Follow
Share

He is 83 years old, narcissistic and often unkind to me. He was very vulnerable when he first came to live with us nearly 3 years ago. In the previous 6 months he had had a 9hr bypass operation on this left leg, had a cardiac arrest, suffered 2 broken ribs and had pneumonia! It is a miracle he survived! They had taken his licence away too. Over the last 3 years I have helped him recover and to get his licence back. He is still very frail and can hardly walk as he suffers chronic pain in his back. He cannot look after himself very well – doesn’t make food for himself and only sometimes showers when he soils himself, which he does about once a week. He’s a heavy smoker and eats lots of junk food. In the last 6 months or so he has become aggressive particularly in the eveninsg and often tries to criticise me and attack me over things that are simply not true. Over the past 27 years we have known that he is a liar and he constantly rewrites his narrative to be the victim and everyone else is in the wrong.


He is now talking to others about how controlling and nasty I am. Unfortunately, due to a previous experience where his doctor wrongly believed a carer over his patient, his doctor believes we have a “personality clash” as he puts it. His doctor tells us just to go along with Dad and keep the peace. I suspect he has some frontal load damage as he is doing and saying some inappropriate things out in the community resulting in a charge of common assault and he has been banned from a shopping centre and a chemist! He refuses to submit to any authority and we have had the police here 5 times now. He keeps going to the shops he was banned from and refuses to pay any speeding fines causing his licence to be suspended although he has now paid that fine. My husband has financial authority and POA, but while Dad is still driving he is assessed as Low Need. His doctor won’t refer him for assessment because his memory is fine and he can really turn on the charismatic charm. A short period with him has people thinking he’s a lovely gentleman. My husband is very supportive and does take up issues with his Dad. The only thing I can do is walk away when he has a go at me. I refuse to get into an argument with him. As I work part time I spend much more time at home with Dad.

Find Care & Housing
Hi Tracey, the rules about small pets vary from facility to facility. My DH’s parents were allowed to take their little Pappilon dog and also to share a NH unit, both being a bit unusual. Regional IL facilities like I described were often put up principally for farmers who left the farm and wanted to move into the local town, so they aren't part of a commercial 'chain'. You will have to ask around, or COTA or your Council may have a list. Plus it’s a nuisance, but doing some homework on money might be useful to make FIL see that you are not exploiting him. He certainly shouldn’t be dictating anything in your home. Best wishes, Margaret
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report

Tracey, lots of towns in regional Australia have senior living places, sometimes motels that have been turned into a row of IL units. You are right about nursing homes, but the Independent Living places are usually community-owned non-profit rental. There is often a waiting list, but you can put him on the waiting list for a number of places – in your shoes, I wouldn’t care if it was close by! With both pensions, he should be able to afford the rent.

Could you try doing less for him? Why should you make his meals and have him eat at the same time as you and DH? It’s unpleasant. Make him frozen meals, which is what he would have in IL if he can’t cook, so he can get used to it. Charge him the same rent and expenses that he would have to pay in IL, firstly because it’s fair and secondly once again so he can get used to it.

Tracey, you need to stand up for yourself a bit more. And get the recordings, both for your husband and also for the doctor and the police. Perhaps find out when the doctor is going on holiday and pick another doctor who is more aware of this sort of two-faced behaviour.

If you don't know your way around the options and costs, try ringing up COTA (Council On The Ageing) who operate nationally and should be able to give you information. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
Tracy1963 May 14, 2020
Hi Margaret
Thank you for your helpful comments. I will definitely look into IL in my region and see what they say. Even if it is only used as a conversation starter with Dad to get him to be behave in a way that does not negatively impact the family. I also think we do need to put in some boundaries and not allow him to dictate to us what he will and won't do. I do realize he is very controlling and thinks because he pays us some money each week that have to do things his way. He doesn't pay us as much as he would be paying if he was living independently with support services. He often accuses us of being money hungry and has a belief that we need his money. That is simply not the case and is not why we were willing to look after him. We would happily forgo the money for a harmonious home. He has a little dog (one we owned) which we gave him some 8 years ago. His whole life revolves around this dog - I feel sorry for her! When I looked into IL 3 years agoI found out he would not be able to have his dog with him. But I think I'm to the point where his choices are limiting his options and there will be a price to pay for him, ie he will not be able to have his dog with him. I am concerned as he is still driving that he will still come to our house and hassle us especially if we have his dog. I guess he could still pick his dog up and then drop her back to us. He will take the dog to the new accommodation whether he is allowed to or not but I guess the managers there would need to deal with that. I suspect he will go down hill very quickly if he doesn't have his dog with him. I just see difficulty ahead for him if we relocate him to other accommodation but I think we need to use tough love. We are not abandoning him, we will still support him and help him in whatever he needs just from a distance.
(1)
Report
Be ready with a recording device so that you're ready for his next rant. If he escalates to any type of violence, do not hesitate to call the police/law enforcement. Let him know what you plan to do and what the consequences will be if he steps out of line. Make sure to follow through. You can use the recordings to update your spouse on his own Dad's behavior when he gets home.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to gemswinner12
Report
Tracy1963 May 13, 2020
Thanks for your comments. I was thinking exactly what you suggested: that I should record any interaction with Dad at least then my husband will hear for himself the way Dad is speaking to me. Since he has received the papers to go to court for the common assault charge he has been very grumpy. I'm just waiting for the next outburst.
(1)
Report
I have been saying "goodbye" emotionally to my parents for years now. They are not the happy stable couple they were years ago-their problems have turned them into someone else. Ditto for sis who has LBD. She cries all the time can't give her a hug there is nothing i can say of do to help her. I had to let go of the idea I could possibly do anything to change/influence the progress of the disease for my sister, my dad and the behavior of my mother-i tried for a long time. I miss the person sis was a few years back-she lived out of state we talked on the phone for hours...those days are over. My mother makes me crazy every time i am in her house. I used to come home and unload on spouse about my crazy mother. My dad has dementia too. Asked me 3 times yesterday where we were going-to dentist to pull out 2 bad teeth-he does not remember anything anymore. Not the guy he used to be either. Mom feels she has to make all-i mean all decisions for dad-even when he needs to use the bathroom....she refused to accept the impact of parkinson's on my dad-angry that he would not help take care of her and the house-i can't say how many times i explained that dad just can't do now like before-took a few years for her to finally accept dad's reality. I had to step back-had to-even though i try to stay out of it -other local sibling refuses to do anything though he lives 5 mins away. I have been there 3 times this week and will do one more trip in a few days to return broken/repaired hearing aids. I do what i can -what i feel up to doing for my parents. they have 24/7 home care so most is done for them they will be okay either way. parents insist to remain in their own home and there will be something that is not 100% what they want anywhere anytime. Family Caregivers need to make tough decisions to achieve the best ??? balance for yourself and needs of family member. In a perfect world maybe all family would "share" the responsibility of being caregivers-equally-but this has never happened for me and read many posts here of similar family dynamics where one person takes on 100% of the job. I considered the idea of bringing sis to live with me but one day i woke up and realized I can not do 24/7 care and keep myself together at the same time. I thought for a moment i was wonder woman....
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to medicaidmaze20
Report

You're in the UK, are you? Whereabouts, roughly?

Where do you think it would be best (for all of you) for your FIL to be living? It helps to have a positive option in mind, because it's easier to work towards moving him *to* somewhere than to get others to agree to your kicking him out.

You say your husband has financial authority and POA? - what type?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
Tracy1963 May 13, 2020
Thanks for your reply. We are in regional Australia. I’m not sure where he would go. He has no money- gambled it all away! He would only be eligible to enter a government funded aged care facility if he was assessed as high need and there was a place available. The waiting time is years. We could set him up in his own unit at considerable expense to us but as he keeps running out of money, and he gets a UK pension and an Aust pension, I don’t know how long that would work. Everything was sold when we moved him across. He would need to pay for cleaning and meals. The other sons are over the other side of Australia and are supporting their mum. Dad is estranged from them, because of the way he treated them, and I don’t think they would be willing to offer financial support to relocate him but we could ask. We originally wanted to set Dad up in his own unit but he was just too frail when he came over to us. Even if the Dr agreed to refer him to a Geriatrician and they assessed him as having Vascular Dementia how would that change anything? I think maybe the only way this situation will change is if he ends up in hospital and we refuse to take him back then they will have to place him in an aged care facility. I guess I just need to get a tougher skin and keep forgiving him until such time the situation changes. He’s so stubborn and full of pride, “fighting” as he says he’ll properly live for another 10 years.
(0)
Report
Find out where you want him to go and how to pay for it.

Make a few notes in a journal each day to keep up with his behavior.

Be ready when the next “event” happens so that he is placed in a facility rather than back into your home.

Hopefully you can get him to the right doctor for help in getting him diagnosed.

You just have to decide that you have had enough and set your intention on getting him moved. It’s good that your husband understands he’s out of control and it’s not causing you problems with one another.

I commend you on not engaging in conflict. As they say, if you don’t want to play the game, let go of the rope.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

ER dump him imo, he needs to be in a facility from what you're describing.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to HelloImMinsu
Report

It sounds like he is suffering from sundowner syndrome. Getting aggressive in the evening and behavior changes are common for this.

Look it up and get the information to his doctor. This can be helped with medication.

I would also find a geriatric psychiatric doctor to help with the needs assessment.

Has your husband told his dad to stop or he will be moving out? I would encourage some boundaries with known consequences and start enforcing them. This may help some of the bad behavior that isn't dementia.

Best of luck, such a difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
Tracy1963 May 13, 2020
Thanks for your comments. I’ve thought about sundowners and that may be part of it. Dad is smart and only has a go at me when we are on our own. Because I have been seeing a lot of his negative behavior over a long period of time I’m really not sure he has Dementia. I’m conflicted. He was so pleasant and controlled his responses when the police came so that just makes me think he hadn’t got a Dementia. If he had I probably won’t feel so hurt by the way he treats me and the awful things he says to others about me. We are a firm believer in boundaries but to give you a idea of what we are dealing with one quick story. We have 2 dogs. In spite of our requests to Dad not to feed the dogs while we are eating at the table he continues to sneak food to them. The other day the dogs had a scrap under the table trying to get in the best position to receive the food. My husband said that’s no good the dogs can stay in the other room. Dad argued at volume that we didn’t discipline the dogs properly and we should feed them before we eat. When my husband said he was causing the problem by feeding the dogs; he loudly disagreed and said we were at fault. He said we needed to feed the dogs then. My husband said no. Dad got up from the table and refused to eat with us until the dogs were feed. For the next two weeks dad did not eat with us and would only ate after the dogs were fed. Finally I said this is ridiculous. So we compromised in that I put our food on the table, we all sit down and then my husband feeds the dogs and we all start eating when he sits down. The other day we were really busy and and forgot to get the dogs food ready. We started eating. Dad asked have the dogs been fed. I said I forgot. Husband didn’t want to interrupt his meal so we continued eating. Dad didn’t start eating and after about 5 mins got up and left the table said he would eat after the dogs had eaten. Later after the dogs were fed husband called dad he said “I’m past it now”. He’s done this before. He will just not back down. It is very difficult. He used to daily bad mouth every family member to me until I put in a boundary and said I would not engage in conversation about other family members and that I would walk away. He said I couldn’t handle it and I said that’s fine if that’s what you think! He didn’t like it but it did work. My husband and I do not argue. Nor do we speak negatively to each other. We have had so much conflict in our home since dad arrived. It is a constant work to keep my heart right.
(0)
Report
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter