My grandfather is now threatening to kill himself, what can we do?

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Sorry I wasn't sure which category to put this in...


My grandfather has been living with us for about 6 months now. He has parkinsons, bipolar disorder, and early onset dementia. He moved down here to Georgia all the way from Nebraska to be with us; but now he wants to go back..


There is a woman he knows in Nebraska who has been calling him ever since he got here and putting ideas in his head, getting him worked up for months now...my mom believes she is just using him for his money, which he doesn't have much of, but he would give this woman the clothes off his back if he could. That's the kind of hold she has on him.


For the past 3 months or so, the story has been that she needs back surgery, and he has to go up there to take care of her. The problem is, he isn't well enough to even take care of himself. His tremors make it hard to do things like fix food for example; a couple hours of activity will leave him sleeping for the rest of the day, and he's incontinent...if it weren't for us taking care of him, he'd barely eat, he'd constantly forget his medications, and he would probably forget to buy adult diapers. When my mom drove up to Nebraska to get him that was the shape he was in; that's to say, very bad. Everything about his condition has improved since he came to live with us.


He insists he's not really sick now, that he has "the mildest case of parkinsons that the doctor has ever seen". He refuses to believe that he needs help taking care of himself, and he's decided he needs to go back to Nebraska to take care of this woman, a trip that he would have to take alone because we don't have the money or time to go with him. Between getting through the airport, the flight, and the several hour-long bus ride back to that little town...my mom and I both know it's not something he can do on his own, yet we don't have guardianship over him, and have no legal rights to stop him. The only thing keeping him from leaving has been us keeping too much money from being in the bank account he has access to so he can't buy a plane ticket--the rest is being kept safely in another account.


Now though, despite strong advice from his neurologist that he should definitely not do this, he's decided he doesn't care. Earlier he threatened suicide, and my mother is at the point where she just wants to let him go, because this has been going on for so long that we're both just tired of it...but I can't accept that, I'm very worried that he would threaten suicide in the first place. We're worried he's going to threaten homicide at some point, which wouldn't be surprising since he has an ideation with violence...he collects knives you know, which is something that really concerns me now that his cognition is getting worse, he's been having delusions, and hallucinations which he reacts to by threatening violence against them. For example, he'll say to the creatures he hallucinates that if they don't leave he'll kill them, and will get a knife out...of course he loves his knives, I'm not sure how we'd take them away without him having a total breakdown.


In short, we really don't know what to do. We have no legal right to keep him here, but he's actually in worse shape than we originally thought...add to that this woman who is trying to take advantage of him, and now his threats of suicide and violence...


Is there anything we can do?? We can't afford to go through the legal process of getting guardianship right now, but there has to be something else that can be done, right?

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aquiila, have your Grandfather checked for an Urinary Tract Infection. Such an infection can cause a variety of symptoms in an older person such as violence.
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Reply to freqflyer
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I have said this before, it is no longer what he wants, its what he needs. Your Gfather is further along than you think. He needs to be evaluated now for meds to help with the hallucinations. Get those knives out of there and any that you may have. Believe me when I say when they get violent they are stronger than you think. So what if he gets mad, ur protecting yourself. I guess u don't have a POA. Guardianship is the next thing. You could use Gpas money. Medicaid allows it.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I remember my dad getting MAD at me. cause he wanted to turn off the sprinkler valve outside. (and it was summer and the lawns needed water.) they were on a timer.

I tried to tell him no. but there was NO way to reason with him. Which at the time really took me by surprise, cause dad had never been like that. I had NO idea what I was dealing with. (he had alzheimers) he could barely walk, but come hell or high water he was getting past me to go out the front door.
it wasn't just that I didn't want the water off, it was he could barely walk, yet alone bend down low into the planter to reach the sprinkler valve.(plus it was at nite)

but he pretty much became unreasonable and almost MAD(like crazy) to get that water turned off.

and that's all that took me to be scared. normal person doesn't behave like that. and I was scared.
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Reply to wally003
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You state that "he has an ideation with violence...he collects knives...his cognition is getting worse, he's been having delusions, and hallucinations which he reacts to by threatening violence against them...he'll say to the creatures he hallucinates that if they don't leave he'll kill them, and WILL GET A KNIFE OUT...of course he loves his knives, I'm not sure how we'd take them away without him having a total breakdown."

Oh Aquiila, you and your Mom are in physical danger!!!  When a person threatens to the kill the people in his delusions & hallucinations, sometimes he is not be able to distinguish the difference between the people in his delusions and real people like your Mom and you.  The possibility of your Grandfather stabbing your Mom or you with a knife is 50% or greater.  Are any of his doctors aware of his threat to kill the people in his delusions or hallucinations?   That alone might be enough to get him labeled as a danger to others and have him admitted to a psychiatric hospital.  

So what if he "has a total breakdown" if you take his beloved knives away.  Which do you want to be: alive and your Grandfather angry at you for taking his knives --OR-- injured or DEAD because your Grandfather thought that you were a person in one of his delusions/hallucinations???

{P.S. I sent you a personal message on your Profile  page.}
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Reply to DeeAnna
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aquiila Aug 1, 2018
I totally agree with you DeeAnna, this has always been my view...but now I'm just trying to get my mom on the same page as me.

His biggest fear is not having independence, and my mom is afraid of taking that away from him, but I'm trying to get through to her that like...with his cognition declining, the delusions/hallucinations, and the bipolar disorder making the previously mentioned things even worse, he's going to have his independence taken away from him by someone at some point anyway! It's better we don't endanger him, ourselves, or others and just make the responsible choice to have him admitted to a hospital sooner rather than later if he continues to make threats, which he likely will.

If I hear him make any other threats against his own life or god forbid our lives...I'm going to call 911 if my mother wont, because I believe it's the right thing to do, and he absolutely NEEDS professional, psychiatric help.

Also I will work on having his knives taken away. I'm not sure how we're going to go about it, but it's been a concern for me for a while, which is why I mentioned it. None of his doctors know the extent of it, otherwise they might have done something by now.
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The next time he threatens suicide or if he threatens you with violence take it seriously and call 911 for him to be picked up for a full evaluation. Whenever someone is a threat to themselves or to others, you really need to call 911 and have them picked up and taken to the hospital. The man needs help now. Once he's at the hospital refuse to take him home and tell them that you can't handle him at home. He will likely thus become a ward of the state.
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Reply to cmagnum
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aquiila Aug 1, 2018
This is how I feel about it, though my mom is worried he'll never forgive us if we do that, I take the threats he makes very seriously...thank you for confirming what I was thinking. I will definitely have that talk with my mom.
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