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My father sexually abused me for 16 years of my life from an early age. He is now 90 and has dementia/Alzheimer's. He hasn't acted inappropriately toward me for 40 years. However, on a recent visit (he and my mom still live on their own), he touched me inappropriately, made lewd remarks to me and exposed himself to me. Each of these incidents took place while my mom wasn't in the room (just like it was when I was a child). While I thought I could handle it, emotionally I was taken back to a place I never wanted to revisit. I am unable to fine any research on the subject of sexual offenders and dementia. I called his neurologist and asked for a return call - nearly 2 weeks later I still haven't heard from him. I spoke with his Primary Care Dr. who said the medication he is taking for Parkinson's may increase his dopamine levels which in turn increase his libido. While I know that sexual aggression is common in people with dementia, I am extremely concerned about his behavior due to my history. I repeatedly told him his behavior was highly inappropriate and walked away, but I wanted to run as far away as I could get. I've warned my mother of the behavior and asked her to stay close to him when they are in public keeping her eyes and ears open - she may need to diffuse a situation. Worse - what if he actually touches someone or says something vulgar and they file criminal charges??? I am unnerved by these incidents. I need to assess their living situation on a quarterly basis (they are on the East Coast and I am in the Southwest). I do not think I can put myself in that vulnerable position again ....how do I handle this??

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I would drop him like a hot potato. Never go there again. Stay safe. You owe him nothing. Take care of yourself. Just forgive him and move on.
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exhauetd1, you did your best, you don't owe her anything, you owe it to yourself to be safe and not made to endure torment via family...Why do we have to tolerate abuse from people simply becasue they are family, if a stranger treated or mistreated us this way we'd file assault and battery charges get restraining orders or at least avoid them at all costs!?
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I can’t take it any longer. I was verbally and emotionally abused by my mother growing up. I was stuck in an impossible “crazy” environment with a mentally ill, sadistic woman. We have now suffered three years of living Hell due to her issues, family causing problems at every turn, with no end in site, caregiver disasters, etc., etc. on and on. One sibling disowned her, leaving all the harassment by nutcase relatives who are in denial “we don’t get Alzheimer’s in our family”, to the two of us who try our best to do the right thing at every turn with a difficult woman who can’t get along with many people. Due to her worsening condition, and health we recently moved her to a beautiful residential care facility with the best staff ever. She wants to go back home, and blames me when I come to visit. She threatens to kill herself, says terrible things to me, etc. She doesn’t spare a nasty word. Today, she pulled this in front of my son, who has anxiety issues! How much is one person supposed to take?
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I'm so sorry for you. I cannot even imagine how disturbing this would be normally, but especially after having dealt with it as a child!

The moment I saw this, I thought "YUCK." But, it sure isn't your fault and what an awful way for him to treat you. I don't blame you for wanting to see your therapist, that's exactly what I'd be doing.

I agree with the people who said, "take care of yourself."
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Hello Char...my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that you suffered abuse as a child and as hard as I try I cannot buy into... in anyway making allowances for these people...but I know that when people are old and have alzheimer's, etc. they no longer can control or even begin to realize what they are doing and saying---all those hurtful things that break our hearts, wound our spirit and cause us so much emotional pain. I know I was afraid to sleep at night for fear my mother might hurt me while I slept... (I was the caregiver and she had alzheimer's). I know it is just awful to go through all these things ...but we do have to remember that it is the desease that is causing these things to happen. However...I do feel that you should remove yourself from this situation as much as possible and let the professionals handle it.... You take care of yourself dear....right now you need to put yourself first ...it is hard to heal the wounds of the past when you are being subjected to these things that bring back all the old memories. I think you are doing the right thing to get some help in dealing with it. Give yourself a big. As one woman to another...I am really proud of you! Hugs and Blessings ~Bobbi
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Patricia - I'm sorry your husband has dementia; it is a sad disease. My dad takes Sinemet for the Parkinson's, Zoloft for depression, Aricept and Namenda for the Alzheimer's. As my dad's primary care doctor said, prescription medicine is an art as there is really no way anyone can know how medications interact with one another. If they decrease the Sinemet, dad will most probably have more symptoms of the Parkinson's. It's a rough road, even with my being so far away. Best of luck to you.
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I have just read all the posts and I have some questions as well. I have never been sexually abused THANK THE LORD. My husband has mild cognitive impairment/dementia. That is what the neurologist called it and gave me some literature to read. I know that after 4 yrs. he has gone downhill. Won't go back to any of his doctors so I am at a standstill trying to solve things on my own. I didn't realize that the sexual issue goes along with this as well as meds. My husband is 84 and is going through sexual issue (he says it's me and I am 70). After reading the original question and all the answers I have a better understanding of what is going on although the question was about sexual abuse not just sexual issues. I guess I have just been too embarrassed to ask about this and I know after all of these years we are in the same boat.
I would like to know what meds you folks are talking about so I might be able to address the issue with his PCP. He does not take any meds for the dementia. He does, however, have COPD, glucoma, and heartburn all the time which he "treats" with Pepcid or Prevacid, tums and the like. For his COPD he uses Spiriva, Advair, nebulizer and his rescue inhaler. For his glucoma he is using Xalatan. Would any of these meds have anything to do with this or maybe a combination of these?
I have friends who have been sexually abused as children and it isn't a nice thing to hear but some have been able to put it behind them and others it is still very much up front. I feel so sorry for all and I wish I could do something. I try and be a good listener and show a lot of love and support. God Bless.
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Thank you all for your thoughts and your kind words. I am going to speak with a therapist tomorrow as I am not handling my feelings about this very well. Yes, it has triggered memories and I'm am feeling terribly anxious. I so appreciate your taking time to give me some feedback - I knew there were others out there in similar circumstances. Hugs to all ~Char
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Azchar.... I'm sorry that you have to deal with this new situation over and above trying to look out for your parents. I admire you for the way your are handling this.... checking with the doctors, warning your mother, thinking about the next step. I don't think I could be so level-headed. Perhaps you could bring in a male care-giver to assess your father on your next visit.??
As far as your father getting arrested for inappropriate behavior out in public, I doubt there would be an arrest, given his age and mental state. About 15 years ago my friend's father was in a nursing home for dimentia/alz patients and he actually hit his roommate over the head with a chair and killed him and there was no arrest and I assume it was because of his mental state. The victims family sued the facility and probably received a settlement.
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Stop going to see them. You put up with this long enough. I'm sure you feel bad for your father but it's your life...not his.
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This first thing I want to say is, I am sorry that you had to endure sexual abuse as a child and I am equally sorry that you are now having to re-live it. I am perplexed at the cruelty of it and can only imagine what you must be going through.

It was difficult enough for me to go through the many levels of Alzheimer's with my mom. She was always so kind when I was growing up but as the disease began to progress so did her mood and anger and then her personality began to decline all the way down to my walking in on her attempting sexual activity with another resident at her Alzheimer's unit...it was SO unlike her and it was shocking. These kinds of behaviors are normal for this disease but the thoughts linger in our minds long after they've passed. I thought that was bad enough until I read you post....your situation is HORRENDOUS! It seems like he is re-living the days when he could get away with being a preditor and you the prey. Take EVERYONE's advise and NEVER allow yourself to be alone with him again....I know he's 90 and you're older too, but those kinds of wounds don't heal they just scab over. Your suffering from this could triple and the repercussions immeasurable in the long run if you allow yourself to become victimized again. Your father is a sexual predator and he will more than likely never be healed. I imagine when this happened your mind reverted back to being a helpless child, and how horrible for you. I wish I could heal you - or at least have words to help you but I don't. The only advice, like everyone else....NEVER, NEVER, NEVER be alone with him again. A NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let your mind believe anything other than you are a victim of abuse....you didn't deserve it then and you don't deserve it now. May PEACE be within you -
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I somewhat agree with the answers already posted, but would add that you may need to get some support for yourself since this may have retriggered you. It would me. Also, in my opinion if something occurs and he gets arrested I hope you can get support. I can't agree with all that BridgetW says about your father's motivations. I do not see sexual offenders in that kind of light. But then I am recovering from being a target -- not a trained staff person from a care facility
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Yes I am also a similar victum, and I also did what I could for my father. I have never regretted that. However I refused to be a victum again, and was vocal about it. Your father can have a social worker to respond to his situation and I would engage an Ombudsman in that area to help you find a intermediator for you and your mom and dad. You should be able to have limited contact, and he should have his issue with women addressed even now. I want you to open your heart to Jesus and pray for your parents and your suffering. Thats what helped my stress and grief of my childhood. Know that your not alone and also if you ever watch Joyce Meyers on television she addresses being raped by her father over 200 times.
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Has his Alzheimer’s been diagnosed to a "certain" type? There are different types and this could be the issue. Also, depending what "stage" of ALZ he is at, you have to remember what "age" his mind is at. His mind may be at age 10 and that is how he acted when he was 10 years old and knows no different. Not defending your father in any way, what he did to you was wrong, just been through some Dementia training with my job and this tends to happen. As the patient moves through the stages, you have to remember their ages are going down and they are going back to what they did and how they lived at that age. So if no one told him NO back then, he is just doing what he knows. It could also be a "cry" for affection. Affection can be a touch or a hug from someone. If your mother is not affectionate with him, it may be his cry out for affection.
Just my thoughts. Review the stages of ALZ and see if the one your father is at fits what he is doing.
You can choose to not be alone with your father and I think that is best due to his mistreatment of you, warning your mother is all you can do. If she chooses to put him in situations where he could cause issue's, let her know you are not going to bail him out of jail.
Just my thoughts.
Blessings,
Bridget
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I really feel your situation there. I think you need to do what is best to keep yourself safe. you have alerted people to his possible behavior the rest is not your responsibility! Take care of yourself and never be alone with him again Period. That says something that he waited till you were alone. You owe him nothing, you make your own life safe and secure and just let those who have his full time care deal with what else may happen it is not your responsibility!
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Under the circumstances, I do not think you are over reacting. As a child you could not protect yourself. You can and should now. When you make your quarterly visits, refuse to be alone in a room with him. If your mother leaves the room, leave with her.

As for protecting other people and keeping him out of legal trouble, I don't think that is your responsibility. You have shared your concerns with your mother. I think it is up to her to deal with it.

Good luck to you!
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