My mom has memory issues and gets confused and is a fall risk. There are signs that she has fallen several times and she is aware enough to tell me that she has fallen again. She has given up fighting with my father. He is a very controlling person and refuses to acknowledge that her living condition is unsafe and the quality is deplorable. My father is out of the house most days about 6 -8 hours and knows this is an issue but refuses to get home care in for my mom. He “tries” to get help by putting his kids who all work full time on the spot and when we can’t come, he puts her for a “nap” when he leaves so she spends about 15-18 hours a day in bed. We bring meals but he decides what to feed her. He doesn’t agree with the doctors medication so decides what to give her and what not to. When he is home, she is in a chair that he has chosen for her to sit in the rest of the time. He lies about what he is doing to care for her and gets very aggravated if we push him. She does not have showers or clean clothes for extended periods of time. The last time being 5 weeks. He doesn’t feel they are important and will argue with us. I could go on but I think you get the picture. We , 3 of my four brother and myself want to get home care brought in and we’ll pay for but he refuses to even discuss it and kicks us out of the house. She recently fell and broke her nose and shattered her knee cap. That has introduced so many more issues we’re battling but, when she was in rehab, she was a different person. Happy, social, less forgetful she wanted to move there she loved it so much. When he would show up to visit, which he scheduled purposely to get a free meal with her at lunch and dinner (he’s obsessed with not spending money) she would become negative and it was like a 180 degree turn. What recourse do we have to get her help that she needs either in home or to a facility with him saying no to any options we present? She has voiced her wish to be somewhere else but she does not want to deal with my father’s outburst and anger to keep control.

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It sounds to me like your father might have some dementia as well. The lying. The controlling behavior. The negativity. I would call APS and your state's Department of Social Services and explain the situation to them. Your mother is a high-risk and is being abused (neglect is a form of abuse). The state will force your father to allow in-home caregiving services or they will remove your mother from the home. If your father's refuses to believe it and wants to stay in this most asinine form of denial about your mother being just fine, then let him find out first hand what the state can be like.
Call APS and Social Services in your state today. Don't wait. If mom has to go to the hospital or to rehab again, talk to a social worker wherever she is and make sure they know.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

Without her agreeing to leave there's really nothing you can do. One issue is that your dad probably is himself suffering from the beginnings of dementia and that's why he's so irrational about it all (unless he was always this level of controlling/abusive and then you're gonna be in for a real treat with him later).

Your mom has now had a taste of what a husband-free life feels like (and she likes it!) but is of the age and generation where leaving just seems overwhelming and maybe even dangerous. I had an aunt who lived with a similar type of husband. Eventually, in her late 80s, her 3 sons had had enough of their jerk Dad and how he treated her and didn't help her so they convinced her to stay with them "temporarily". They each took turns hosting her. My uncle (her husband) was predictably enraged but but wouldn't dare chase her down at his sons' homes. With her gone, he had no where and no one on which to perpetrate his anger. He apparently fell while having a tantrum at the bank (he was 90) and got a head injury, went to the hospital and died there. Her sons moved her into a very nice AL. She recently passed this spring at 96, the happiest she'd probably ever been.

Long story short, you and siblings may need to be the buffer in between her and your dad, but need to think deeply about all possible outcomes of how your father will react. And be prepared if at the end she chooses to go back to him. This is how it played out with another relative, my MIL.

I think APS is only a solution if your mom is willing to acknowledge -- with your dad there - that he's the problem. Then what? Are any one of you your mom's DPoA? If not and she doesn't have dementia, she can send APS away out of fear of your dad. Not sure what would happen from there. But if it seems like this is the only option, I'd definitely give it a try.
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Reply to Geaton777

Your mom may fear the fallout from a call to APS. You are going to have to approach dad and TELL HIM you are aware of his sub-par care and won't stand for it.

He is actually abusing her by not providing the most basic safety factors. Could one of you kids scoop her up and give her a respite? I remember having a very mean, controlling uncle who was so sneaky-mean to his angel wife. She covered for him numerous times and finally succmbed to breast cancer at the young age of 51. Their kids are positive the toxic vibes in the home contributed to her early death. Who knows? I never saw him treat ANYONE with respect or kindness.

SHE needs to voice her desire to be away from him and you kids need to be 100% supportive of her choices. If she was actually happy and thriving in a NH, that says a lot. She'd rather be in one than live with dad.

Sounds like you are dealing with a real bully. Good Luck!
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Reply to Midkid58

I would involve APS and report neglect of a vulnerable senior resulting in injury. Then give them the date of her hospital visit for her broken nose. Honestly, I might even say you aren't sure if it was a fall or him, you can't be confident in her version because of her fear of him.

She needs to be removed from this tyrant.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

I agree with JoAnn.   My first thought is to find a way to intervene and lessen his control, whether it involves bringing in APS or moving her to a facility.   I think the fact that he's literally in total control but is also absent for significant periods is a significant contributing factor, both good and bad.  Good b/c it allows time to get an APS resident in, but bad b/c he seems to maintain control even in his absence.

I honestly don't know how to deal with someone this controlling and dominating, but it seems to be habitual now, so that makes it harder.  Your mother needs to be separated so she can allow her own personality to develop, but with your father dominating, I can't think of a good way other than to remove her to someplace safer, where he can be told to leave if he becomes too overbearing or uncontrollable.

Your mother also needs some "breathing space" to develop and cultivate her own personality, and strong support from you and your family, as well as friends and/or medical people, to recognize her own value and become her own person.

Have any of your raised this issue with any doctors, or would it be difficult?  I assume he doesn't allow any of you to attend doctors' visits?
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Reply to GardenArtist

Sounds like Dad is very controlling. If he hasn't always been this way, then he may have some cognitive decline. Really what person thinks their spouse should go without a shower and clean clothes. This is abuse and should be reported. But before I did that I would talk to a lawyer about how to go about protecting Moms half of the Marital assets. She needs to be some place safe. Even a Nursing Home with Medicaid paying is better than where she is now. But even with Medicaid, her share of the assets need to be secured. Then her part gets spent down and then Medicaid applied for.

If you know for a fact your parents have no assets just their monthly income, then I would call in APS and let them investigate. Approach them that you feel Dad is abusing Mom by not allowing caregivers in the home and tell them what you said here.

We all have good reasons why we can't physically care for a parent. I, for one, placed my Mom because her care became too much for me. But, I would never leave my Mom in the situation ur Mom is in. I would get her out and then find solutions. I would also make sure that Dad was legally responsible for paying her support. She has SS of her own that can be transferred to another acct.
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Reply to JoAnn29

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