My father asked me to check out an AL facility near me. I did and let him know it was nice. He said sign me up! He paid the huge community fee without hesitation. My husband and I got the room ready very quickly and set it up really nicely. I went down to get him and he packed the back of the car to the hilt. We drove to the facility and he filled out paperwork while I unloaded the car. He asked me to fill out the check for the rent and he signed it . He was fine when I went home. The next day he was already claiming that he had never said he wanted to move and didn’t know how he got there! His story changed too many times to count over the next few days. By day 5 he had called the police, APS and attorneys and was attempting to file kidnapping charges against me. This turned into more police and APS contact over the next week claiming I had stolen his house, car and money and had brought him to this place without his consent. With a little investigating they all knew he must have dementia because there were many witnesses to back up the actual events. At the advice of APS and the police we took his telephone away. Our lives were a nightmare due to his ability to get his ex part time caregiver and his old neighbors to give him phone numbers! The phone became a weapon. His ex care giver even gave him a number for a taxi after she tried to set up a ride for him to go home and they declined as she wouldn’t identify herself! That was yet another call from the police. We got him a doctor who referred him for neuropsychological testing. The conclusion was indeed that he has Frontotemporal Dementia. Now that his decision making is gone and my brother who is his POA has told him he’s staying in AL I need know how to handle seeing him. The staff has actually asked me to limit my visits as it agitates him and causes him to fixate on going home. He knows I’m the one who drove him there so he blames me for everything. I’m also running down as he’s made our lives miserable during the last month dealing with his shenanigans. Whenever I see him it’s always the same thing. Why did you bring me here? What did I do to deserve this? Why am I being punished? How can a daughter treat her father this way? Do you want me to die in a place like this? (It's a very nice place) Please let me go home? He was just as miserable at home and often didn’t know it was his home. I’ve told him he gave my brother POA and I can’t make decisions for him but he’s incapable of understanding that. It’s like he’s a broken record on replay whenever I see him. What should I do? Will this calm down in time if I just stay away for awhile? How long should I stay away? We’ve never had a normal family so this is very hard for me. He’s been a psychological abuser my entire life. Our relationship had actually gotten better after his personality changed, but now it’s a mixture of the same old attacks along with the dementia where he suddenly can be really nice. He gets me so confused I don’t know what to say to him. I see a glimpse of what a real father would act like now and then and it makes me hopeful, but then he starts in and I end up saying I’ve got to go and dashing out as fast as I can. I feel very guilty as he now lives near me and I am afraid to go and see him. I get anxiety if I’m even in the vacinity of his AL. I don’t want him to be asked to leave because he’s causing problems because I agitate him, but I also don’t want him to feel abandoned. I probably sound nuts! After how he’s treated his children you’d think it would be easy to write him off, but somehow it’s not! I guess I’m ill-equipped to deal with the hand I’ve been dealt and I desperately need advice from someone who knows what I’m talking about. Please help!

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The home has asked you to stay away so he can get settled. You need to be asking them how long they suggest. Your Dad is not the first person with these issues that they have dealt with. Let them be your guide.

He cannot be 'a real father' to you, not now, not in the future. There is nothing you can do to change the fact that he was not the father you needed him to be.

Get yourself some counselling while you wait for him to settle into his new home. You have a lifetime of abuse to recover from.
Helpful Answer (14)

I feel your anxiety. My mother was a verbal abuser as well, and it became worse when she went to a nursing home. If your father doesn’t calm down over the next few weeks, call a Care Conference meeting with the staff and social worker at his AL. He may be beyond assisted living and need to be on the floor for people with dementia. Do not try to reason with or constantly argue or explain things to him. He doesn’t not hear or understand what you are saying. He is living inside his own mind right now, and it’s not a happy place for him. He is striking out at everyone, especially your because you are available. By you becoming upset, trying to mollify and explain things to him, he is accomplishing his goal.
What does your brother do beside hold POA? That’s a tough job, but day to day handling Dad is tougher. If you have more than one sib, you ALL need to be pitching in with him and all on the same page. Alternate weeks when you all will visit Dad, perhaps once or twice a week each. And decide before you go what you will tell Dad. It should always be the same thing for all of you.
Also, you should contact the agency where the ex-caregiver works and make it plain to his/her supervisor that you do not want any contact between her/him and Dad. He knows he can use them. If contact between them continues, you can confer with an attorney to see if they will write the agency a letter of intent to file charges of contact continues. The caregiver has no business endangering your father by helping him carry out his plans for “escape.
Don’t take his threats and accusations to heart. I know it’s difficult. Step outside yourself and ask if you would tolerate this from a stranger or casual acquaintance. Deal with Dad on that level.
Good luck! You will find Dad has good and bad days. Enjoy the good ones!
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OMG! You sound so much like me - except for me it's my mother. Dementia has made her someone I can hardly stand being around...or talking to on the phone. I've wanted to post a question here on how to deal with it...I barely know what to say.

I feel guilty because I really don't want to talk to her. When I do call or visit - it's a constant barrage of how much she hates the place; I've made a terrible mistake putting her there; she hates her roommate with a passion; hates and is suspicious of the caregiver there (she's in Adult Foster Care); hates the food, thinks the other ladies there (only 4 of them) are filthy - they don't wash their hands and they're so nasty...and on and on it goes...she doesn't have one good thing to say to me...

Usually she ends up crying and saying 'you're not going to have a mama for long'...I'm going to die in this's awful here...I think you need to move me to another place...I want to go back to my apartment...she misses her apartment...

However, a bit of history: She's been in 2 assisted living facilities - hated them, hated the food, hated the people...hated everything. I sent 5 or was it 6?? I lost track - caregivers to her apartment which was filthy - and she fired them all - the last ones she wouldn't even let in the door! Her excuse was 'I was too sick to deal with them'!! Started leaving the stove on...forgot to shut off the hot water in the bathroom...until it ran over in the floor...

At any rate...she complains that I don't call her every day - I feel beaten and exhausted by her constant complaints, I can't do anything right by her...I don't know what else to do...I dread, dread, dread going for a visit - she yells at the other ladies to 'GET OUT' and LEAVE ME ALONE! I have a visitor now GO AWAY!! The other ladies there have their challenges but they are always so happy to see any visitor...they are very sweet and greet me with open arms!! My mother says 'Oh, you finally show up'! I didn't know you were coming! I thought you'd be here before now...and on and on...not once has she ever said 'so good to see you again'! Thanks for coming over!

I know this dementia is a terrible disease but I feel like it's making me withdraw from my mother...we've never had what you'd call a close relationship - she's always had mental problems and this neediness...and I'm the only child she has that is capable of helping her...and I've tried...and tried..and tried...for the last six years...everything I could think of to make her happy...and have never really been very successful at that effort...

I feel your pain...and I really don't have any good ideas...back away...thank goodness he's in a safe place and there are experts there - let them do their jobs.

I'm going to try another approach: I'll tell my mother I'll call her once a week...but as for these daily beatings...oh, I mean phone calls...I just can't take the abuse...or the guilt she lays takes me hours...sometimes days to recover from her barrage of hate, guilt and how I've failed her once again...I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it...trying to focus on other's difficult...but counseling may help...having a friend who understands helps a great deal too..

Best of luck to you...
Helpful Answer (10)

Hi Leslieanne,

What an ordeal. I agree that you should let the nursing home take the lead on whether or when to visit. Meanwhile, take care of yourself by regularly sitting outside, exercising, reading or doing what makes you feel better. Reading the many comment strings on this site about abusive, disordered, aging parents may help you feel less alone and give you a different perspective--there are a lot of us out there.

My parents were/are both personality-disordered, abusive and nuts so I know what you mean about caring when you have every right not to. Anyone who has been around our family for long soon sees how crazy it is. My sociopath dad died but my mother has narcissistic personality disorder and has ruined the whole family by playing favorites and divide-and-conquer. She's always been jealous of me instead of behaving like a mother. Now she's paranoid and suspicious of me, even though I'm the only one of her three kids who treated her well and helped her. The other two use and abuse her; she thinks they walk on water. I pray for the end to this but she is strong as a horse and will probably be the first person to live to 150.
Helpful Answer (8)

You are at the beginning of your journey with a parent with dementia. I hate to say this, but you are the lucky one, not having the POA. I was the POA, for 8 years. My mother just passed away last month. You say you are exhausted. You are just getting a taste of it. The harsh reality of this disease is it takes your parents away from you and it can drain you of all life. On the positive side, once this temporary behavior (it is almost always like this in the beginning) subsides, he might forget the bad father he was to you and become someone you can visit and have some nice talks with. I know it is hard to imagine, but it does happen. Also, as hard as it might be for you to stay away, I would advise it. Each AL facility asks family to give them a couple of weeks alone with their new resident to get them acclimated without interference from the family. And what I mean by interference, are the reminders which you bring that cause the excited or abusive or distractive behaviors of your father or any new resident. Get some counseling, read up on dementia and all that it brings, and let your brother do his job, which by the way, is to also be the point person for your father at the facility, regardless of where he is. I had to move from the west coast to the east coast to be closer to handle things easier. It was not fun and I am glad it is all over.
Helpful Answer (8)

I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but you need to face the fact that your father is a master manipulator. He is pushing every button you've got. Your only course of action to save yourself is follow the AL's advice and STAY AWAY. Nothing good will come of a visit, not for you and not for him. As other have said, he is never going to be the father you want him to be. Please get counseling to help you deal with all this.
Helpful Answer (8)

Since the police and APS were contacted, I'd get a legal consult to make sure all that has been cleared up. I'd get written confirmation that things were A okay with any of that stuff.

I'd also get into counseling. It sounds like you still have a lot of pain from childhood. I'd try to sort that out. I"m not sure how that can be done with someone who has dementia.  He's not likely to come around or make amends now.  He's not likely able to do that now.   I'd heed the advice of professionals and not continue to show up, if he's upset by it. I'd inquire if nice thinking of you cards would be okay.
Helpful Answer (7)

I think the first answer, by Tothill, says it all, succinctly.

I especially like the advice to seek some therapy. Coming from a dysfunction family has not prepared you to cope with the present situation. Guilt is getting in your way. Counseling can help!

Dr. Pauline Boss, a psychotherapist, has this to say about taking care of abusive family members:
"Taking care of someone who years before was abusive or neglectful of you is beyond what is expected of you. Caring for a family member who was or is physically or psychologically abusive is dangerous. ...
... I encourage some kind of continued management -- often through a social worker -- to make sure that the caregiving team or the nursing home professionals are treating your family member well. This may be the best you can do given your history together." [from her book Loving Someone Who Has Dementia]

Good for you for arranging care for your abusive father, as he asked you to. Now it is time to distance yourself from this stressful situation. With your brothers continue to see that he has good care. But continuing to receive his abuse is simply not healthy, and it doesn't do him any good either.
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I had to grieve the "sweet me" in the adult-child-with-mthr-the-adoring-grandma-fantasy I wanted while mthr was recovering from her cancer surgery, just like I grieved when I started therapy 15 years before. I had not heard from mther for 8 years, her choice, and I was just as sad from that as I was when I realized this was not going to be fun either.

Mthr was a horrible, mean, and abusive person. I can't change that. I, on the other hand, am pretty nice. How do I reconcile not visiting and being a "bad daughter?"

Mthr deserved nothing. She was that bad. But I, in my kindness, chose to find her a place where she would be safe, warm, and fed, as well as have indoor plumbing with hot and cold water. Pretty awesome placement for someone who refused to let the water heater stay warm for 40 years.

If she wants to whine, complain, and guilt, that's fine...but she won't be dishing out that abuse to me. It got to the place I asked here what I do: walk when it starts. I did, which meant the meetings were very brief.

"Sorry mthr, can't handle the negativity, gotta run, bye!" I now go out about quarterly. Even tho she can't talk now, I still have the anxiety and bad dreams before and after. But they are better going only 4* year instead of weekly!
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I was told that the basic personality doesn't change with Dementia. You need to protect yourselves. You have made sure ur parent is safe, warm and fed. You r letting your parent still have control over you. At this point the brain is dying. They have no idea what is going on and they take it out on the one they see the most often. You r probably still looking for approval but it won't be coming. You will need to set boundries for yourself since they may not understand boundries at this point. As the desease progresses, they will not even remember what they said to u day to day or moment to moment. You need to protect yourself. Its hard, I know, but u need to understand they cannot b reasoned with. That ability is the first thing lost. They live in a mind that is broke. You don't have to visit every day. Letthe staff have time rto acclimate them. Then baby steps. If ur visit upsets you or them, leave. My Aunt would tell her sister no one came to visit. And the sister believed her. My cousin had been there moments before his Aunt came to visit. You could go everyday and they still would say, about time.
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