I am helping my wife care for her Dad. He's verbally abusive to her. Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences like this?

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They had a strained relationship prior to him having an aphysia stroke. He was very verbally abusive prior to the stroke and now it is worse that he is living with us. He refuses to go into any type of senior apartment setting. He only wants to go back to his house which is in the middle of no where Pennslvania. I have small children in the house who have already witnessed him calling my wife a whore, and a lying bitch. It is extremely stressful on her. I have intervened but it seems to only have made matters worse. Does any one have any suggestions or experiances like this. Thank you in advance

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I hate to say it and add to your distress, but his being there and mouthing off like that, even if you can tolerate and excuse it, is going to be harmful to those kids. Even with explanations, it sets a bad example and a stressful environment and can't help but affect them.
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I think the wellbeing of the children is more important than that of a nasty old man. He would somehow get by if he had no children at all, so he can survive without his daughter's care.

Invite her to come online here and tell us how she feels. That might help her.
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I highly recommend getting a Social Worker involved! I'm having some similar issues, but on a much lesser scale. I've been talking to a Social Worker the last couple days, and I can't tell what a difference it's made. The Social Worker will help you with relocating the Father, if need be, and will help you and your wife through the process too!
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Are your children old enough to understand an explanation about how poor health and especially poor mental health can cause someone to say unacceptable things?

I suppose that this COULD be an opportunity for you wife to resolve some issues in her relationship with her father. I wouldn't count on it, though.

It sounds like your FIL does not want to be in your house; it sounds like you do not want him there. So what is he doing there? You and your wife still have the power to decide who lives in your home.

You may not have the power to tell FIL where he must live. If he is competent in the legal sense, he can go back to his home in Nowhere. Or maybe a social worker can talk him into some kind of a care center. But he doesn't have a choice to stay with you unless you give him that choice.

I think you and your wife will both feel better if you do not completely abandon him, but maintain some oversight at a distance. For example, if he goes back to his house, you can alert the social services department in his county. They can determine whether he might be eligible for some services, such as housecleaning and meals on wheels.

Your wife does NOT have an obligation to provide hands-on care for an abusive parent.
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To Mrs. & Mr TTH - in spite of some peoples' ability to multitask, research shows that the brain can only do one thing at a time. Allow yourself just another few moments of grief for the loss of your father, even though he has not yet passed away. He is either not who you thought he was or who you wanted him to be. BUT, you are who YOU are. Take up the reins in your own life. Focus on the good things that you want. Let thoughts that make you feel good create your path ahead.

Do whatever you CAN do to make sure your father is both safe and well cared for during the rest of his days. Just not in your home. With whatever is "off" in his personality or behavior, it is only going to get worse, never better. Mrs. TTH's belief system about how she should act with her father is what's driving her choices. The great news is that we always have the ability to see our way clear to change our perspective and alter our belief system.

It might be different if the two of you were childless or your children were grown and away. But that's not the case. So above all, the two of you MUST think of your children first. It is your primary responsibility. Their grandfather is nearing the end of his time on earth. The children are just beginning their lives. They don't need to witness the destructive behavior of their grandad. Give them the peace and security they deserve to grow up and be emotionally healthy adults.
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Have him committed. Get him out of there, whatever it takes. Call the MD and explain the abuse, ask for a 72 hr psychiatric inpatient exam. Do NOT bring him back home.
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Thank you for being open and sharing your concern for your wife and FIL. Family relationships are the hardest to learn how to deal with because there is lots of history and so much emotion that goes with that history.

What I have learned is that you have to believe you are doing the best job for your loved one despite their abusive behavior. Guilt likes to creep in and steal any self-worth you may have, but you are the only one who has power over that emotion. You can accept the guilt and let it destroy you inside, or your can reject the guilt and replace it with peace and happiness. How do you do this? Emotions will always follow your thoughts, so you must rethink what you believe and reinforce the positive thoughts and reject the negative. Forgive you self for past wrongs. The past is the past and there is nothing but to ask for forgiveness if you need to. If your FIL needs to be forgiven, then do it. It has been said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the person who has wronged you to die. Won't happen.

Separate your self-worth from your FIL negative behavior and unhealthy mental health. Do not own his problems. When he becomes abusive, just let him know that you will not tolerate his abusive behavior, but you love him. And because you love him, you will allow him to be by himself until he can make a better choice and treat you in the respectful way you deserve to be treated. Let him know that your behavior is a result of his behavior so he can own it as well.

Your wife is lucky to have a husband who loves her enough to stand against her father's unhealthy behavior towards her. Your FIL needs to see that modeled over and over. He may feel regret over his relationship with her mother, or who knows why he makes the choice to behave as he does, but it does not have anything to do with her personally. Love her through this stressful time in her life. Let her know she is an awesome person and that you both are doing the best for her dad in spite of his bad choices.

I agree to get some outside help like a social worker through your local county. They may also have some great resources to support you through this. Usually when a elderly person no longer can take care of themselves while living alone, the county will get involved and make the choices for them if family is not there to do so.

Keep up the great work!
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Thanks for the input. I told her about the helpful comments that everyone has posted. My wife knows he cannot stay in our house, but feels a strong sense of guilt. My FIL and MIL seperated when she was two. Monetarily he was there, just not physically. When he was he was mean. There is a bit more to the story, which i'm sure would make everyone shake their heads even more. But I will have her read the responses(I have told her about them) and maybe reading all of your opinions will help. Again thank you for taking the time to answer and help.
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Definitely get him away from the children. Somehow, some way get him out of your house. Also get him away from your wife. I don't know how this would be done. Perhaps through his doctor have him admitted to the hospital for some evaluation then progress from there to a NH or Assisted L. If he won't go its not your problem, he is then out of your house. Don't let the children visit him wherever he goes. He is too toxic. Ditto your wife, she should only visit once a quarter for 10 minutes. Not your problem once he is out of your house. Forget the guilt.
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Guilt is a given in caregiving situations. I don't know why, but nearly everyone has feelings of guilt while they do caregiving. The guilt feelings are irrational and way out of proportion to what we may have actually have done. Maybe it is because there is no "perfect" solution, and we tend to strive for perfection.

I hope that your wife can let go of most of the guilt feelings and push what she can't let go of to the background. Act in spite of the guilt. Support her to do the right things for herself and especially for her children.

If Dad stays and continues to be abusive, the children will suffer. She will feel guilty about that. If she insists that he leave she will feel guilty about that. There is no way out of some feelings of guilt. Help her make the best (imperfect) choices any way.
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