Irrational thinking and anger. How do you deal?

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My Mom died 7 years ago. Her last three years on this planet were rough. Dad did everything for her. After her death, Dad continued to live in the house they built together. He hired a cleaning lady to help out and asked friends for favors when he needed help on projects. He was still lonely, so I adopted a cat for him. He adores the cat and she him. After Mom's death, Dad decided to put my sister and my name on the house, checking and savings accounts and investments. This was his choice should anything happen to him, we could take care of him.

In the 7 years since Mom died, my sister and I have taken time off work to be with our Dad in the hospital several times. We have taken him to doctor appointments. We have picked him up to share holiday meals with us. We have interview care givers only to have him fire them the next day. We have done this because he is our father and traveling 2 hours to get to him was just what needed to be done.

About a year ago, things that Dad had given my sister and me, he suddenly wanted back. When we gave these items back, they disappeared. We came to find out he was giving the cleaning lady our Mother's china, cookware and other items. The cleaning lady was also managing his meds and making doctor appointments that required him to travel 3 to 5 hours away for medical treatment that could have been done locally. To top it all off, she was spending the night with him. Of course our Father never told us any of this was happening until after the fact. My sister and I finally drove to Dad's house, at his request, and had a "come to Jesus" meeting with the cleaning lady and her husband. Dad was hoping we could all be friends. The end result of the meeting was I told the cleaning lady to return all "gifts" from Dad. My sister and I never told her she could not continue cleaning Dad's house, but she decided to walk away and hasn't spoken to Dad in 4 months. Dad is very angry about this.

At Thanksgiving, I called and asked Dad when he would like me to pick him up to bring him down for Thanksgiving dinner. He promptly told me he was not coming. He was having Thanksgiving dinner with his cleaning lady and her family. Afterwards when I asked him how his thanksgiving dinner with his cleaning lady was, he said it was fantastic. They played games after dinner and she even made him up several dinner plates to take home with him. Needless to say, I had to bite my tongue since we do the same thing here every year and he never wants to participate in the games and he declines any meals we put together for him to take home.

At Christmas time, he did decide to allow me to pick him up and bring him down to stay for 2 days - no more. Christmas morning, as usual, he gave each grandchild $200 and told them this covered Christmas, birthdays and any other time he was expected to dole out money. He then announced to my sister and I that we were receiving nothing. Our gift was when he bought himself 2 hearing aids. He then became upset when my sister and I gave him a gift. He didn't want it.

In January, I took time off from work on two different occasions to take Dad to the doctor's. His primary physician pulled me aside and asked if Dad was still driving. I replied yes. Dad's physician has repeatedly asked him to stop driving. He refuses. So his physician completed the paper work to have Dad's license medically suspended. Dad immediately called me up screaming, "Why did I do this to him." I explained I had nothing to do with it. He then threatened me by telling me that someday I would pay.

Six months ago, Dad decided to look into an assisted living facility where he lives. My sister and I tried to get him to look down our way, but he refused. We told him we could see him more often, he could see his 4 grandchildren more often - bottom line, he refused even though we have a highly rated assisted tiered living facility 5 miles from mine and my sister's house.

Dad called my sister yesterday and told her she and I needed to come up. When my sister asked why, he said you will find out when you get here. My sister quickly responded by saying, no - what is going on. Dad started screaming at her that we had taken things from the house and we never say thank you and all we want is his money. According to Dad, he has contacted an attorney to re-write his will and remove my sister and I from everything. I'm not sure, with everything being jointly owned, if he can just take us off the house, bank accounts and investments. If he can, then we have a problem because if he ends up in the hospital again, we won't be able to take care of his finances.

Once again, I have no idea why this man is so angry. He doesn't know how old my children are. He doesn't know when anyone's birthday is & he doesn't even know how old I am. It hurts, but I can deal with it. If he goes & changes his finances and will, I'm not sure how I can help any more when he does need me.

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Don't you just want to scream and run away...Who is this person? We're all trying to understand this dementia and we know it's not the person we grew to love but alright already how long can we take it? My sympathy can only go so far before I say something I'll regret...Which I know doesn't help the situation any !! If only I could quit this caretaker job...I wake up everyday and dread what's facing me...
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call an elder attorney and find a neurologist, a psychologist or a psychiatrist that deals with this. You need to get a proper diagnosis and the proper medication. This is very difficult emotionally and mentally...you have to protect your Dad and yourselves. Someone, somewhere is taking advantage of him. Have that cleaning lady investigated. There are so many of the so-called caretakers who prey on the elderly because what is said to them at the moment is the reality. Doesn't matter what they knew or understood before. When my husband lost his ability to reason, life became a living hell. Now he is in a secure memory care facility because he is an "exit risk". His decline has been sudden, dramatic and rapid. It's horrifying. It's all because of his Lewy Body dementia. It's a frightening, draining journey with many tears and lots and lots of prayer. Good luck but, more importantly, God bless.
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if he has dementia or been diagnoised by a doctor as incompentent, he cannot change poa or mpoa, hope this helps, will keep you in my prayers
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I too, will pray for you. My mom has dementia and is completely irrational, these days most of the time. It is very difficult for me to accept that this is our new reality. Her behavior changes day to day and sometimes minute to minute. You have to realize it is a disease. Although it is never easy.....You definitely should hire an elder care attorney to protect his assets. My mother gave my 16 year old her car, and than said she wanted it back to sell it and get the money. She has promised my daughter that car since my daughter was 10. I just told myself that I knew what my real mom wanted, not the diseased, irrational and often hateful person she had become. Good luck.....if it helps, you are not alone.
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The anger comes from both the disease and from the sense of loss that they feel from not being able to remember things and understand what is going on. He lives in a different reality from you. You need to have your father evaluated for dementia so he can't make destructive decisions. As the disease progresses, he will eventually become less combative - and that's not a good sign. You have to be the adult now as he behaves like a contentious teenager. Don't take it personally, because it is not about you.
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My heart aches for you! I can only add/suggest that you involve your father's primary care physician who can direct you to the proper physicians and agencies for help. If your father's behavior is a huge personality change, this is most likely a medical issue that needs management and treatment. If your father refuses such, perhaps the PC can prescribe some meds. Relay to him everything you posted here and more. And do consult an attorney who deals with elder care. Good luck and God bless. 🙏
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You never really mention if your dad has mental decline as in possible dementia. Its possible since he is lonely that his falling in love with his caretaker , she has the greatest influence on him and is manipulating him against his family for self serving purposes in order to disinherit family. Not everyone gets dementia or alzheimer...you need to get him diagnosed. This exact situation you are describing happened to a friend I once knew because he fell in love with the cleaning lady. He believed everything she said and convinced him that his daughter was just after his money. Being that your mom died , your dad is very needy of female companionship. Perhaps you can somehow investigate more into who this cleaning lady really is...I dont know. You are in a very difficult situation. I feel for you.
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@ Bonniej409 and lovemymomma, I'm going through this with you. Although there has been no formal diagnosis, my mother seems to have dementia and has become very angry, vindictive, HATEFUL, controlling, and manipulative these days. She is showing paranoia as well, making it impossible for us to get her to the doctor for a diagnosis & medications.

She, too, was showing favoritism toward her cleaning lady, which made us very leery until we met her. Although Mom has showered the lady with gifts, the lady has not stolen anything, nor has she taken advantage of Mom otherwise. In fact, when Mom told her she could no longer afford her, the lady still continues to check on her every week. I'm glad this worked out because the cleaning lady has been a great source of information into Mom's world. As long as she stays on good terms with Mom, she is our "ace in the hole" for when Mom gets so angry with us that she won't speak with us.

As for her grandchildren, Mom still knows birthdays and ages, but she never treats them age-appropriately. This is maddening to my brother & I. We've both spoken with her about this, but she insists that the kids are okay with it...when WE KNOW that it is NOT.

I/we don't know how to handle the anger, so we keep our distance (emotionally). Mom has driven everyone out of her life with the anger and attempted "guilt complexes" (which won't work with adults!). Talking with her does not improve the anger or hatefulness. She continues to hurt those closest to her....including her brothers who continue to call/text me looking for help in dealing with her. I'm at wit's end with this.

I'm praying for you.....and your father. We'll all get through this stuff together. I'm so glad I found this site to help me see what everyone else can suggest....thanks....
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This sounds like a serious legal problem, therefore it's best to hire an Elder law atty. who should lead you step by step as to how to manage this problem.
I'm sure the Atty. will advise that your Dad be evaluated , if he hasn't already to further resolve the concerns.
Best wishes.
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I have an extremely similar situation. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I believe that it's a combination of lots of things: loss of physical abilities along with deteriorating memory; a strong person who now needs continual assistance by my family who moved into his home to be the caregivers; changes that keep occurring which he has no control over....

it's embarrassing and maddening to an elderly man who was so dependent before! So he compensates in the only way he feels he can now: by being stubborn, mean, verbally combative, wound up with anxiety to the point of screaming at me (he's generally better with my husband & always sweet to my daughter, his only grandchild).

Maybe the weather has a component in these behavior problems too? I know they definitely can influence my dad's behavior: he gets worse on cloudy days; a string of them together makes him unbearable. Currently we are part of so many in US that are experiencing a blistering heat wave; that has had a very negative effect on him, and remembering our experiences with him last summer, which was hot, hot, hot, hot most of 2 months, bing! I think this has a lot to do with it.

OMG, I always give waaaay too lengthy answers, which I know are difficult to read when you're at the end of your rope (I feel this too so much of the time) so I will end here.
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