker act--that's an involuntary psych hold) or other forced committal is possible.

Good luck and please let us know how this goes!
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mouche23 Jan 28, 2021
Thanks. Yes, I tried to use neutral language and describe the situation objectively but we (his siblings, children, children's spouses, and some nieces and nephews) agree that he has gone off the deep end. If I call the precinct I don't really have anything to tell them about his being an imminent threat. I can tell them he's a horrible anti-Semite with a lot of anger issues but that, sadly, fits a lot of people. If I knew he had plans to commit an act of violence, and I don't, I think it would be different. But I'm prepared to make the call if it gets to that point.
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I would report to local APS and tell them that most family is estranged and cannot intervene, that you are hearing rumors of guns that make you fear for the safety of your Dad and of others, and ask their advice. It is, yes, time to do this. I would not get involved further frankly. I would not want to be guardian of this man, located many states away and already estranged from him. It is well past time to report him, and let the system take over. As to those who call you and other family members I believe you all should suggest reporting this gentleman to APS and the Police; eventually the system will be forced into action. Good luck. I hope you will update us.
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mouche23 Jan 29, 2021
Thanks. This will require a lot of strength on my part that I'm not sure I have. There's no way my wife and I will take him into our home and I don't think any other relative wants him either. As others have said, he will probably end up in a nursing home or other facility if the system finds cause and I'm not sure they will because of his ability to game the system as an ex-cop. I think I need to figure out what my goal really is... or maybe not? If I make the calls it's out of my hands to a degree.
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The time has PASSED.

An 85 yo anti-Semite with a Hitler poster in his place and having access at all times to a loaded weapon is a recipe for disaster. And living in FLORIDA where there is a large population of Jews?

Something horrible could happen. Or it might not.

How would you feel if he went totally off the rails and hurt someone, knowing what you know??

Call APS, be pushy and mention that he is angry, has access to loaded weapons and seems to be decompensating. MAKE them take you seriously.

Right now--everyone is on tenterhooks. Has he somehow chosen the Jewish faith as the cause of all that's wrong?

If you do nothing---well, I for one couldn't live with myself thinking about the 'what ifs'. He has passed the time for evalution and help.
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mouche23 Jan 28, 2021
Thanks. I tried to use neutral language in my post and not talk about my feelings of fear and disgust. Yes, I would feel horrible if he blew up a synagogue or did something horrific like that. I worry about it all the time. To answer your question, I believe he has chosen the Jewish faith as the target of his rage because of his personal antipathy for my Jewish wife arising from a pretty minor incident four years ago. I know this doesn't make a lot of sense and much of his behavior doesn't. But it seems kind of like he hung the Hitler pic on the wall so he can look at it and be reminded of how rotten his daughter-in-law is (in his mind). Again, this is a lot of guesswork and speculation on my part since I haven't talked to him in nine months and just found out about the Hitler pic last month.
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I think I may call the police. I really don't think Dad should have a gun. Dementia causes paranoia and you never know how they will be. Maybe call APS and run the scenario past them. Giving no personal info out. Me, if it was my husband would sneak that gun out. If he came at me, I'd be calling the police.
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mouche23 Jan 29, 2021
Thanks. It's not just one gun. It's many guns. He goes to a lot of Florida gun shows and is always buying and selling them.
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Did you describe your father in your profile, as having Alzheimer’s/dementia?

If you did, is there some reason why you are thinking that he is ABLE to ACT as though he DOESN’T have ALZHEIMER’S/ dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease ISN’T an issue of manners or bigotry. It’s a progressive condition which results in global failure of its victim to become less and less able to care for basic needs, interact in the world, learn and recall basic information.....live appropriately......

Someone needs to stop being offended and assume responsibility for this man. If he’s a danger to himself or others, the sooner the better. Get the authorities involved.
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mouche23, time to have someone take your Dad to his primary doctor or to urgent care to be tested for an Urinary Tract Infection. Such an infection in older persons causes all types of usual issues, including violence and personality changes.
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mouche23 Jan 29, 2021
Thanks. My mom claims she takes him to a doctor in Florida. I believe her but don't know much about what is said. I do know that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer about 10 years ago and given some strong treatments and meds that made him feel overheated and incontinent. I don't know if there's a UTI but my mom did complain that she had to wash his underwear every day and he was giving off a noticeable urine smell the last time I saw him five years ago.
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It may be that it isn’t his ‘hate for your wife’ that has brought on the anti-Semitic stuff. It has been a real topic in the extreme right wing conspiracy theories, and your father’s demographic is spot on for it. Yes, I’d ask the police to investigate, and for their own safety let them know all the details.
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mouche23 Jan 29, 2021
Thanks. It could be a combination of things. He definitely hates my wife and the anti-Semitic stuff started after he got mad at her. He doesn't know how to use the internet but does go to a lot of gun shows and probably associates with some extremists there. The comments in response to my post have been helpful. Deep down I know all of you are right. I'm not sure what's holding me back from calling the police. It feels like such a betrayal but maybe I need to be the adult and do what's right for everyone, including him. I'm not sure what I want to see happen though. As discussed in other comments, I definitely do not want to be guardian and neither does my wife. We absolutely don't want him moving in with us in Illinois. I don't think anyone else would take him. I think he probably needs in-patient psychiatric care but I'm not sure I want to be the one to make it happen. It's easiest to let each day tick by doing nothing and hope nobody gets hurt and he quietly dies in his sleep before too much time goes by. This is all hard to discuss. I do have a therapist but he's kind of stuck on what to do too.
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Protect yourselves - do not go near him & certainly not your wife. (Thank goodness you live far away).

Protect others - by alerting the Police, APS or his Doctor.

Let the authorities deal with him. If this means Baker Acted, then so be it.

Let common sense prevail over any fear of upsetting your parents.

My sister has a history of self-neglect - so very very different situation but many family members have not spoken out, got her help, alerted services. Why not? I suspect they fear they may upset her.
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mouche23 Jan 29, 2021
Thanks. Yes, I do have some fear of enraging him if I call APS or police and he figures out it was me. Do you know if they take anonymous calls like this? If I have to give my name will they keep it confidential or can he find out who called?
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Mouche; If you are this scared of your dad's anger and the possibility that he will cause you (or your wife) harm--and mind you, he is in Florida and you are in Chicago--then it's time to stop "asking" mom if she needs help.

It is time for boots on the ground to see exactly what is going on--with mom.

We had a sad and scary family situation years ago. Aunt and uncle moved to Florida while the rest of the family was in the Midwest. Aunt was very secretive. One of my cousins dropped in as a surprise while on a business trip and found his mother (my aunt) black and blue, head to toe. My uncle, who had dementia, wanted to wander (on the Interstate) and she had the key to the door which locked from the inside.

Uncle went to Memory Care that week, where he thrived. Sadly, aunt passed away from a massive heart attack shortly thereafter. Uncle lived happily for several more years in MC.

If you care about your mom, you need to get her out of harm's (and your dad's) way. No "asking".
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Mouche, it is okay that you feel so unsure and torn up about this. Needing to call the cops, call APS or in ANY way need to be the adult in the room with regard to your parent feels downright unnatural to all of us. It is the ultimate role reversal.

Probably even more so in your case, because it sounds like dad has always been a rather rigid and authoritarian figure.

This should not have to be your job. In a perfect world, your mother would have the guts and wherewithal to talk to his doctor about how scary he's become. Or his fellow retiree officers would notice that he's gone nuts and figured out how to remove the guns, at the very least.

So, don't feel bad about feeling bad. Call APS and call the local precinct and talk to both about how scary it feels to your family that your increasingly erratic former cop dad has an arsenal in the house.
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