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My mom is post-stroke and has temper issues herself. Because of her aphasia, she cusses everyone out a lot and even hits people. But she genuinely can't help it. Occasionally she will have accidents and not make it to the bathroom when she refuses to go to the bathroom. My father is very hovery and is constantly talking and lecturing and worrying over her (which has always been his personality, but it is worsened by having someone who is dependent on him) and I think part of the reason she is so irrational is to spite him for not letting her have more control over her own life.

Thats just some background to the tension in the house, the main issue is that when my mom has an accident or something goes wrong, my dad will lose his temper and start cussing her out and demeaning her for it and reminding her that she is dependent on him.

He won't listen to anyone when he flies off the handle like this he just keeps saying really terrible things to her and will do it for 10, 15 minutes straight and its honestly really terrifying. If a rehab nurse acted the way he does, they'd be fired in a minute.

Ive sent him info for a therapist before but it just never happened. Ive tried explaining to him multiple things: she cant help it, yelling at her wont solve anything, yes she cusses at you but you shouldnt be on her level, she cusses at me but I never cuss back at her... I can sometimes make him snap out of it but I cant be there all the time and my energy does have a limit on it (I am a busy college student who lives at home).

Anyone dealt with something similar before? Because the bathroom is the most inflammatory issue, I have been mostly just trying to fix that but she cant help but have accidents sometimes.

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This situation with your mom and dad sounds extremely stressful for you. Do your parents qualify for medicaid? If so you can get someone to come in a relieve your dad a few hours a week. How often do you get away? Can you hang out any place else a good bit of the time to study or get together with friends? Anyone who is a caregiver, and you are to both parents needs breaks and social times with friends. Especially because your dad is sooooooo controlling.
I worked at a residents center and there were folks living there who were younger. Also day "camp" places where your mom could go and enjoy activities even if she has dementia are available.
Your FIRST concern should be for your well being. You must take care of your mental health in order to be there for them.
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You might want to talk to Mom's Doctor since she is post stroke (re:bathroom issues). Maybe he can find out what is going on. Elders listen to Dr. (authority figure) when they won't listen to anyone else. (i.e. got Dr. to write "prescription" to drink water and eat when husband wasn't drinking or eating enough).
Also, the dynamics between parents may have always been there - just shows more now due to a heightened level due to stress. Oddly enough this may be Dad's way of caring for Mom and she may on some level understand this.

Getting Dr. involved with bathroom issues may cam things down (may be she just doesn't want his help in "taking care of business" and he just wants her to be safe so goes along. If she needs assistance an in home personal aide could be the answer. (Dr. office can recommend here too)
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Temper issues are related to brain damage. People can even lose the ability to love due to brain damage. They need to be separated. His rage is an attempt to cover up his fear for himself and for her.
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Put signs on the wall pointing to the bathroom, with the little dress sign, and the word Women's Bathroom. Get the special riser for the toilet seat to help her get up and down. Get a portable potty or two for the kitchen and living room. Privacy may or not be an issue as disinhibited behavior grows. I have forgotten where the bathroom is once or twice. I once, earlier on, lost bladder control in a supermarket before I knew I would need continence products, I was around 52 then. I have washable products to save money. Put her on a bathroom schedule and take her there. Don't ask, just tell her it is potty time.
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I can totally relate and I agree with Garden Artist. My parents live with me and my dad is very controlling and has the same type fits you describe your dad having. He expects my mom to do everything for him even though her health is worse than his. She hobbles along and does what he expects of her like she always has but I just want to scream at him. Very frustrating to watch. This is why I moved away from home so young and yet here they are living with me ....
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My husband lived at home with dementia for 10 years. A visiting nurse once said to me that she was always glad to see us on her schedule. "You treat him with such respect, and he is so accepting of your help." Well, this was a nice compliment, but it puzzled me. Don't all caregivers treat their spouse with respect?

As I interacted online and in a local support group with people in caregiving situations I learned that, no, respect isn't universal. It isn't universal in marriages. When the relationship has been disrespectful, demeaning, dominating, and unappreciative it doesn't suddenly heal itself when a chronic condition is introduced.

As others have said, and as I am sure you know, your parents' current behaviors are deeply rooted in their long-term relationship. It is loving and responsible of you to want to help change that. I hope you have some success. Therapy sounds like a good bet. Getting Dad to support groups would be good. Getting some professional help for mom's biggest challenges would be helpful.

I understand what you mean about the unsuitability of long-term care for a younger person. My son (45) about went nuts in rehab after a motorcycle accident. He was the youngest person there by 20 years. But he knew he was going to go home, and he worked hard at that. It would be tough to be in your 50s and know you were there to stay. It would be best for her in many ways, but dreadful in others.

Keep trying to help. But please realize that your parents' relationship is Not Your Fault. And ultimately it is not your responsibility. Be pleased when you can succeed in small ways, but please Do Not Beat Yourself Up when you are not entirely successful. Deal?
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My wife had the bathroom problem. I eventually discovered that she would forget where the bathroom is. She would
cover herself with her hand and look around frantically. Look for any signs that she has to use the bathroom.
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Further thought - I'm wondering if there's something uncomfortable or unpleasant that is causing your mother to not want to go to the bathroom. After my mother fell a few times, she was afraid to get up and also had to be encouraged to go to the bathroom. it wasn't a toileting issue - it was a fear of falling issue.

She was just afraid to stand for fear she'd fall again, and standing to go to any other room in the house was fearful for her.
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Thanks for the update. It really helps to clarify the situation.

Despite your mother's refusal to go to the bathroom, rather than incontinence issues, I'm wondering if bathroom tasks could be paired with something rewarding as an encouragement to go. If she could go every few hours, it might eliminate the accidents. Is there something she could do afterward, such as listening to music, looking at magazines...something pleasurable that would be a reward for going to the bathroom?

Country magazine is one which is I think good for people with dementia; there isn't that much reading required as it's primarily absolutely stunning photos of beautiful scenery. It's calming and relaxing just to feel as if I was out in the mountains, alongside a rushing stream, or even basking in the warmth of being on an ocean shore.

If you could get (or trick, maybe) your father into doing this for her, it might eliminate some of the friction over toileting issues.

And encouraging your father to do something on his own is a wonderful idea! It should relax him as well as give him positive feelings about his hobby. Maybe it will positively affect his mood.

You're wise to see these solutions - I'm actually copying them in my own caregiving files for future reference for my own situation.

Again, thanks for the update and clarification.
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Thanks for the info guys. I don't think a care facility is a good option right now because my mom is very young and when she was in a care facility it was kind of depressing for her to be around old people all the time (and my father still finds ways to be controlling there, he even slept at the care facility a lot bc he felt the nurses werent checking on her in her sleep enough which was true but she is better now)
When she is of retirement age for sure, but maybe when I graduate college and go to grad school too.
She doesn't really have incontinence issues, it is that she for some reason will refuse to go to the bathroom for no reason (think dementia-like behavior)

For now, I am encouraging my dad to do a personal hobby without my mom every day (he teaches and since it is summer he is with her all day every day, which is annoying even if you're not a caregiver) and I will get him to come to caregiver support groups at least once a month.
Maybe an anger management specialist as well.
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Further thought - get a commode to help your mother with her bathroom needs.
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Blannie is right. Your father is a controller; at some point your mother might have been more passive, as that's often the combination - domineering, demanding husband with more compliant wife - at least it often starts out that way.

There are so many subtle issues to this kind of relationship - he may be angered that she's had a stroke and won't be able to take care of him as he expects. He may see his own eventual frailty and mortality in her. He may have been a bully when he was a child. These controlling, domineering attitudes develop from situations and experiences that your father probably doesn't even remember.

It may also be that he has that old fashioned, primitive attitude that women, including you, are supposed to be subordinate, perform to certain expectations (i.e., no bathroom accidents) and wait on men.

Over the years women get fed up with the domineering attitude and verbally defend themselves, then men often become more angered. It's a challenge to their dominance.

I see years of psychological issues being manifested now, and I don't think it will change without some therapeutic intervention, if even then.

Blannie's and Pam's suggestions to find alternate places to live for your mother sounds like the best solution. I suspect your father would be furious, because the individual he wants to control and dominate wouldn't be there 24/7 for him to do that, and I suspect he would also make a scene at any facility in which your mother went to live. Tough.

But she, as does every person, has a right to be treated with respect and get the care she needs. The stress your father creates isn't going to be anything but harmful; in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if eventually she has a cardiac event as well.

You have my sympathy; this a hard situation to handle and even harder to change.
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Also: do you have continence care specialist nurses in the US? They know everything worth knowing about which products are the best to use depending on what your mother's needs are.
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If I was mom, I would rather be in a nursing home than being cussed at by my husband. Nor would I want him burdened with my care, he is not a Spring Chicken either. Start looking in that direction.
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Yes, I've dealt with something similar, only it was me cussing and being mean. Sarcastic, mainly. The cause is almost 100% stress on top of a short temper. There are various short term CBT type techniques which he can use by himself to snap himself out of it - any nice, practical anger management counsellor or therapist can help him with that, or I'm pretty sure you could download a few in a New York minute. I'm talking about things like putting a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it whenever you find yourself getting cross and shouty; having a trigger word such as "STOP!" which you say aloud, then leave the room or at least physically step back and do some controlled breathing; or just saying "listen to yourself" to yourself; or pretending that your loved one is someone else - you'd never speak to anyone else like that, would you? Or pretending that *you* are someone else, speaking to your loved one - you'd never tolerate your loved one being spoken to in that way.

They're all only stopgaps, but they do the trick for now, until he has time to adjust in a more profound way. Or, indeed, as Blannie suggests, until circumstances change and he isn't trying to cope with this as the primary caregiver.

You could tape a rant and play it back to him, but he might crawl into a hole and never come out again. Speak gently but seriously to him about it and offer help. He doesn't like doing it any more than you like hearing it.
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You may not like my answer, but I think your mom needs to be in a care setting instead of living at home with your dad. I see your mom is only 54, and it's tragic that she's had such a dire medical occurrence so young. But I think your dad is burned out and it's coming out as anger and cursing. How long ago did your mom have her stroke?

If she's stable, she could be around for another 30 years...can your dad handle that long-term daily stress? About 1/3 of caregivers die before their loved one, probably because of the stress they're under. Add in your dad's controlling/hovering nature and he's a heart attack waiting to happen.

If he won't consider getting mom into a different care setting, see if he can at least get respite care, where she can be out of the house for a week or two, so that he can have some downtime, where he's only responsible for himself. Does she have any in-home care from people other than your dad? If not, see if you can convince him to bring in some outside help as another way to lessen his stress.

I'm so sorry you are going through this at such a young age yourself.
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