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My Step Mom has always been mean and crazy, but lately she keeps losing things, running into things when she is driving (not other cars), can't remember where things are...gets lost when she is driving, etc....She doesn't think anything is wrong with her - she thought it was always my Dad. She would call the police almost weekly on my Dad. She would tell the police that my Dad who could hardly walk put cameras in her bedroom (they slept in different bedrooms). She takes pain pills and kept saying my Dad was stealing them. I wrote yesterday a question on here - regarding my Dad and trying to help him. He is in the hospital and needing to go into nursing home. My Step - Mom will not pay a penny for his care. I have POA - and trying to get things worked out. She hates me. I have called adult protective services on her - per the nursing home he was in before going to the hospital. She verbal abuses him. The nursing home will not let him back in when he leaves the hospital b/c of my Step-Mom.
Anyways - she needs help! She needs to be n a nursing home herself. So my question is even though I don't like her - she needs help! How do someone go about doing so? She and I don't have a relationship anymore b/c of me trying to help my Dad - (me pay for his nursing home with private pay) she thinks I'm trying to take money from her - My Dad and I made an apt with her doctor back in August to tell him she needs help (the doctor is pretty much a quack doctor anyways) but he said that he couldn't prescribe her medicine b/c she doesn't think anything is wrong with herself. He said there wasn't anything my Dad nor I could do??????

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Mamabear - okay, maybe it's too soon for you and I'm apologizing if I'm being insensitive. But - sticking your finger in her coldcream, that's too funny. On a more serious note - you did the best you could for your father - you're a good daughter!
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Mammabear1970 please take he driving abilty i was hit head on on my motorcycle almost killed my wife if she is not remembering she shouldnt be driving i know its hard dad was a 30 yr teamestwr an i took his for her safty an people like me an my wife please get her off the rd
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Whew! I hope she doesn't bother you anymore. She sounds a bit crazy to start with. Add in a little age, dementia, and stubborness, it can look like pure evil.

I hope your father is resting under a beach umbrella in the heavenly version of Hawaii. He earned it. I am sorry that you lost him. I admire that you were able to stick by him while tolerating such abuse from his wife. He'll probably save you a seat at his cabana when it's time. ((((Hugs))))
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Thank you for all your answers...to update on this situation. My Father died June 14, 2015. My step-mother wouldn't pay for his funeral - I did. She didn't even come to his funeral. He is at peace now and away from her. It was such a sad ending. But I have to think about how happy he must be now. I did get an attorney after she started calling me almost everyday leaving voice mail messages saying I was breaking into her house and stealing stuff, putting my finger in her cold cream, turning her candles upside down, etc....She would also leave messages - horrible messages about my Dad on my voicemail. She would say he is burning in Hell and he is waiting for me. I was almost to much to bare after losing him and listening to the messages with her talking so bad about him. So I filed a protective order. Went to court several times. Finally - the last time we went to court to see if the judge would grant protective services for me - my lawyer told the judge that I am not fearful for my life but I am for her. She is losing her mind and shouldn't be driving etc. The judge ordered her to get a mental eval. She got one - my attorney gave me copies of the eval and he said she shouldn't be driving nor caring for herself. Which I already knew. The judge also told her if she called me again she would be arrested. Thankfully - she hasn't called me in 9 months. But - she still hasn't gotten help. I told my attorney that my husband would step up and be her Guardian - he spoke w/ her attorney but we haven't heard back. I want to get her help but she has been so mean for so long to my Dad that I'm torn. So - I guess I will just wait and see what happens. But yes - the doctor said she was crazy - lost her mind -....It has been a year and 2 months since my Dad died - she thought it had been like 5 years ago. I was sad that she didn't even come to his funeral nor has she been to visit the grave...But she did get all of his money and that is all she cared about. I do believe what comes around goes around. I just want to thank all of you for all of your comments.
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I had trouble figuring this out but now I have it. Her mother is also her grandmother.
Incest at it's best.
My only suggestion is the Police and that is why she may not want to face the truth.
She can try a therapist but remember every healthcare worker is a mandated reporter.
She needs to find out as much as possible about the health of her mother and her family because if certain diseases are prevalent in that family she may be very likely to contact them. if you make this into a new question you will be like to attract more responses.
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Grant it your dad thank goodness IS in a safe place but she is not. If she is a danger to herself and others it was my understanding that APS would come in and help the family members with this problem. I have a Masters degree in worrying about elderly mean or not. :)) My MIL caught the kitchen on fire. Thank goodness my FIL was there to get her out of the apt. and call the fire dept. That's not to mention everything I've gone through with my mom and dad. I've never had to use APS so I guess I was wrong about what they can and can't do.
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All those stories above just verify again what I said about Senility.....It seems to me that Senility starts much earlier in midlife, slowly turning those folks into mean-spirited beings as the arteries "clog" slowly, destroying brain-cells, making it ever harder to get along with or reason with them...Add to that almost undetectable TIAs [transient ischemic attacks] which Drs. often can’t substantiate depending on acuity...and you have loss of memory, reasoning, and the associated fear factor that causes the anguish in the patient.
Everyone now calls it Alzheimer’s because one quickly understands what symptoms show up in the behaviour. But hardening of the arteries starts much earlier + so gradually , and it even depends of what part of the brain is affected the most, affecting the behaviour patterns exhibited...
We, as family members, initially get insulted, feel angry, but eventually should learn that we need to understand and forgive and manipulate the situations into what is most appropriate for all concerned... It makes for years of difficulties.... and I wish all those going on this path with a loved one, or not so loved one, a lot of patience and help, hoping we will not suffer eventually from the same “brain”-illness and thank the Lord for this blog to help ease this journey by seeing here,... we are not alone !!!...... I wish you well !!!
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Mama, you have Dad's POA, consider starting divorce proceedings. How long have they been married? Talk to an attorney on the best way to protect his assets. See a Medicaid planning attorney. It is natural for his wife to be concerned about what is to happen to her. What can you do to protect your Dad while pacifying her? That may just get her to realize the potential of loss down the road as well. She would lose his retirement benefit depending on how your dad set that up or changes that as POA you can make to it. Get busy this is going to be alot of work.
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Adult Protective Services are not going to do anything since he is not going back home with her. They consider him living in a nursing home is a safe place. The only reason she ever went to see my Dad was to beg him for money. My sister said she left a message today saying she got directions and she is driving to go see my Dad this afternoon. She keeps calling my sister and telling her to ask me to give her $ since my name is on my Dad's account. That is all she is about is $$$. I'm sure if she finds the place this afternoon - she will beg for $ and when he can't do anything about it - she will try to find her way home. I wish I knew her license plate number and I'd call the police and do as you said. I think I will drive to her house one day and write down the license number... thanks so much for you help.
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I do understand. This is what my we were told for my FIL......call the local police or highway patrol and have them follow her, pull her over and tell her she needs to take driving test (with them) and have them flunk her and take the keys. Then it's on them and not you or your sister. They would agree that she is a danger to those around her. My mom thought she could drive also but kept getting lost (yes, I would follow her). OR, have someone "find" something wrong with the car i.e. remove spark plugs anything to get her out from behind the wheel. Does she have ANY so called friends that could go see her and hide the keys? I understand she is mean and you don't want to deal with her. What did Adult Protective Services say? Call them back as often as you have to. Something is going to happen to her sometime soon and it will take care of itself.....hopefully. I don't mean that to be mean but you just hope she doesn't burn the house down or hurt someone else before that. I'm really sorry for you and your dad.
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I have placed my Dad in a nursing home closer to me since I am the only one that actually goes and sees him. My Step Mom tried to visit once and she called the place and told her it took her 4 hours to find the place. (it is 6 miles from her house). The lady at the nursing home asked me if something was wrong with her. I told her yes. She said she will not go and visit my Dad anymore b/c she can't find the place. I do not talk to her anymore - she thinks I am trying to steal my Dad's money but actually without me he would of already been dead. She wanted to stop his dialysis so he would die quickly and she would get his money. So - I have POA and am using his account to pay for a nursing home. If he passes the remaining of the money will go to her. I just want to up-hold my Dad's wishes which is NOT to stop dialysis. He isn't in his mind right now. So - back to her....I could try and get guardianship over her but she has been so hateful to him and to me for so many years. I think for a peace of mind - I am not going to do anything. Once my Dad passes it will be a benefit to me not to ever have to see or hear from her again (it will finally be over). I could contest the will etc....but I think I had rather be rid of her and feel $ just isn't worth having to deal with her. She told my sister that she went to see her doctor and the doctor told her she shouldn't be driving but she still does. In my situation there isn't a way for me to get her to a doctor or for me to get her help - last time I saw her was about 3 weeks ago and she cussed me out and told me she hopes I burn in hell.
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Bless your heart. I remember when my mom didn't think anything was wrong with herself either. Many talks went by and I worked with her dr. to "slip" medication in her coffee but she would taste it and stop drinking it. When dr. gave her samples of aricept when she got to the car she threw it out the window, called my dad a name I didn't know she knew and said she would never go back to that dr. again......which she did because she forgot she had ever said that and doctor was the sweetest thing. Unfortunately, when my dad had his heart attack it was the last straw. My sister and I witnessed her hitting my dad trying to get him to get up and take her to eat. I had pre-planned respite care for her (and us) at a facility and took her for a drive which she dearly loved to do. It was an ugly scene when I left her and I tried to explain why but she fought and fought. Again, fortunately they were good at what they did and redirected her to "help" them work in the office so I could get out. I felt terrible about it but it had to be done. Unlike your mil my mom was always one of the sweetest people and knew no evil. But evil is what this disease is. She finally adjusted and the facility became home. There is much more to the story but wanted to share a little of what I had to do because I knew my mom wouldn't go on her own. First of all you need to find a new dr. Someone who will work with you and help you find a facility that is right for her. Plus working on medications for her. My mom still takes pain med. for her back and it's been 8 years since she's been on it. We have cut the dose way back due to not knowing if she is still in pain after her procedure. She can't tell us. You MIL is a danger to others and herself so this needs to be done quickly. At the very least take her to a secure facility for some rest (for you) and to get everything in place without her fighting you every step of the way. If you have POA don't worry about her legally or financially. You are in the driver's seat on that. Just sounds like you need new doctor and facility for her. Good luck and God Bless
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11:22 PM 4/19/2015

Dejavuagain..... thanks for your reminder about rye grain, and about toxins... just recently read about mycotoxins in grain and other food and how it is not killed off by simply boiling foods... but can be helped by adding ascorbic acid powder half teaspoon to certain food to kill the mold or keep mold from developing during storage... Yet I have not yet found Vit. C powder in stores . Have not checked if higher baking temps. would kill the mycotoxins ?... It is really unbelievable how opinions and lifestyles have changed.... My family actually thought we were eating very healthy food....
We had our own fields, where my grandfather made sure only natural fertilizer was applied in the fall to allow it to compost tilled into the ground. In the spring, 6 months later, it was tilled again, before seeding or planting took place... I think that passes for organic farming. If the potatoe beetles got bad, school would be stopped for a day or 2 and all children were out picking those beetles off the potato plants, there was no pesticide used........ yet I can't remember that the pigs were fed corn... I know the chickens were fed corn, but we only ate their eggs... never the chickens.... wonder if those eggs were affected by the reduction of conjugated linoleic acid... The geese were stuffed with soaked corn to fatten up prior to X-mas, a process which is now either prohibited or frowned upon severely, and we did not just eat porkmeat... we loved the lard, which for years I have now considered to be one of the bad fats... but then I would eat that stuff piled high on the 1/2 rye, 1/2 wheat bread my grandmother baked herself from our own-grown grain, milled into flour at the local old mill... the one you now only see in old pictures with the huge millstone, driven by the fast flowing creek......
We had our own organic fruit and vegetable garden, which we thought we were so lucky due to the WW II food shortages in the cities...
We even made our own butter... and I still have pillows with geese feathers my grandmother plugged from those christmas geese...... well different times different habits.... And now I am on Lipitor, avoiding Butter, and most fats except for first-pressed olive oil... and wondering if I should stay on it.... Without a doubt I think all that Scientists told us about what causes alzheimers is about to be turned on its head again. Is cooking food in aluminum pots still considered to be an Alzheimer's scourge ??? I think that's the only kind of pots we had then, or else enamel pots, ,which would always chip and then eventually had to be tossed due to rusty places in them....Now I am thinking the rust would not have been as damaging, as the aluminum....
Yet I do think that porkfat could be considered to be the culprit of clogged arteries in that era ... as you have not tasted anything better than those proscuto type hams my grandparent smoked in their own smoking oven... and would serve just about every night as supper in those times was that good homebaked bread, topped with the very bacon fatty+meaty part of those hams, along with mustard, pickles , radishes, tomatoes, and a glass of hard apple cider.... all self/oraganically grown and of course our big meal of the day was served at noon, often consisiting of Pork-braten... [pork roast with gravy]... and potatoes or noodles fried in porkfat........ jeeeeze...I'll quit reminiscing now....
and there is no doubt about those clogged arteries in my family, and many others from that area that I now know and then knew... Oh, Yes... that area was also known to be a goiterbelt, but we were mostly aware of that and were supplemented with Iodine... Some of those who did not supplement, walked about with goose-egg-size bulges on their throats, and bulging eyes.... Yet we all lasted into our 80s and 90s......... that would give me another 10 years... hopefully without loosing all my braincells......
I'll have to read Kiwani's text to morrow...... eyes fallling shut.....So good night for now, and I wish you all well !!!
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Here's another possible cause of dementia:

ceh/campaigns/legal-action/previous-work/fashion-accessories/lead-in-jewelry/jewelry-brands-with-high-levels-of-lead/

Looking over this list of costume jewelry with high lead content makes me wonder how much of a part lead poisoning played in my mother's mental aberration, beginning around middle age with increasingly irrational behavior that made a horrific mess of family finances among other things, and gradually progressing until she hit full stride dementia a few years ago. She wore a lot of costume jewelry all her adult life, pretty much all of the brand names listed.

There are so many pieces to the puzzle....
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vstefans, if your folks ate a lot of ice cream, the sugar alone was bound to cause problems. Sugar plays a HUGE part in promoting disease, everything from diabetes to cancer. Interesting that they ate full fat ice cream and cheese, but opted for margarine, which is an unhealthy hardened vegetable fat, instead of butter.

I should emphasize that it is cattle that should never be given grain. (I'll bet those Omaha steaks were touted as being from "prime corn-fed beef.") Pigs are omnivorous and have no trouble processing corn, grain or kitchen leftovers.

To reiterate my reply to DHilBe, I meant to emphasize the fact that it was more likely an environmental toxin that was driving the townspeople to dementia, rather than the fats they ate. The effects of ergot have been documented down through history and can be devastating, causing stillbirths, gangrene, hallucinations and more. Entire villages have been known to get loopy after ingesting rye bread contaminated with the ergot fungus. In the middle ages hysterical people blamed their neighbors for bewitching them. In a later era, the ergot induced "acid trip" was taken as religious ecstasy. Of course it wasn't until modern medicine advanced enough that the source of all this craziness was identified.
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Oh, dejavu - my parents both suffered from their high saturated fat diet - she used to try to get ME to buy Omaha steaks that they always ate...plus they ate loads of full fat ice cream and cheese, which even if there are components that are good for some people, saturated fats, even CLA, can increase insulin resistance and our family is loaded with diabesity genes on both sides. In Germany they also ate a lot of pork, which was grain fed, mostly corn. And my folks mostly used full fat stick margarine, and thought too much - well really ANY - exercise was bad especially for girls, to top that off...and Mom also got put on Premarin for 10 years, which I only found out about after I thought hey, maybe I could get advice on how to handle hot flashes when they came along. I suppose it is remarkable she lived to be 79, but still so sad that she really lost her health and vitality so many years before.

I kept getting ads and offers from Omaha Steaks for several years after Mom passed on, and I kind of made a little ceremony of tearing each one of them up into little bitty bits and dumping them in the recycling bin, usually managing not to cry. The sadder thing was that Mom was a participant in the Nurses' Health Study, Cohort I, which I benefited from and she didn't.
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DeHilBe, if the townspeople where you grew up in Germany had an unusually high rate of senior dementia, there may have been some toxin in the environment that affected the brain over time. An alkaloid contaminant in rye known as "ergot" is a strong contender, having even played a role in the medieval witch hunts.

One thing certain is that it was not the diet rich in animal fats. Healthy fat benefits the brain and the older one gets the more critical it is to protect the brain cells. It is the current mania for fat-free everything and prescribing statins to keep cholesterol numbers unnaturally low that has led to the epidemic of dementia in this country.

Pre WW2 the animals would have been raised on natural feed. Cows are especially problematic when fed corn and grains, a practice that became popular in the USA following WW2 in order to make use of excess grain production. Corn and grain-fed cows have drastically reduced levels of a cardio-protective nutrient called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which leads to heart attacks in humans and subsequently the knee-jerk reaction of reaching for statin drugs.
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11:22 AM 4/18/2015
Dear Mamabear......don't know how you put up this long with this crazyness...... I feel with you... and hope you have been able to get help by now, since you wrote in @4/1, and now it's 4/18..... before I saw this text in my too full Inbox... and I agree also with all who say to get an Elder-Law Attorney. Often the initial meeting is free with them... but even if he can't help the immediate situation, he can point you in the best LEGAL future actions to protect your Dad and you, as well as he can clarify steps to get your stepmom help and how to go about it to avoid legal and financial problems ... and yes, don't be afraid to call 911 if situations get difficult that establishes a pattern for legal action verified by emergency and Police Depts. that keeps you in the clear as well as gets the best future help for your stepmom... I had to follow that path with my Dad, who had violent moments and would run out of the house, yet did not know the neighborhood and get himself lost.... at one point even tried to attack me... I still don't know what made him angry then.
Also, yes, the disposition of your stepmom has been due to a slowly developing "brain illness" (and I mean over decades) that creates what many folks call "meanness" .... but really is just a mental confusion and inability to judge situations, that puts the person into a defensive, fear mood, reacting in the "mean" mode...their mind cannot handle the immediate situation, they don't fully understand how to react to it, and just want it gone..... I went through this several times with patients and relatives, also with my Dad who passed @ 95, + who since his 60's showed ever increasing symptoms of dementia.... NOT Alzheimers.... I grew up in a South German village where many elderly persons eventually suffered from this lifetime animal fat rich diet induced dementia - which always was a combination of forgetfulness and downright meanness and extreme stubborness and showing ever-increasing selfish behaviour .... and families had to deal with it at home for years prior to WW II, (no Nursings Homes then) and even after the war... So I wish you a lot of patience, strength, and understanding of your stepmom's condition. Look at her as a Patient now, not a relative, it will keep you empathetic, not sympathetic one moment and upset the next moment and I hope she is no longer is in charge of your Dad's care, which is really beyond her mental capability now, and it would only get worse - there is not recovery from that slow brain deterioration.... ! I do wish you well !!!
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This is the woman's stepmom doubt if she has any control over her. You really need a lawyer to get your Dad half of the money he entitled to. I know a family that the parents divorced so the father got help.
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1.....Please hide the keys and tell her "let's look together for them". That's what I had to do with my mom. 2.....Suggestion....Have someone come to the house to evaluate her. I had to trick my mom (and you don't want to have to do that) to go to her facility due to her being physically/mentally abusive to my dad after his surgery. It just had to been done. She was so sweet but turned into another person after dementia/alz. crept in. 3.....FIND NEW DOCTOR. Your MIL might have something else going on. It doesn't always have to be dementia. Medications, UTI's, dehydration, etc. My parents dr. was really good with all tests and all paper work. I told my mom we needed to go talk about dad and dr. was good at turning it to her (I had already warned dr. ahead of time through nurse). It was a senior/elder care dr. and I worked along side her social worker. I know you feel overwhelmed at this time but it will get worse if not treated correctly. Good Luck and God Bless.
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Paranoia too, you mentioned your stepmother thinking your dad was stealing her pain meds. They often accuse when they forget how many pills they took. Cameras installed could certainly be a paranoia issue. If dementia and or Alzheimer's is in question, that will make the behavior spin out of control. I understand you don't have a good relationship with her, and for good reason. Is there anyone who can help her before she causes an accident?
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Who is prescribing pain meds, and for what? Could your stepmother possibly be addicted? I worked in a rehab years ago in a detox unit, and addiction isn't particular to any age group. Forgetfulness, erratic thoughts and behavior go hand in hand with addiction. Just a possibility.
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Absolutely, get thee to an eldercare attorney with this. Dad should have control over enough of the family income to cover his needs. Thank God you are his POA and not her.
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My MIL was a hazard on the road in her mid 80s . She finally ran into a kid on a bike (thankfully not hurt) and once again it was not her fault. She backed out into traffic (not her fault.. didn;t they see her..) banged into umpteen things. Her Dr knew...She even claimed my FIL was slipping her mickeys... Did her Dr report her,, no.. did her hubs make her stop... no. When she got her last renewal form FIL said she wants to go.. I said " do you really think this is good?" Luckily the DMV here in MD sent her a letter stating that they noticed she was "shakey" and they wanted an on the road test! Thank god for that. No more license!
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If she is a danger to herself or others, you may have to get her Baker acted to force her to be in the hospital and get evaluated as to why. If she's too out of control you may have to get some police help. Sad situation. I'm so sorry.
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I see two different issues: 1) Her treatment of your father. 2) Her inability to drive safely.

I wish I could give you solid advice regarding the first issue, but that involves legal counsel at this point. As far as her driving, she has NO RIGHT to endanger others. You don't say how often she has "run into things" but I would think her insurance must be sky high by now if the incidents were reported. Has she (or her insurer) had to pay damages in the past?

I don't know anything about Tennessee's driving regulations, but you should be able to report a risky driver to the dept. of motor vehicles, especially if there is a paper trail of her past accidents. They would hopefully require her to come in and pass a road test to continue driving.

Oh, and find a legitimate doctor who is actually interested in helping. I hope you can get Stepmother Dear under control soon. Best of luck....
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If you have assets, see if your state has a person who can be her guardian.
Explain the situation. In some states there are two offices of guardianship.
One for people who are on medicaid and have no assets. These guardians try hard but have really large caseloads. The guardians for people with assets have smaller caseloads and are very helpful. Like already mentioned you may need
legal help; but I think the state guardianships can help with that, too.
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You need to speak to a lawyer. Your father is entitled, I would think, to his pension and his SS. If a Vet, there may be services there. She needs an evaluation. Also, if record of her driving history maybe a doctor can contact DMV about revolking her license. Does she have children? Time to tell them to take over.
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Scary thought. Her behind the wheel of a car. That needs to stop, ASAP. Best wishes to you, whatever you decide to do.
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Something horrific will happen to force her either into a medical situation, or legal (like hitting someone in her car) and she will get the help she needs. In the meantime all you can do is pray that she doesn't harm anyone else, and she comes to you for help. Spend your energies on your father.
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