Mom is acting demented with frequent rages and Dad wants her moved to IL far away. Does he have the right? -

Mom is acting demented with frequent rages and Dad wants her moved to IL far away. Does he have the right?


Mom and Dad live at home. Mom is 82, Dad is 87. She has always badgered him but it has become severe. She rages for hours at a time, then acts like it did not happen. No remorse. She will NOT see any doctors - they do not know anything. Her decision making is poor but she still drives. She recently announced she needs to move back to the area she lived until about age 50, 500 miles from where they are now. She says she won't go unless Dad does, or until he passes. She fantasizes about how her old friends want to be with her. We want to move her back there to an IL with memory care. Planning it now and want to send her off within 24 hours of telling her. Are going to approach it in a positive spin, that we are honoring her wishes and getting her there while she is still able. Dad wants to stay home and is perfectly able now.

Dad is very fearful of her and that she will go into a rage at him if we drop it on her.

Reading a lot on this site about her rights, but what about his to live the rest of his life without the abuse? Should we file a complaint with Adult Protective against her first? We just want to peacefully separate them and think we can convince her to go. We just don't think giving her a lot of time is wise - we would have to remove him from the home temporarily if we do.

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Um. You're moving your mother permanently 500 miles away from her 87 year old husband? Gosh.

Do any other family members live near this ILF?

It isn't the moving her to a facility, or the extracting her from your poor father's daily life, that I'm querying. It's just that unless he really wants never to see her again, or not much anyway, that sounds like an awfully long way. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all, and should he begin to miss her you could end up with the ghastly outcome that over time he forgets all the abuse and moves there to be with her. Is there no suitable facility within reasonable, regular visiting distance?

The "spin" - your word, not mine - that you're honouring her wishes in the choice of area is actually total eyewash, isn't it. As you say, you're relying on the sudden recent announcement of a person whom you know is a) indulging in fantasy and b) completely losing the plot, what with her lengthening rages and verbal assaults on your father.

In any case, to move your mother without her fully informed consent the family will have to establish that she has lost capacity and then either exercise power of attorney, assuming you have it, or apply for guardianship. If you really can't get her to her doctor, then you could try recording episodes and showing them to her doctor with a request that he come and evaluate her.

I understand and am sorry for your father's fear of your mother's reaction to being separated from him; but she is eventually going to find out! So, again, unless he plans never to cross her path in the future he will at some point have to hear her view of the matter. His degree of fearfulness seems quite extreme: is he afraid for his personal safety, or just worn down with being yelled at?
Helpful Answer (9)

Somebody in the family's got to be willing and able to stand up to this octogenerian. Helloooo? Anyone?? Oh, and by the way, that'd be standing up to BOTH of them.

As a perquisite to moving where she'd like to move, she goes to the doctor for a complete and thorough check up. Someone in the family takes dad into their home to get him away from any acting out mom may do -- they BOTH get to see what living apart is going to mean.

Forget honoring her wishes to move her 500 miles away to a memory care unit. Move her into a memory care unit wherever it is most convenient for the rest of the family. You say she has dementia and you're letting her tell YOU where she's going to live? You need to rethink your plan.
Helpful Answer (8)

I agree with Countrymouse. I am always amazed that people seem more willing to pick the extreme option rather than tackle the smaller things that may offer a solution.

1/ How can you plan to get her unannounced into a car and drive? 500 miles while she rages against you, yet you won't force her to the ER or a doctor?
2/ If you plan to offer care to both parents, but they are now separated by a vast distance... how is that going to work, or are you planning to wash your hands of Mom altogether?
3/ Your Dad is being a little passive aggressive himself... it is always so much easier to fix the other person than make changes ourselves. While I sympathize with his desire to be free of her rages, Dad will probably need to move into assisted living himself after she is gone. Why not make the move now, even just for a respite stay? His options would be seem much clearer once they are apart.

As for the idea you are honouring her wishes, it is "eyewash" indeed! Giving into irrational behavior and delusions is not honouring anything, it is running away from the responsibility to get things under control.
Helpful Answer (7)

Oh, how I wish it were so simple to get raging parents away from each other. Mine both rage at each other almost constantly. Being around them is H*ll. Shipping one of them off to a far away place, however, is not an option, although I would definitely separate them locally if I could. Unfortunately, they both refuse to leave their house, and apparently they are allowed to make their own decisions, no matter how unwise and unsafe they are. POA... pffftt.. means nothing until they're drooling and can't feed or bathe themselves...
Helpful Answer (7)

You have gotten some very good advice, comments from others. Do what you think is best, knowing what you know about your mother and your father. I just wanted to write to let you know what you are experiencing is not uncommon and I think some separation between the two of them wouldn't be a bad idea. I know of people whom were separated by living location, due to temper tantrums of one of the people, and it worked for them. Their lives were probably better for it.

I have also seen, with my own parents, that if they are not separated or given some time away from one another at the least, it can lead to abuse...both verbal and physical.

So, in your case, I agree the two need to have space between them. Whether it is 500 miles...I don't know. Sounds extreme and problematic. Perhaps you should consult with an elder care organization or expert, if available locally.

I wish you and your family...peace.
Helpful Answer (7)

I know you mentioned that your Mom doesn't like doctors, but it could be possible she has an urinary tract infection, her outbursts are very common with UTI's in the elderly. Tell her she will lose her health insurance if she doesn't go to the doctor once a year [yes, it's a fib but sometimes we need to do what we can to get an elder good medical care].

If she still bulks at going to the doctor, try some over-the-counter UTI control pills, such as AZO, until you can get her to a doctor. I assume she's not on any type of prescription meds since she doesn't go to a doctor.

In some cases, grown children had to call 911 and a trip to the ER when a parent was raging to find out what medically was going on.
Helpful Answer (6)

I think you are on the right rack.

This is a situation where you need an outside evaluation. First, it will help you to see that neither you nor your dad are crazy; second, it might make an impression on your mom. In our area, I was able to have this done by an outside observer from the Area Agency on Aging. It was her opinion that my mom needed to be in AL. From that point on, it was much easier for me to talk about things as if I wasn't he bad guy making the decisions and doing wrong. I also had my mom's doctor on board. Do you have people on board to support you with your plans?

You might want to think about A) discussing this with your dad. If you get him on board, and then half the battle is won. B) what about having your Dad move out--even just temporarily. He could do a respite--that would give him a break and might make an impression on her. Or not--if she is far down the road as is the case for many on this site. for sure, have him out of there when you move your mom. He does not need to experience that.

It really does sound like your mom needs meds to calm her down and adjust her mood. But if she won't go to the doctor... You need to get her attention somehow. I agree with freqflyer, that a trip to the ER might help. It would get her some medical attention and a referral, I am sure. It might also get her attention.

Good luck and stay in touch. Let us know how it is going.
Helpful Answer (6)

You may want to think twice about moving your mother 500 miles away from her family members. Most people I know and read about move their parents to facilities closer to them. It's much easier to help provide care, support, talk one-on-one to the facility staff and doctors and see for yourself the needs of your elderly parent.
Helpful Answer (5)

Yes, dementia is a very strange world. And sounds like your family physician is a real good place to start. She needs some good drugs. The problem is, she probably knows all this, and the anxiety this is causing is pushing her to do things she would not normally do. Anti anxiety meds will calm her down. But as people with dementia age, many times its never their best qualities that are enhanced :-) Good Luck!
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If the reason is not a UTI or other physical reason, know that psychotropic drugs have side effects such as much higher risk for falling. What I found to help control my mother's behavior is take her for DAILY walks in the park. Even just a few minutes a day. It effectively helps reduce the amounts of falling. She uses her walker, but we do it daily like clockwork weather permitting. If it rains when it stops we go! I also give her a cup of cocoa every single day. For some reason I noticed she's better. It takes about two weeks but it does help her a lot.
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