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My mother is at her wit's end. He has a history of heart condition, eye problems, skin cancer, and more recently, kidney disfunction. The hallucinations originally began months ago and tests revealed a kidney problem, which medication helped and thus relieved the hallucinations. The overlying problem is this: he "forgets" or refuses to take all of his medications reliably and the hallucinations have returned. There are guns in the house and Mom hid the key to the cabinet, but he literally insisted she make it available because he thinks people are prowling. He has had his driver's license renewed recently by mail (this is a major issue that should be addressed, and not just in this instance but for anyone like him) and insists on driving even though he has had THREE fender bender incidents lately just on our property! He insists that there are people stealing things from the barn, sees people in the house that aren't there, and blames everyone else for everything he thinks is out-of-place or broken. Memory loss and cognition have definitely been an issue for the last year and it is simply getting worse. He has had an MRI and there are no indications of stroke, he passed an Alzheimer's test with flying colors, and in general appears to just be a slightly addled old man in public. My questions are: What legal resources are there to remove this dangerous individual from the roadways? What can be done when the symptoms of a probable kidney problem re-appear (aka hallucinations) and the Dr. doesn't have an available appointment for weeks? Where can we turn for immediate help in this instance??? We can't wait for weeks to have supportive services or counselor assigned.

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I had a very similar problem about the guns. I asked a retired law enforcement friend to come get the guns to "clean" them. He took them to a gun store, they were sold and the $ deposited into parent's account. I gave the ammo to the police (I called, they came out). Get the guns away from the guy...if he doesn't shoot somebody accidentally, the cops may shoot him. Regarding the driving, ask his physician to report him to the department of motor vehicles; they will call him in for an actual test and will forbid him to drive home if he fails it. If the doctor says they can't talk to you because you are not authorized, tell the staff member she doesn't have to say a thing, you are going to tell her a few things and spill the beans on the driving and the guns while you are at it. In the meantime, you may be able to disable the car (flatten the tires, etc). Mom 'lost' her keys (the neighbor kept them from her).
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Support doesn't always come wrapped in cooing language that lets you stay in your own cocoon while you mull over your issues. Sometimes a splash of cold water or a north wind can clear out the fog and let you see the way forward. When your own words are repeated back to you they probably sound harsh. Maybe it's my experience in investigating child abuse cases that makes me call 'em as I see 'em. When you have people in harm's way, do something about it. Good luck.
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SweetSorrow, since we are not face to face with the person writing the original postings or follow-ups, thus to be able to read facial expressions, we can only go by what each of us here thinks is happening in the household. And to grab bits and pieces from our own experiences or experiences of others.

If everyone thought the same way, we wouldn't need these types of forums.

On another note, now that your Dad has been diagnosed with dementia, there now will be better understanding why he is doing or will be doing the things he does. But note, your Dad won't understand why he can't drive or have his firearms. At least now legally you and your Mom know what you both can do to make it safer for everyone.
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vegaslady, your original answer gave me pause for thought of something I hadn't considered. For that I thank you.
We needed to discuss this amongst ourselves. After all, there is a lot involved in making these kinds of decisions.
Your following "answers" were accusatory and riddled with unnecessary drama and for that I don't thank you one bit.

So, yes... in a way you were right. In another way, following a forceful course of action may have created more problems and that isn't/wasn't an option.
A fortuitous (kind-of?) turn of events facilitated exactly what we all wanted without forcing the issues.

As it was, it has been a very emotional and exhausting weekend for all of us. Things could have turned out much differently.

Just a suggestion: tone it down a notch.
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Hmmm, five days ago I suggested getting him to the ER, notifying authorities that he shouldn't be driving, and getting the guns away from him. Good, glad that it happened.
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Sounds like it has all worked out for the best for everyone involved - with no violence involved. Thank goodness!! I'm glad you and your mom got the answers and support you needed. Thanks so much for updating us. Keep us posted on how things are going. Hugs to you and your mom and dad. His world must be very scary now for him if he senses his brain is going, so I can feel for him too.
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Update: My Mom did take him to ER this weekend (finally! If I had been anywhere near, I would have done it myself)
They did a CT scan and blood work up and in the waiting for results he decided he'd had enough and wanted to go home.

Long story short, he vanished and no one could find him so they called the sherriff's office. Turns out he just walked out of the building because Mom wouldn't drive him home nor give him the keys.

Someone saw him walking on the highway and took him home.

The Dr. has diagnosed him with "dementia" so now has a legal obligation to inform the DMV that his license should be revoked. The sherriff's office is also now involved and he cannot have access to firearms. My Mom can now pursue home care so that she can have access to periods of respite and "back-up".

Ba8alou, I was turning to other people that have similiar problems for suggestions precisely because I am only human and can't possibly think of everything.

My anguish over the thought that he would hurt someone else (or himself) is what prompted me to this site.

This person wasn't a particularly pleasant individual to deal with when mentally healthy and has only been less and less pleasant with this progression. I would Never, Ever have put my mother in a situation where she would bear the brunt of his frustration and anger any more than necessary. She is already coping with a bitter, angry, confused person and forcing the situation may very well have led to physical violence.

IMHO there is always a better way to do things, and maybe the outcome for this particular situation is the best we could have hoped for.
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I just reread your original post and the last one. A couple of thoughts...
"Passed an Alz test with flying colors"? Was this the who is the president remember these words? It's called a mini mental and it does not rule out dementia. Get an appointment for a neuropsychological workup, which measures overall cognitive functioning and reasoning.

If you take him to urgent care the presenting condition is "altered mental status" I'm like you, I always think I need to have it all figured out before I took mom. I've gotten over that.

Guns and altered mental status are not a good combination, I completely understand not wanting to rob an elder of his dignity or lifelong passion. My dad died a few days after his doctor told him he was no longer safe to drive; I think it killed his will to live. But he/and we didn't have to deal with the ongoing life long horror and guilt of dad having an accident that hurt or killed others. This is a situation in which the rights of the many may outweigh the rights of the one.

Good wishes! We try to be helpful here but we're only human.
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Many suggestions here and other conversations that I have read in this thread have been very calming and helpful in determining a course of action.

Participants beware:

There are some nuggets of wisdom here as well as some not-so-helpful responses.

Take them all with a grain of salt and good luck to us all!!
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Apparently you don't want dad to feel increased helplessness and fear with law enforcement taking away his guns, but that is okay for mom. You are trying to guilt mom into taking him to the hospital, trying to convince her that SHE is causing him irreparable harm to HIS Kidneys. Poor mom.
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^^ oops typo: Sadly your Mom shouldn't have to be going through this :(
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Midpines95345, good luck with whatever choices you and your Mom make. Sadly your Mom should have to be going through this :(

And thanks for the update regarding having to need a diagnosis and the right to bear arms.
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Failed to mention diabetes in the original list of health issues.

If your family member is experiencing hallucinations or cognitive disfunction, an over-the-counter UTI test may not show anything alarming (to you) but they may have major kidney issues that can be diagnosed by a visit to a physician.

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/kdd/

"Diabetic kidney disease takes many years to develop. In some people, the filtering function of the kidneys is actually higher than normal in the first few years of their diabetes.

Over several years, people who are developing kidney disease will have small amounts of the blood protein albumin begin to leak into their urine. This first stage of CKD is called microalbuminuria. The kidney's filtration function usually remains normal during this period.

As the disease progresses, more albumin leaks into the urine. This stage may be called macroalbuminuria or proteinuria. As the amount of albumin in the urine increases, the kidneys' filtering function usually begins to drop. The body retains various wastes as filtration falls. As kidney damage develops, blood pressure often rises as well.

Overall, kidney damage rarely occurs in the first 10 years of diabetes, and usually 15 to 25 years will pass before kidney failure occurs. For people who live with diabetes for more than 25 years without any signs of kidney failure, the risk of ever developing it decreases."
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I'm hoping anyone else that comes across these conversations due to similiar problems that some of the 'answers' can be helpful.
It was suggested to me to call the police non-emergency line to see what legal actions can be taken.

If your family member has been diagnosed with a degenerative cognition issue, firearms can be removed from the home by local law enforcement. Their "right to bear arms" is revoked and they will be unable to procure another.
This may not be a solution if no such diagnosis (dementia, ALZ, etc) has been declared.
It may also not be a solution if your family member becomes increasingly belligerent, angry, spiteful, agitated or vindictive over perceived disrespect.

No such diagnosis has been declared in this case, so this isn't an option. However, even if he had been diagnosed I, personally, wouldn't take this action. I wouldn't willingly put my family in a situation that escalates the feeling of helplessness and fear in an elderly family member and sleep well at night.

As for taking him to ER, I am trying to convince my mother that with every day she delays treatment, she is causing irreparable damage to his kidneys. Forcing the issue of treatment (and poss. dialysis) may actually be the best thing for both of them. In the best of scenarios his kidney functions will be evaluated and immediate action will be taken.
I'm hoping that he gets treated for his underlying symptoms and the hallucinations will stop, and in the longer term, a trained professional can frequent the home and give her some much-needed respite.

I don't forget that she is also frightened, tired, and (when you are in the middle of a situation not always able to clearly see things for what they are) so caught up in daily acitivities that the dangers apparent to others aren't at the forefront of your mind.

It's such a delicate balance between doing what is right and rocking the boat just so.

Wish me luck. :`)
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I'm not sure what you mean that OTC UTI kits don't register. So if he has kidney failure problems and won't take meds to keep from hallucinating and you don't take him into urgent care (or a hospital emergency ward...better choice), then you just sit back, let your mother be terrified until something happens to require the police or EMS to come take him off your hands.
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Mom wants to not be terrified that something horrible is going to happen, beyond that I think she would rather have him home but not like this!
I believe we are going to have to take him to the ER at some point this weekend (they have company for dinner today so all should be well - it's worse when he is alone or just with her).

In the meantime, the guns can indeed be disarmed and that will be done ASAP so it looks like he is armed and protected and doesn't just go buy more ammo when he sees it's gone.
There is actually a form through the DMV you can request a driver's license re-evaluation for a variety of reasons but that takes time. In the meantime we are going to temporarily disable his truck so it can't be driven.
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Midpines95345, print off your original posting, hand that to the doctor at urgent care, to the EMT's or to the doctor at the ER.

Curious, what does your Mom want to do?
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Okay, he's hallucinating? And you don't think that plus a driver's license and guns is a medical emergency? Yes, it is. It's a psychiatric emergency and you take him to the ER. If he's non compliant with the meds that keep him from hallucinating, then he needs to be in a facility with 24/7 supervision. You refuse to take him home. And when they say, "oh, but you don't want the State to take over his care" you say "yes, please". Don't wait until he shoots the next door neighbor's teenage son. Or your mom. Please.
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I'd call the police department (their non-emergency line) and ask to speak to someone to see what your options are from their standpoint.

You should be able to *surreptitiously* remove the firing pins/bolts/breeches from guns, but I have no knowledge of that, just have seen it on many TV shows and did a quick Google search. The police department would also probably be able to advise you on that and/or do it while your father is away from the house.

I think you are acting responsibly and have plenty of backbone. Good luck and keep us posted.
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vegaslady, I'm pretty sure this is not a UTI issue. It is a kidney failure issue, next step if he doesn't stay on his meds is dialysis and OTC urinary tract infection kits do not register. I'm seriously asking: What grounds would be needed for admitting him? Can we get him admitted for temporary hallucinations? If not, what can we get him admitted for? The hallucinations come and go, should he be taken to ER or Urgent Care only if it is happening? I don't know. That's why I'm asking. If we take him to ER and commit to this I want to be damn sure he won't just get sent home again with a chip on his shoulder and a grudge to bear.
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How about he's hallucinating? Call your local drug store and see if they have any do-it-yourself urine test kits for infection. You are waffling...grow a backbone before somebody gets hurt.
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freqflyer, I think you may be right on turning to urgent care. I just wonder what exactly we would write as the "presenting complaint".....If nothing else, a history of his health issues may prompt some kidney function tests? Some further work-up we haven't thought of? Something???
Let's hope.
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Chicago1954 I bet there is someone around that knows how to disarm guns if it is possible. I hadn't thought of that, and I thank you for the suggestion! As for calling the police, is that a diversionary tactic? Sorry to hear about the neighboor's raccoon statue, but better that then the actual neighbor? Calling 911 every time he thinks he sees or hears something diverts resources from people that actually need help.
However, also a thought....
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Midpines, you asked what to do for immediate help when you can't get a doctor's appointment.... urgent care facilities are you next best step.
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Can anything be done to disarm the guns? So, that they are there, but can't fire? I don't know. I am asking.

I don't suppose your mom would consider calling the police and then, seeing what her options are? My FIL had ALZ and my MIL kept him at home. There was a female officer that was really good with him. a few times. (He beat a neighbor's raccoon statue to bits.)
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vegaslady, what grounds would be needed for admitting him? He isn't showing signs of medical emergency, so much as I would like that to be the case.....unless they find he is currently in kidney failure I'm not sure how we could convince them to admit him. freqflyer, Urgent care for what, exactly? Hallucinations?Wwe could get him tested for UTI in 3 WEEKS. which is the next available appt. (and we have that) and I wholeheartedly agree that something needs to be done about the firearms. The ammo was hidden, has been hidden and will probably be hidden again...and again...and again. Chances are, he has some stashes somewhere that no one knows about and will "miraculously" remember where they are in time of need.
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Has your father been tested for an urinary tract infection? Such infections can cause mental confusion in the elderly. And yes, males get these infections too. If you can't get an appointment with his own primary doctor, are there any urgent care facilities in your area?

As for the guns, remove all the ammo from the house, or hide it somewhere. I realize your parents live on a farm and rifles are the way of life, but once it becomes a safety issue something needs to be done. If your Dad thinks people are prowling, a family member could be accidently shot if you Dad mistakes that person as a prowler. Let Dad have his rifles, but no ammo, as the feel of the rifle in his hands makes him feel he is protecting his family.

As for driving, contact the DMV in your area, explain what is happening and ask for suggestions.

Hopefully all this can be worked out so everyone can feel safe.
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Can you get him to an emergency room at the hospital? Get him admitted and let them keep him a while. You could refuse to let him be discharged home because mom can't take care of him. Or you take mom out of there. As to the driving, write a letter to the licensing agency and details his issues and ask that they see him for a driving test. And for crying out loud, get rid of the guns.
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