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My Father is a natural born control freak. Was in the military all of his life and loved the control his rank provided him. Since retiring, his controlling behaviors have ruined his marriage. I was forced to return home to care for him after a massive heart attack. My stepmother refused to return to help with his care.

Every holiday is "Hell" in our home. This 84 year old insist on being a part of meal preparation, although he never washes his hands. I've watched and counted on one hand the times I have seen him use soap and water after using the urinal and bathroom during the span of a week.

I advised my brother, the one in charge of cooking the turkey, to arrive early or my Father will start to prepare turkey himself. Well, when I woke up this morning, the turkey was moved from the back room to the kitchen and was soaking naked in the sink. I wanted to die! This was not my Father being helpful, this was him taking charge and controlling how the bird would be prepared. I ended up having to rinse the turkey several times under warm water to remove any possibility of contamination. I placed the turkey in a temp tray and back in the fridge it went. I went to a friends to prepare a cake and several pies as she had a larger kitchen. When I returned several hours later, I had a host of goodies and a large pan to place the turkey in. My Dad made the observation about the pan and proceeded to bark an order. He told me to place the turkey in the large pan and return it to the fridge. I said ok but was in the middle of unpacking the box of treats I had made. I received numerous dirty eye rolls and huffs as I didn't do as I was told. I sat down to eat my dinner, Chipotle, at 9:00 pm. Mind you he received his dinner promptly at 4:30 pm before I left. He barked the order to switch the pans again .... I responded by asking, Can I eat my dinner first? I hadn't eaten much all day! That's when he proceeded to stand up, and push his walker to the back where the turkey was. I asked what he was doing and he said he will do it myself. My fear was he would contaminate the turkey again and there would be no turning back. So, I wiggled my way past him as he opened the door to the office area where the second fridge was. That's when he used his walker as a weapon. He jammed the walker against my right leg to prevent me for squeezing by. I took a blow but kept on going ... I opened the fridge and the second blow from the walker pushed the door up against my back .... He continued jamming the walker against the door and my legs. I finally had to take control of the walker and remove it from him. That's when he started screaming at me.

I have a nice bruise for picture sake but he has gone too far!!! This is assault ... Should I contact the authorities? If nothing is done he will do this again and he needs to be taught a lesson.

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Littletonway .... A final diagnosis was never given. However, my Dad has stenosis of the spine. It seems that might have had something to do with this new condition. He was given a treatment of antibodies for 5 days and is now able to walk again. He has been moved to a rehab facility.
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I agree ba8alou ... My therapist has suggested that same thing. It's extremely hard to do though!
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Hopeless, sounds like your Dad may have Normal Pressure Hydrocepalus. Sounds like they may have done a spinal drain. This is one of the tests for NPH. If patient shows improvement in walking after this drain, they normally do several other non-invasive type tests to comfirm. NPH has a website that can provide you with good information and the names of doctors in your area that can possibly help your Dad. Good Luck!
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If you can, try to separate your prior experience with you dad (controlling, military, etc) from the manifestations of the disease that he has.
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Hello Bookworm,

I'm not sure what has to happen to gain the attention of the VA, Doctor's or any other agency that says they are here to help me take care of my Father! Hopefully while he is in rehab, the speech therapist can assist in a proper diagnosis of Dementia and help us understand exactly where he is at with things. If she is willing to document things, I can take that to his Dr.'s and possibly get the ball rolling that way! One thing that was discovered during his hospital stay, is that he has additional fluid around the brain which will cause increased memory and balance issues. I am finding that this is a very long drawn out process with many twists and turns. However, I am going to stay with it. Thanks for the advice .... I plan on documenting everything upon his return home.
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Happy New Year to you Crystal1224!!!

Quick Update: My Dad stayed in the hosptial for a week and then was transferred to a rehab center. The Doctor's at the hospital could not determine why he lost the ability to walk so suddently. They ended up giving him a treatment called IGG. It assisted with the swelling he may have been experiencing on his spine. Since the 5 day treatment he is able to walk again. I guess I didn't expect things to move so quickly.

So, he will be at the rehab center for at least a week or two. Now, I have to face what to do after he comes home. Yeah me! LoL
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Hi Hopeless, I just finished reading your thread. It just depressed me. I was really, really Hoping to find in the end that you finally were able to get the VA aproved for NH for your father... I have found this site in June of last year, 2012. I have jumped around other people's posts (like yours). From what I've read, in cases where the dementia/elderly parent refuses help - social workers, part-time home care visits, adult daycares, etc.... The authorities (DMV, Doctors, Police, Adult Protective Services, etc...) will NOT step in unless they are a threat to themselves or others. I guess, they figured a bruise on your leg is not a threat to you. {Being sarcastic} Obviously, they want your father to either break your bone or something and MAYBE they might step in. But, from what I've read on this site with the different discussions, the parents ended up left on their own without intervention. The authorities will step in if they were found starving, or too sick to get help, etc… Usually by this time, the parents are in very bad shape. I think you’re only option is to do your best to persuade the primary doctors to TEST him. You will need to Document everything in a Matter Of Fact way. Do NOT be emotional. I guess you need to come across as Level-headed for them to realize that you find the situation serious and not as if you’re trying to send your father “away” so that you can keep the house, etc….

Have you tried being neighborly with the neighbors? Try to gain friendship for yourself and a stress reliever. Maybe, if they happen to drop by, and see what’s happening, they can be your eyewitness. Again, I think it is Very Important to document everything.

Here on island, the prosecutor was allegedly abusive to his wife. He knew where to hurt her where no bruises showed. One day, he did it and this time she had enough and fought back. Except, she fought back in anger. He immediately went to the ER and had them document the bruises from his wife. He then pressed charges on her. It was quite a mess. His ex-first wife came forward and testified for the current wife. Be very careful, Hopeless. And document, document, document! HUGS to you!!
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Thinking of you Hopeless and hoping you are doing okay. Happy New Year to you. Hugs
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@ crystal1224 - I'm hanging in there! Super tired .... Will promise to keep you guys posted more often.

Hope all is well with you.
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@ jeannegibbs .... I'm on autopilot. Spending days at the hospital and when bad news is presented to us, my heart sinks while I try to fight back tears. This has been difficult to understand and watch. I'm stressed, tired and emotional. Hopefully all three of those will subside!
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I'm so moved at the concern you all have shown me!

To answer some of the questions .... Yes, I did take pictures of the bruise and showed the therapist. Unfortunately, I was told his aggressive behavior is part of the disease, dementia. I was asked if I felt unsafe within the home and my response was no. Since the incident, it's been business as usual. His behavior is if nothing ever happened. However, currently, we have some pretty serious decisions to make regarding his health and care. I haven't thought too far past tomorrow, as his progress is day to day and so far there hasn't been any. If I see him getting better, I will have to decide if I will remain in the home. I did find out some very helpful information from the Neurologist. My Dad has extra fluid around his brain which will cause memory loss, balance issues and agitation! A possible spinal tap maybe ordered to help with those issues but their main concern in getting him to walk again.

This has been a roller coaster of a ride .... I'm glad I have a place to come and vent, laugh and cry.
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I'm sorry about your dad, Hopeless. Thank you for sharing and please, keep us updated.
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Hopeless, thank your for the update.

And if he does regain strength in his legs? What is your plan then? And how has it been living with him in the last month? Have things improved any? I'm glad to hear an update about your father, but I'd really like to hear about YOU.
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**** Update **** 12/27/2012

I see I have some replies that I will read after I post this update. Thank you all for you concern and reaching out.

On December 23rd, 2012, I rushed my Dad to the ER due to several falls within our home and his inability to stand or walk. Seems as though he has lost strength/muscle control in both legs. He has been in the hospital since Sunday without a diagnoses and still unable to walk. The Neurologist on his case discovered that my Dad is has no feeling below the knees down to the toes. So, at this point he will not be discharged until strength has been regained, if ever. Today, he received a treatment called IGG, which is antibodies that will help his immune system in hopes that he will regain feeling in his legs. It was a dreadful treatment with many visable side effects. I stayed by his side from 10:00 to 6:00. Will go back tomorrow to do the same thing. This treatment is for 3 days. Some of the major concerns of this treatment is the fluid overload which could trigger heart failure and kidney failure.

If he does not regain strength in his legs, it has been suggested that he be placed in a rest home.
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Soooo... I posted discussion reply above without reading all the follow up postings from you, hopeless. I'm surprised the VA isn't more helpful. That's contrary to my experience with my father. With regard to getting your father placed in a home: you SHOULD, I believe, go ahead with the necessary steps to obtain legal guardianship. This will allow you to make medical decisions for your father. Getting guardianship might be a little tricky and the criteria and steps required vary by state. If you have a little extra money, hiring an attorney who knows exactly what you need to do is advisable. Also, you might want to research and tap into non-profit centers that specialize in all things elderly. I don't know whats in your area but there are several where I live, usually associated with a religious organization, but not always. My township, for example, offers a variety of helpful programs for seniors that I take advantage of. Even if you don't need a "program" right now, the people who staff those places seem to know a lot and might be able to advise you on how to get the help you need right now, since VA isn't cutting it. Also there are independent "elderly experts" out there that, for a fee, can come to your home and do a professional, written assessment of your father's behavior, it's affects on you and your home life, and this assessment will assist you in getting doctors or social workers to "get it" with regard to your father's inappropriate behavior. These "experts" typically have websites and typically have multiple social and medical degrees listed after their names, which is why their assessment is a valuable tool, both to accomplish things with medical field and legal field.

And last, I just want to say... my father was an absentee father to me, at best. He never paid child support to my single working mother and I grew up fairly poor. He never sent a birthday card or called me, and generally showed no interest in me or my brothers. I basically thought of him as a worthless and even disgusting individual my entire life. When I first came to live with him and my grandmother, his behavior reinforced those ideas ten-fold. I have experienced indescribable resentment and anger towards him... maybe HATE would be the best word to use. I ended up losing a 12-year relationship and my beautiful beach apartment in California, all because I cared enough to try and help my father and grandmother in their old age. And now, well, I didn't always feel this way... and in fact, its a pretty recent development... but I no longer feel regret, anger, or resentment about the entire situation. My prayer and wish for you is that you eventually arrive at a similar place emotionally. I don't have any easy answers, but I can tell you that its happened for me. Love to you, sister, hang in there.
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Aww sweetie, your screen name says it all about how you were feeling... "hopeless." When I first came to care for my 103-yr-old grandmother and 74-yr-old father in their home about 1 1/2 years ago, my father was similar to yours in how he demanded everything to be his way. He was used to doing things as he pleased, and his habits were unsanitary as well. He would drive me nuts when he "washed" my grandmother's drinking cups using nothing but his dirty hands and running water. We had many times where we butted heads and raised our voices. I thought briefly about removing him from the home so I could care for my grandmother without the strain of dealing with his stubbornness. I'm happy to tell you that, currently, my father and I have a much improved relationship. I think what helped is... every time my father and I would see things differently, or he would attempt to go about some action that wasn't acceptable to me, I would take the time to VERY calmly ask him simple questions about why he was doing it, what leads him to believe this is the correct action, what his thoughts are about it, etc., etc., etc. By taking the time to find out why, I began to see that my dad wasn't as much of an a-hole as it would appear. And once I understood what motivated his actions (and yes, I'm talking about the same stuff you described... i.e., why the turkey should go in another pan, etc.), I could offer an alternative that would be suitable to both of us and slowly he began to allow me to find ways to do things that I felt were much improved upon his crass habits but he still gained the desired result, whatever it was. All of this consideration of him means I do twice as much work than I'd like to be doing, but it maintains peace and civility between us.

I don't know if this approach would help in your situation. Only you can decide if its worth a shot. It took 8-10 months of my trying to appease my father in this way before he "released" his control freak way and began to trust me to advise him on ways of doing everyday things a little better, a little differently than he had.

I did "threaten" my father in times past with calling authorities and other things like that. This just seemed to raise his level of stubbornness and he would really "dig in" when I said stuff like that.

Like I said, I don't know if this approach will help you. But I can tell you that I really didn't think my dad was capable of NOT yelling and barking to get his way, and meddling with every little thing in this house... but he doesn't do these things anymore.

Oh, the other thing I saw mentioned in previous post and know from personal experience: go to your local VA med center and find out different things that are available to your dad and to you... like social workers, as well as geriatric clinics, etc. My dad is vet as well and the VA center here continues to surprise me with how many resources they have to help the both of us.
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@johnnycares - While your comment may be true I found in this site it is mostly for caretakers to express what they are going through. Some caretakers get abused so badly but you don't read that in the paper everyday. Care-taking is a hard job and when the caretaker takes a role to remove their-self from a dangerous situation that to me is doing the right thing. It does not always mean they do not want to tend to their loved ones. It means it is too dangerous for some more than others. No one needs to be abused at the hands of anyone - care-taker or patient.
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And this is the main reason is why older people are found dead or dying in their homes everyday, Not everyone is wanting to be around to care for the elderly.
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@hopeless I was wondering how things were going for you. If someone is telling you they can not place him in the VA or a Home without the proper diagnoses then why the heck aren't they doing the testing? You need to get with his primary doctor and ask for this test and tell his Primary CARE doctor at the VA what has transpired. Make them document it as well. I can not believe they are unwilling to assist you with this. Be proactive in your stand on this for it is you that is suffering. Maybe they do not want an aggressive patient but guess what - the homes have many of them and they also prescribe medicine to help him. I don't know if it is different in each state but I was told you are not legally bound to take care of him if you are not a guardian, etc. I know I might sound cold and I am not trying to be but there comes a time where you have to put your foot down and get these doctors to listen and to tell your father you will not allow him to do this to you again. I would not tolerate it no matter what. That is when I say it is over and time to go somewhere else. I hope I never have to deal with this so late in life like you have and I feel for you. On your fathers defense maybe he does not remember doing this as it could be part of his illness. I do not know. I am just saying because some folks do things and deny or do not remember what they did. I know someone who is taking care of a Dementia/Alzheimer and they can not remember for one minute to the next. It scares me for this person since she is elderly and he could snap on her in a minute. The neurologist did the testing at the VA and found out what the problem was months ago. Medications sometimes do not cure this disease as well - especially when they do not take it. It only gets worse. I pray for you and your situation and have been thinking about you. Merry Christmas to you and the family. Hugs.
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Hopeless, did you photograph your injuries and show them to the social worker? Have you spoken to any social workers working for the Area Agency on Aging or even Adult Protective Services? You are an adult starting to need some protection! Their focus will be him but it might wake them up if they saw pictures of your bruises. If you say you are moving out and he is on his own by X date maybe these services will be forced to act? My mother refuses to accept help she needs or allow me any authority at all regarding her so I have much sympathy for you.
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It's not as easy as we all would like for it to be. If someone is unwilling to be placed in a home, certain things have to be done. In my Dad's case, his Doctors would have to deem him unable to function mentally and say he needs 24/7 supervision for medical and/or mental reasons, giving us the authority to place him in a home. That's the hard part. His Neurologist won't do that without a proper diagnoses.
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I don't know, actually. My grandma has been kind of okay with going. A little reluctant to go, but she agreed. I'm not sure how to move someone who doesn't want to. Usually, I would think you'd just move them..for them.
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OmgWhatNow, but how do you get someone to go to a retirement home? That is the crux of the problem, I think.
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Violent outbursts = retirement home. But make sure his doctor gives him meds so he's not beating up on the nurses. I would never tolerate my grandparent if they acted like that towards me no matter how much I love them or how out of their mind they are. Nobody deserves that.
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Hopeless, you are not required to care for you dad in person. You are not required to accept abuse. You may not be able to place him in a care center but you can control your own behavior. He is in your home, right? (Or did you move into his home?) You can give him notice that he has to leave by such-and-such a date. You can tell him that you will help him find another place to live or that he can do that on his own -- his choice. (Or give notice when you are leaving and offer to help him hire help before you go.)

Your bother is not required to take him in, and you are not required to live with him. When you set a date and have given your father notice then also notify the VA social worker. This is a difficult situation but not hopeless. You simply do not have to continue to live with him.
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Hello All,

It's been a few since I have been on the website.

Here's my update.

Shortly after the incident, I met with a social worker from the VA and my therapist. I got absolutely nowhere. Helpful suggestions on how to avoid a situation like what happended from happening again , but was told unless I have Guardianship, I can not place him in a home if he is not willing to go. Oddly enough, he pretends as if nothing ever happen. I have stayed, temporarily, until I can work through this process. I have placed a call to his Neurologist. He wasn't of much help either. Says he can't really assist or help without the diagnoses of Dementia. After that call I fell into a depressed state. Doing only things that I had to do, but not much else. I asked my brother if I could send my Dad to live with him for a few months and he declined.

I feel trapped however I am hoping something will happen that will help me with the cause of getting him in a home. In the meantime, I am trying to research alternatives to this sitation.
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Hope all is well with you and yours; please let us know what is going on! Bless you. B
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@momsie I like your answer very much and agree as well. It is a difficult situation to finally come to terms to give up the role of caregiver as I am doing that now. Or trying to should I say. There is only so much one person can do and for so long before it starts affecting the caretakers health. I think that is true once they are settled the relief will surely come. Thank you for your answer to Hopeless as it also helped me.
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God bless you Hopeless. My hope for you is that your dad will soon be comfortably settled in a place with other vets in similar circumstances, and once the stress of intense care giving for you, and trying to keep up for him, is lifted you two will be able to enjoy each other's company For me it was difficult to give up the role of caregiver, but a relief.
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@Hopeless - I just seen your comment from yesterday. How did the meeting go at the VA? Would love to know how your day is going today as well. Blessings to you and smile - you are not hopeless:) I know I feel that way many days myself lately. We keep on going that is for sure. Hugs xox
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