My 84 year old dad has dementia, paranoid personality disorder, and Parkinson's disease. He has recently started telling my 82 year old mother to leave the master bedroom, that he doesn't want her in the bedroom and he doesn't want it cleaned. He accuses her of stealing things from the room when he's not in it. He has decided he wants a keyed door lock installed on his door so that my mother cannot enter, My mother has started using a room across the hall from the master bedroom and allows my dad to lock her out of the master bedroom with the standard privacy lock (which she can open if needed). My older brother has decided he is going to install the keyed entry lock over my mother's objections because he's "doing as he was told (by our father)". My brother tells my mother that she "isn't in charge of Daddy" even if she is his wife of 62 years. I have told my brother that he is not installing a keyed lock because (1) the competent home owner/parent has said no and (2) it could potential create a death trap. My parents are both old enough that they do not easily adapt to new devices and I'm not sure either one could open a new keyed lock in an emergency. If that door is keyed locked, then my mother might not be able to get into the bedroom and wake my father up if the fire alarm went off. Of get to him if she heard him fall or he called out for her help. On the other hand, I don't have those concerns about operating the basic privacy locks that has been installed since they moved into the house in 1963. The entire family except for my older brother (who has Daddy's power of attorney signed well after the dementia was documented) agrees Daddy has not really be competent for some time. My brother tells my Mom that Daddy is fine and she is the one who's having problems and incompetent (no one including my mother's physician agrees with that). My mother does have some short term memory issues that her doctor states are a combination of normal aging, a medication she is taking, and the stress she is under caring for my father. She may need a little more time to consider and make her decisions, but she is capable of understanding her options and making her choices. I see my responsibility as supporting my parents to be as independent as they wish to be for as possible for as long. With their permissions, I installed a security system in their home so there is a monitored fire alarm (I was concerned they wouldn't wake up with the normal fire detectors) and a medical panic button. I guess I have two issues - (1) my brother seems to think he's power of attorney has made him :in charge of" our parents and (2) I think I have a responsibility to oppose creating potential death traps in our parents' home. I told my brother tonight that I would call the police if he starting changing the lock over our mother's direction and request Daddy be taken to the hospital for an evaluation. He backed off for now but it may just be to regroup. My mother asked me to come to the house and deal with my brother tonight as he is very verbally and emotionally abusive to my mother when she opposes anything he wants. My brother told our father that I would not let the lock be installed and that I was telling Daddy what he could do in his house now and got Daddy even more upset. It doesn't seem to occur to my brother that he's trying to tell our mother what she can do in her own home. I feel I need to support my mother - its her husband and her home - particularly when she directly asks. I don't want to get into power plays in the family, but I feel I can't let safety issues go either. Did I go too far?
some serious mental health or cognitive issues; he clearly did not understand what the doctor told your family about dad's dementia as nd mom's lack thereof
My brother worked at alienating Daddy from everyone, particularly after the dementia got started. My dad and brother had some kind of co-dependence relationship going where they started a salvage "business" and were going to get rich. My mother is "crazy" and "stupid" because she doesn't agree that the social security check should be used to finance this business venture - so she's too dumb to take care of "their" money. Daddy has always wanted Jr to be the family leader (like some kind of mob boss?) - and my mother had no say in anything anyway because she was a homemaker after my brother was born. My brother has told my mom to her face that she has no ownership in any of the "collectibles" and that home repairs are none of her business. BTW - I also "dumb" and "disloyal" because I financed my nephews college expenses when I could have been "helping" Daddy by investing in the business. They spent several thousand of dollars building an office for the business and relocated the household checkbook to there.
Basically my mother just let my brother take over in the beginning because she didn't want the family fuss and never dreamed it would get this bad. She's been reluctant to involve third parties because she's afraid (1) the harassment level from both my brother directly and my dad after his son gets him stirred up would be unbearable, and (2) that my brother might get into trouble over the "business" that has been selling off my parents assets but not filing or paying income or sales tax. The responsible brother and I have been reluctant to override my mother's wishes. My mother would like to take legal action now, but she's afraid of what could happen when my Dad and brother are served with the paperwork.
First of all, are the items that he is accusing your mother of taking, something that would be small enough to put into a lock box where your father would have a key? This might make him feel better if he is paranoid.
Secondly, calling Adult Protective Services and having them to look at the home would give you someone else in your corner about the safety issue. You would have a third party would could advocate for your mother's rights in the home also and maybe your brother would back down if an 'expert' said the lock should not be put on a bedroom door.
Your Mother deserves a full accounting of how Dad's money is being spent each month. I don't understand why your Mother isn't in charge of "their" money. How was this allowed to happen? Someone is going to have to go toe to toe with the big boy before this gets really scary!
Not to be rude, but I think your brother needs an evaluation. He brings your Dad lunch every day, doesn't include your Mother and makes Mom ask for grocery money....this is seriously wrong!
God bless and good luck!
Having a key lock installed on your dad's door is a ridiculous, dangerous thing to do. Let's say your dad is in there and wants to use his new shiny lock. He locks the door. Then loses the little key. What then? Or there's the fire scenario although I'd be less concerned about that then dad locking himself in and losing the key. Or locking the door on his way out and losing the key. Regardless of the circumstance, it's a dumb idea.
So here's what you do: if brother continues to insist upon this lock and just barrels through and puts the lock on, have a locksmith come out and undo it. You'd have to do that eventually anyway when dad locks himself in accidently and loses the key. Our locks himself out and loses the key.
If the lock goes back on, call the locksmith and have it removed again. Yes, it's a silly and childish game but your brother and dad are being silly and childish. Your dad has dementia so I'm wondering what your brother's excuse is.
Might be a good idea to leave brother to take care of Dad for a few days and give Mom a break. Mom at least needs someone coming in to help for a few days a week so she has a little down time to relax.