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We hear much about elder abuse. What can we do when the abuser is abusing the caregiver (also an older person), emotionally, verbally? The abuser has a long history of verbal (never physical) abuse of family members. The abuser is now in assisted living but continues to accuse visiting family members of ingratitude, of forcing the person to move, just interested in the person's money. The one thing that has a shred of truth is that the family strongly encouraged and arranged for (and are paying for) this person to move. But at the time the person herself agreed that she could no longer live alone. None of us could take on this person as a housemate because of her bad temper. We are all exhausted and don't want to abandon this family member. The person is on meds which don't seem to help. She is very depressed. Any suggestions?

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You can't change what she does but you can can change what you do.

Unfortunately, the only way to stop this behavior is to stop the visit.
You could say, "Aunt Clara, I'm afraid we'll have to leave if you don't stop accusing everyone."
Then, if she continues, back up your statement by LEAVING-right then.
Pick up your coat and purse and walk out.

It's called tough love. She'll learn you mean business if you leave EVERY time she does this.

It's sad to have to handle it this way but I'll bet none of the other ways you've tried has had any effect.
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SueC1957 is right on about the verbal abuser as far as I am concerned. I had to do it with my mother. Limiting the time you are there is not abandoning the person. You are seeing to it that she has food and shelter. Eventually, mom would start, then say, "Oh, that is right YOU don't want to hear (whatever). I would say yes that is true, let me tell you about the grand kids,

Polarbear: As far as the physical abuser, perhaps she is afraid to do anything. Have you thought about calling the police yourself to do a welfare check on them? It could make things more dangerous, but he could kill her if something isn't done. I would call Adult Protective Services at least.
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Polarbear, I don’t want to scare you; but would encourage the caregiver to get help immediately when the dementia goes beyond to include physical abuse. Recently news in our area had a husband with dementia beat his wife to death. It upsets me to even put this into words but it happened.
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I'm glad the abuser is in an ALF, and not living with any of you. I agree with Holiday about seeing a psychiatrist. Perhaps the meds can be adjusted to help with the depression and anger. Also, I would limit the number of visits and the duration of each visit. When the abuser starts up, leave.
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Take a picture of your moms friend and give it to her. Keep copies incase she gets rid of it. This would be helpful to get him placed later.

Just seeing herself beaten up might be enough of a wake up call to do something.
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Thanks SueC and polar bear for replies. She is in assisted living, has seen several psychiatrists. SueC I think you're right about the tough love, which I've tried but not enough so I will do more of this. Thanks.
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Minstrel, we too have a parent who is unhappy with their life and when we visit vents his frustrations on us (his children). He says he does with us as he has no one else he talk talk to about his situation. The Dementia causes the brain to “fill in the gaps” of memory and reasoning, and in his frustration we have been blamed for things as well that he has previously agreed too; to being condescending about our own lives and health. It’s hard - you want to distance yourself but you know you cannot as they are loved and their situation is so sad. I try to use the 3 R’s - Realize that they are lashing out for a reason (Recognize), Reassure them, and Redirect - try to steer then clear of the conversation that is abusive to you. When that does not work and I can’t take it anymore; I give a warning that I will have to leave if they don’t stop; and then the next time I do. not sure if they remember what happened the last time you left; but they say with dementia “may not remember what was said, but they will remember how they felt”. do your best not to dwell on it once you leave or the verbal abuse...if it does you it will be hard on your own health. Let it go until the next time. A new page so to speak.
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I know that I've read other people's posts about taking a family member to an assisted living, nursing home, wherever, against their will. I'm pretty sure that some with this experience will respond to you. It did seem, however, from reading your response to my post, that you don't want to be "the bad guy," and you don't want him in a facility that will just give "rudimentary care" because he can't afford anything else. It may not be perfect, but he will get the care he needs. Otherwise, you keep him and suffer more of the consequences that you are already suffering.... I know this is very difficult, but it seems that something must be done. I wish you the very best in handling this. Hang in there.
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pcampbell: EVEN IF HE THREATENED TO SHOOT YOU, THIS IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. He may be "all roses and chocolate," after these explosive episodes. Do not fall for it. It is nothing more than a scare tactic!
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pcampbell, You  need to protect yourself. He "threatened" to shoot you? He might do it. You need to get away from him and protect yourself. Others can tell you what you can do better than I can, but you need to get away from him  ASAP!  The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) in the United States, can help you plan your escape.   Depending on where you live, if  you can get to a police station they might be able to help you also.
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