About a year ago, before my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's (along with paranoid schizophrenia and depression), he became combative with me and my mother (even though all we were trying to do was help him). He basically disowned both of us, felt betrayed, was physically aggressive and threatening toward me and my husband, and verbally aggressive with everyone, including his only granddaughter. He really hated me and my family.

To make a very long story short, he is now on proper medication and lives in a memory care community. (Which was difficult to accomplish. He actually escaped twice from the first Community where we placed him and the police had to be called the second time.) When he lived at home with my mom, I used to visit them each week and we had a great relationship. I have visited him a few times where he is now, and he seems to be over his anger, which is great. (No more escape attempts.)

Now I have the problem. I feel very uncomfortable around him. He has always been a very controlling person. Never let anyone help him with finances, taxes or managing his property. He always wanted to control me and the way I thought, which caused friction between us and between him and my mother. Now I am basically managing all of his property and finances. When I visit him I am always afraid I'll say something to make him remember that he felt I was "trying to steal his identity and property." If he asks me about what’s happening with his houses (which he has asked before), I'm afraid he'll be mad because he doesn't have any control over what's happening to them. Or he’ll want to go see them. Or I'm afraid I'll mention something from the past that will make him sad, instead of being able to reminisce together. I don't really know what to talk to him about. The few times I have seen him I have recognized a flash of that look on his face, that anger and distrust. I have never been a great conversationalist and am not good at coming up with something off the top of my head. (I need a script☺.) Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with this? I am sure it’s not a unique situation.

Thanks for listening!

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Why would you even want to visit if he treats you like that? It sounds like you're literally scared to be around him. Don't visit over any sense of obligation, only if YOU really want to.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to ZippyZee

I would go with a list of prepared topics to talk about (I used to do this with my mom who had aphasia from a stroke).

If he becomes unpleasant you say, "Sorry, dad, I'll be back when you are feeling better" and leave.

Can you do that? There is no reason for you to subject yourself to his tongue lashings or anger.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

It’s hard. I am like you are and avoid bringing up trigger topics and if someone else brings up a topic that I don’t wish to speak about I have clearly said that I will not discuss it. If they push, I walk away.

We can’t control what others do or say. We can only control our reaction to them.

You have been through a lot. Life is stressful enough without placing additional stress on ourselves.

Best wishes to you and your family.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

You're right. Yes, I can do that. I could try to think about myself a little more. It's hard. He's my dad, and I love him.
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Reply to CarolB333

Thank you to all for your input. I really appreciate it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to CarolB333
NeedHelpWithMom Sep 30, 2020
You’re welcome. Best wishes to you. Follow your heart but protect yourself from any potential pain.
Don’t talk about it, if he brings it up have your next topic ready, if he keeps on, excuse yourself to the bathroom and leave. Short visits. Bring favorite food item. You can manage his care by being kind to the staff and short visit with him. Staff lives in reality while he doesn’t and can give you answers that he can’t.

bigger question is why do you feel the need to have a relationship with someone that wasn’t pleasant to you in their “right” mind?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Ohlas1

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