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My Fil is in his early 70s and has been diagnosed with early dementia with some parkingsons symptoms. He has always been strong willed and a bit argumentative but he has become so out of control our whole immediate family can not deal with him. He can turn on the charm so that some people think we over exaggerate but we all have been the brunt of his explosive rages.


He has had his license taken away but still insists on driving locally. If my Mil doesnt drive him where he wants to go after being bullied into it then he will just drive himself. When the sons attempted to discuss some of these things with him he raged around our properties and nearly drove a truck backwards into a pond. (This of course was the fault of the truck.) No one could calm him down and he eventually walked all the way home when we all disengaged and the keys were taken away.


He has had run ins with all his neighbors and one neighbor recently told us she would call the police if she showed up on her property again. Evidently he threatened her with a gun. He said he shook his cane at her.


He has times when he seems quite fit. Running around playing ball and working on the farm. Then other times he can hardly walk, hold a spoon, and falls down. He switches drs often and has avoided any mental evaluations. Sometimes he just wont go. Anytime anyone disagrees with him he becomes extremely angry and scary. If we try to suggest anything he will do exactly the opposite of what we are suggesting. (I.E not buying anymore expensive items or getting rid of something he can no longer care for.)


My Mil is exhausted dealing with him and all the problems he gets himself into and I sometimes worry for her safety. I fear he will not get the help he needs before he seriously hurts someone or himself or they end up in serious trouble legally or financially. Please give us some advice. I fear taking his guns and keys away will send him in a horrible rage which Im sure would result in the police needing to come. Please..what can we do?


Some

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EYERISHLASS, SUNNYGIRL, AND SURPRISE,
Your answers were all very good and excellent for Violet to take action to protect her mom and dad.
Does anyone believe that doing nothing is the right way to go?
What is everybody afraid will happen? Yes, loss of relationship with dad.
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Ok, I re-read your full story. Here is the farm-version of the nuclear option:
Pick the bad guy, feign anger, grab the guns, walk outside with them, shoot out the tires of the truck, everyone get in the car and get outta there! Then, when Dad calls the police to have you all arrested, you will be left wondering why you couldn't have called the authorities to help him out sooner. How long has this been going on, I'm wondering? Actually, a more sane, watered down version of the above scenario might work. Even stealing the truck? You are probably too nice.
I once helped out a drunken church lady not drive by letting the air out of her tires, but only in rare cases do I get involved in other people's drama by exposing the truth, because, actually I am too nice also. I agree, you need help to carry out any plans. Best of luck., sincerely!!
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P.S. you don't have to take the nuclear option to protect and help dad, but hiding the issues will not help. Calling the psychiatric evaluation team (PET) earlier will avoid behaviors that get dad arrested, evicted for nuisnce behaviors, or in a car accident. Don't be afraid of his anger, look at it as a way to get him the help he needs. In other words, be in control of the timing of the intervention. Have mom taken out for the day, or overnight.
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Find a way to give him some of the medications the doctors have prescribed. Have the wife, with full instruction from the doctor, slip it to him in his food. When he gets a little better, he mght have bouts of being reasonable and agree to medication.
This seems like the usual sx for a Parkinson's patient with a dementia, (I don't know if it's the same for all), but the poor or dangerous behaviors must be treated, or the 911 people may haul him away. That may not be a bad thing to get his cooperation, because like Yogagirl said, they know what to do.
In the meantime, pick a friend/advocate who can side with him, help him keep his independence and dignity, have them spend more time with him.Or, ask your dad, what do you want? You become the trusted advocate. If there is not too much paranoia, he will come around. Bring hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream.
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Violet, my heart goes out to you. When I have gone to the authorities for certain matters, I was surprised at how well trained they are and how gracious they were.
I wish I'd reached out sooner, I was hesitant and fearful of involving anyone. It is a relief when you take that step. Please let us know how you are doing.
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You are such a sweet daughter, but the time has come to protect your parents, just like you protect children. The little ones know what they want, but they don't have the mental ability to handle driving a car or owning guns.

You need to take mom aside and explain that you are really concerned about dad, and all the family need to be on the same page. You all need him to be medically evaluated for his own safety and health. What if he had an operable brain tumor that could easily be removed? You would all want to save him. Thus you all must agree to the plan to have him evaluated.

The next time your dad is driving on the road, call 911 and let the cops handle it. When he explodes, you will have witnesses to his outburst, and they may haul him off to the ER for evaluation especially if you suggest it.

The next time he explodes, call 911 and report it and the need to have him evaluated. By the time the EMTs show up, he will probably have calmed down, but when he sees the ambulance or fire engine, he will probably explode again. You can ask the EMTs to see if he can be taken to the ER for evaluation.

Once at the ER, mom needs to be strong and refuse to take him home until he can be evaluated for his erratic and threatening behavior.

Any guns around the house? Ammo? I would get mom to help locate them, place them (unloaded) in separate boxes between folded towels so no one notices them, and someone should take them out the back door to a waiting vehicle's trunk. If dad has a gun safe with a key, someone else needs to have the key and get the guns out while he's not there. He does not need the key back, and it can be said that the key was lost - a therapeutic fib, for his own good.

What a hard chore, but once he is evaluated, things will get better!
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I will check into our local social services. :( It is so hard. He has been a loving and giving person.
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He has been diagnosed with early dementia with parkingsons. His hand shakes. The dr that took his license away I believe wanted to do further mental evaluations and he would not take those tests.
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Thank you for the reply...we do know we are needing some type of professional intervention but not sure where to turn or how to go about it. The drs have tried to help but if they dont do what he wants (ie give him his license back) he throws a fit and leaves the dr or the drs have told him not to come back. My poor Mil.
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It's a very serious situation. Until he has a diagnosis, there is no way to know what is causing this bizarre behavior. He will need a full medical and psychological evaluation. The issue is getting him to a medical office.

Him driving a car without being licensed is very risky. If he wrecks and hurts someone, the auto insurance may refuse to pay damages, so the injured party would sue to recover from him, his wife and their property. Somehow, the family has to figure a way to protect him from himself and to protect others.

You may call 911.
You may call the police office and ask for instructions on the guns.
You may call social services.
You may consult with an attorney who handles Elder Law cases. Make sure they know the laws on guardianships, involuntary commitments, etc. to help guide your family to a safe resolution.
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As I'm sure you already know, someone with dementia who has violent outbursts has no business having guns. I read on here somewhere that in this situation the police can be called (not as an emergency) and they will help the person (your FIL) surrender his guns safely. I'm not 100% I have this right but it's sticking in the back of my brain. You wouldn't be calling the police on your FIL, it's more like the police providing a safe community service.

Or your spouse can wait until your FIL is gone and just go and get the guns and get them out of the house. Having guns around your FIL is a tragedy waiting to happen especially since he seems to put the fear of God into everyone he comes across.

As far as his behavior goes it probably won't get any better. If someone can get him to the Dr. maybe the Dr. can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication. That is, if your FIL would take it.

Your poor family is being held hostage by this demented, angry man and it's time for that to stop. You need some outside guidance. Going back to the subject of the Dr., does your FIL have a regular Dr.? If so, your MIL might be able to call the office and get a referral to a social worker. I'm a huge advocate of social workers and of their abilities and resources. A social worker might have some ideas on how to manage your FIL.

A more drastic option would be for your mom to call 911 the next time your FIL goes off. Once in the ER your family would be eligible for a social worker right there in the ER.

And as a last resort you can always call Adult Protective Services (or whatever it's called in your area). Your MIL's safety is in jeopardy and APS can step in and open up a case on your FIL and see if they can't figure something out within the situation.

Keep the lines of communication open between the siblings. Email, texts, phone calls. The situation with your FIL shouldn't fall to one person. It's a family problem.
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