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My parents are both 92 and live in their home independently. My Dad suffers from dementia. He is terrified of her as she emotionally abuses him if he goes against her wishes. He wants to see me, but I don't have any access to him. She does not allow him out of the house and won't let me in the house. He is a prisoner there. She doesn't talk to him if he tries to do anything that she hasn't approved. I want to see my father, especially because of his advanced age. I'm afraid she won't let me see him if he goes to the hospital or when he is dying. I spoke to APS, but they said that they can't "see" the kind of abuse I'm describing, so they can't do anything. Do I have any rights in this situation? He is under her control and is powerless.

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Bandicoot, presumably your sister and her lawyer friend are doing what they're doing with your mother's approval, are they?

Just to be sure I've understood you correctly: your father is living at his home with your mother. Two months ago he was diagnosed with dementia, but more recently was assessed as still having mental capacity. You are now hoping to arrange a further assessment.

Your mother, meanwhile, is undermining your efforts. But is it correct that she is your father's primary caregiver, and the one responsible for his welfare?
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marrage can be one 9f the greatest bondsof all. You are going to have to make some sort of peace with her and try to stick with it no matter what, if you want to see your dad at all. Tell her you love her and want to try for a good start. I bet that would make your dad happy. That is what I had to dowith my Mom. In my earlier adult life, I had to go to bars and pick her up and take the alcohol and pour it out,and also go get her from many men"s homes and take her home. I took care of her after many of her car wrecks, one off which she completely scalped herself. At this time she had a husband, 12 years younger than me who was too busy driving a truck to come home and tend to her. Within the next year I received a call that she was in hospice care with pancreatic cancer. I went to stay the next 4 days with her at this time. I was able to say goodbye with no regrets. I did all this because I grew up in a Christian home with a Father, Grandmother and Grandfather that taught me right from wrong. The only regret I have is that my Dad has a Mi st work fine day at the young age of 57 and I never has the chance to tell him that day how much I loved him and goodbye. I said all this to tell you not to sweat the small stuff!, Ignore lots and to try your best. Pray without ceasing and you will make it thru this trying time.
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Does your Mom have a pastor she is fond of? Now I have some questions for you to do with a little soul-searching......Your Mom could die just as quickly as your Dad and you really don't want a heavy heart of not having any closure there, either, do you? Let"s look at some facts here. I don"t remember your mom"s age but I do recall that your dad was in his 90"s, making him of the age that my dad would be, in he had lived. Most of these peopl free are just like my Dad did, and taught me to do. It was for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in continuing till death do we pass. So most likely your Mom and Dad are in it for the long run. They have had the same address together, no matter where they lived, same phone number together, and most likely joint banking accounts. I bet if they own a house, it is in both their names and so is their car. Some of these things may have changed if Medicaid has some into play, but only for health reasons. They have also have had children togethher (you included) which in a strong
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I am totally aware of people like your mom as I had a mother-in-law with these terrible flaws. I am a retired nurse with two specialties. 1) pediatrics 2) psychology. She was 30 years younger than my father-in-law. She tried the same tactics, and got away with lots more. I had the guidance counselor from my youngest child's school call me at work one day as she and her daughter were ttrying to remove my daughter out of school saying that her son and I were separated, and that no one had seen the likes of me in months. Imagine how the principal felt when I showed up with two policemen at my side. The guidance counselor was a friend of my sister and mil was trying to talk only with the principal. This sounds crude for me to say, but only I know for sure whether I forgave her for all the problems she caused. My husband and I prayed daily that something would change before we had to do care giving for them. It did. She died at age 50 and he lived to be 92. He was cared for his last 12 years by us and was such a joy most of the time. (He did try to have us arrested when we took his car keys away at 90, lol). These type of people do exist, she almost ruined my life and marriage and a lot more things in between. I could give so many more examples of her treatment such as the many times she attempted to go to my family with all the tales of me going out with dozens of men, lol. Her son and I have been married 42 years in November.

Hugs and prayers for you NY, and to anyone else living thru this situation.
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I have the same problem with my mom.She won't let me see my father, he is 82 and she is 75. He's only recently(2months) been diagnosed with dementia, my sister has a lawyer/solicitor as a friend and they are trying to put him in a home.They served him papers to have a assessment on his mental capacity. Which he passed.My father recently(about 3 weeks ago) walked out on his Dr, because his Dr didn't seem to care. So I took him to a different Dr, to get a second opinion and to find out what his options are for the future. While I was concentrating on helping my dad, behind his back my mom and sister were arranging to get Guardianship, so they could put him in a home. Now whenever I try to take my dad to see his new Dr, my mom keeps changing his appointement times without telling him or me. And now she won't let me see him, I don't understand why they are doing this,it's breaking my heart and my father's.
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Thank you, Sozzy1. I know that you get it. You sound just like me--as my mother has ruined my life in many ways as well, and even in this situation, with my father having so little time, she continues also to be controlling, cruel, and manipulative. I've been in therapy most of my life dealing with the scars she has left. I have tried to make sense of who she is, and for that I recommend PEOPLE OF THE LIE by M. Scott Peck. The book helps you to see clearly that these people are evil--but a book and therapy can never take away the pain that this type of person can cause. I have been a psychotherapist for 30 years myself, and you are right, nothing can prepare you for this feeling of helplessness. I wish you all the best.
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I wish you lots of luck, I am in very similar situation in the UK and desperately want to see my dad who has vascular dementia is doubly incontinent and hoisted 4 times a day. My brother who has always colluded with my mum, wouldn't even tell me dad was ill (i'd found out via his ex wife) and would only say he was old which is meaningless. I am told that my parents don't want to see me but I don't believe that of my dad whom I love dearly and I know loves me. whats worse is my brother has power of attorney, is driving around in a porsche and has several overseas holidays a year. I'm not interested in the money at all although my last conversation with my dad 5 years ago was one in which he told me that I was 'catered for" as this is the way he can demonstrate his love without my mum knowing. I just want to see him, care for him a little and say goodbye. Countrymouse you are lucky that you have never been in this situation, these people are powerful and my mother has ruined my life in a lot of ways, I've managed and moved on but even in near death she is controlling, cruel and manipulative. I've been a social worker for 25 years and have learnt not to judge but nothing can prepare you for the feeling of helplessness in a situation like this.
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NY in your words, you were considering removing him "Yes ba8, I realize that I do need to help him get away. I'll be consulting an attorney this week. Thanks very much".
My only point is the most expeditious route may be to make peace with mom. Easier said than done, no doubt.
I wish you well, and I hope at least you have the comfort that your father knows you love him. I do hope you can get to tell him soon.
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Ismiami--I don't want to remove Dad, I just want to have the right to see him. Especially after reading some of the concerns of others on this forum, I don't want to be left standing at the nurses' station while Dad is on his deathbed because my mother left orders that I am not allowed to see him. I'm trying to be proactive by getting legal advice on this matter. I don't think it's at all unreasonable for his only child to have access to him at his advanced age. I really think I've been perceived incorrectly on this forum. I am not trying to "remove" him, because I know that would most likely upset him. I know this is the life he chose. Do you understand that it's painful to know that with such little time left on this earth that I can't see my father? How to see my father was my primary problem when I first posted on here.
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The heck with getting dad away. He would be miserable, he would be lost without her. This is the relationship he chose so many years ago, it has not changed, just accented.
He did not leave her when he was capable, ypu have no right to force a seperation by removing him.
Your mother is likely jealous of the fact that your main concern is him. Dad is 92, you have no legal standing.....so bite your tongue and kiss up to mom if you want to have dad in your life.
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NY, I hope that I wasn't stating the obvious. But from experience, I know that when you're under stress, the obvious is sometimes anything but. Just remember that your dad is part of this "dance". It can be painful to extricate oneself from a relationship like this when one is young and resourceful; when one is older and suffering from dementia, I'm not so sure that it's possible to develop the new neural pathways needed to do this sort of task. It feels to me like part of you wants Dad to break free to validate your perception of your mom; I could be off base about that. It's probably secondary, at best, to you're wanting the best for your father. Just remember that the two things you want, validation and a good life for dad, may have opposing solutions. My good thoughts and hopes go with you.
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Yes ba8, I realize that I do need to help him get away. I'll be consulting an attorney this week. Thanks very much
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NYA you joined the community seeking reinforcements in your battle against your mother.

From reading other people's accounts, and from family experience (though not my own) I do indeed understand how hard it can be to deal with successfully manipulative narcissists; that is why, to me, your account seems incomplete and lacks credibility.

I don't wish you any hurt - why would I? - and I didn't intend to insult you; but I do not believe it is ethical or helpful to encourage people to pursue what seems to be a road to nowhere. Normally if I felt like that I simply wouldn't bother commenting, but your case struck me as different, somehow. Remarkable, literally.

Ba8alou, as so often, is spot on. But then you've already consulted the recognised authorities on your father's situation, haven't you, and been told there's no evidence of a problem. Well, quite.

I'm not suggesting for a second that I think your mother must be a sweetie pie and you're a wicked ungrateful child; when there is this kind of animosity there is almost always a bit of "six of one and half a dozen of the other" about it; and, obviously, I cannot possibly know what has taken place in your family - you've spared us the details.

But look. Stop consulting only those sources which foster your desperation, and go back to a neutral, independent authority, such as a counsellor or therapist, who can help you to a more constructive approach. You can be as angry with me as you like, it's no skin off my nose, but that's my best, honest advice.
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I get a bit of the pictue. If your Dad is still technically competent, then he can walk away, if he's not competent, you need to help him get away. That's the bottom line here.
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Countrymouse, I find your response insensitive and insulting. You don't have to "buy" this. This is my life and my painful and difficult situation. I did not join this community to be the recipient of hurtful comments. I'm not here to defend myself. I joined the community out of desperation. Country mouse, I suggest you read PEOPLE OF THE LIEby M. Scott Peck. In that book you will read about others who are similar to my mother and what happens to the people who are involved in the life of the emotionally abusive person. It's called malignant narcissism. Maybe if you read about other peoples' accounts of their similar struggles, you'll rethink your comments to me.
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So everyone else in your mother's life - everyone - is either a spineless, brainless victim or a mercenary hypocrite? I'm not buying this.
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Longstanding animosity between my mother and me. Father intimidated by mother and went along with her policy of no contact with me. Recently found out in a very roundabout way that dad wanted to see me. Started meting him secretly when he would go and get the Sunday paper and we would. Visit in the car. Mother found out and now won't let him leave the house without her. She is a manipulative and cruel person and I don't want to see her. Dad and I want to see each other, but she constantly finds a way to obstruct our meeting. No relative will help me because they are all afraid of her-- I don't know why. It could be that since they know I'm out of the picture (I'm an only child), they think they will be getting some money when the time comes. No one will dare defy her. I simply want to see my father regularly and I am not interested in their money. My mother has spent her life manipulating and controlling the people in her life, including me. That is why I had to cut off from her. She is very cunning and knows how to put on a good act to play the victim. To answer you, ba8, that's what's going on.
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Ny, tell us what's going on.
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From what you said, it is doubtful that your mother will allow you into the house = no matter what you say or do. Perhaps you could have someone (police) escort you to the house with the statement that you believe that your father is being held prisoner by your mother, but then what?
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Second the suggestion of Nolagal - try to get a relative to go with you. If your mom refuses to let you in, you have some proof of her behavior, not that it's going to change that much except validate your claims.

My biggest question is why is your mother treating you like this? Has she always been this way? Has she been a controller all her life? And why is your father so fearful of her?

I have a suspicion these are ingrained behaviors developed over years and there's not much that can be done to change them. But it wouldn't hurt to ask law enforcement what your rights are and how you can implement them to see your father.
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It could be that youre mum is (scared) if you were to visit you would see that it is her husband who does the caring,and housework, it would make her feel incapable of looking after him,she obviously feels safer keeping the door closed, it could be at the back of her mind if she was to let you in, you would tell the authorities she cannot cope, making her feel she would be put into a home, possibly separately from youre father,why not phone and ask them if they would like to go for a meal, shopping, a day out, tell youre mum she must be finding it difficult looking after youre father, even though you know different.make her feel like she is the one doing the caring, not youre dad, you can only try.by even having suggested this to her, it could be she will call you in time because one day she will need help, dementia does not get better and at her age I hope it wont be long before she asks this of you.
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have you tried going to the house with another person. Maybe someone that is friendly with your mom. Do you have an aunt or uncle that would be willing to run interference. Sometimes their behavior is different when an outsider is around. I know my mom has demetia and sometimes she talks to me terribly but never when another person is around. Just remember, if you manage to get in the door, be as sweet as pie to your mom and offer to help with things. Maybe if she sees that you aren't there to be critical she may soften a bit. Do you think maybe she is afraid if someone sees what shape your dad is in they will remove him from the house and she will be alone. That could be a very real fear for her.
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Ny, please pay attention to what HelperMom just said...if this is new behavior, get mom to a doctor who specializes in the elderly.
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Unless your mom has always treated your dad this way, you may actually be dealing with two parents who have different forms of dementia. Symptoms can include extreme personality changes as well as paranoia. Can you talk to your mother's (or even your father's) regular doctor about what's happening?
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You state she is 92 w/out dementia. I've been told by numerous doctors that nobody reaches that age w/out some percentage of dementia.

You said you talked with protective services. Did they actually go out and do a survey of what is happening in that house? Have you talked to your father? Perhaps you could call the police and say you haven't heard from your father for a very long time and you'd like them to do a wellness check.

Why is it she's angry with you?
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When did you last have any face to face or telephone contact with your father, NYA?

Hypothetically: if one were to ask your mother why she won't allow you into her home, what would she say?
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So can you mend fences with your mom so that she's not mad at you and will let you in their home? Even if you don't mean it (like apologizing or whatever it takes to get her over her anger at you)...just as a means to an end of seeing your dad. I'd consider that. Go to see both of them, not just your dad. Take some kind of food they both like.
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Their both adults. And your father willingly obeys his wife. As long as she's of sound mind, then no government authority will step in. Unless there's proof of abuse or neglect. And even then, they usually wait until something bad happens -like a fall that causes injury.

Therefore, you need to figure out your mother and how to sweet talk your way into the house. Your mom obviously doesn't trust you. So, you need to think outside the box. Get your mom to accept you as a non-threat. And maybe - she will allow you in. Only you know how she thinks. So, what can you do to allay her fears and have her open the door for you. No more threatening her of APS, or calling the cops, etc... If you angered her, apologize. But do Not make it soooo obvious!
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Okay, I don't know your mom. I'm not sure about your legal right to see your dad--you should probably consult an eldercare attorney about that. But you dad--unless he's been deemed incompetent, has a right to see you. Which is why I asked about poa, etc. Would dad like to move to a nice assisted living place with his own money? Is dad unhappy? If these two have a comfortable dysfunctional relationship that has lasted all these years, you may not be able to do anything about it unless your dad decides to break out of his self imposed prison. All he has to do is walk out with you waiting in the car. Yes, she's scary. Can you offer to take him to a doctor or dentist visit? For a haircut? Arrange to come over while she's getting her hair done?
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You don't know my mother! My father actually cares for her! She doesn't have dementia, but is physically frail. He is still in the early stages of dementia, so he is able to do what needs to be done around the house. My question is--Do I have legal rights to see my father? She "rules the roost" and won't answer the door if I come over or answer the phone. My father is terrified of her because she will emotionally abuse him if he defies her. So if she tells him not to answer the door, he won't. APS can't help me because everything "looks" ok--they can't see the emotional abuse, AND my mother knows how to put on a good act. Help! I want to see my dad!
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