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hello and help!! I am the sole caregiver for my 67 year old father, he had a massive stroke in 2008 that left him partially parlyzed and with progressive dementia. My brother and sister refuse to contribute to his care, if they take him for family outings they don't help get him ready and they bring him back filthy (usually bm and urine soaked)They never call to ask about him or his needs or even just to talk. anyway... they feel I have "manipulated" my way into this situation where I "get" to live rent free. I am here 24x7 and have not had a break. I have asked but they do not help. ANYWAY... My father has been becoming increasingly vicious in his verbal attacks on me, yesterday he searched the house for his two guns and couldn't find them. I found him on a stool searching and asked what he was looking for, he said my guns... I said they are gone, he went into a tizzy ranting and yelling that I had taken everything away from him and I was the bad seed and everyone had always told him I was but he had tried and tried to be nice to me and I made it impossible, (I was always told I was his favorite...) I told him my brother took one and the other was gone. he yelled to get the F@#% away and he'd call me by name if he ever wanted to see me again. so I'm hurt, beyond hurt. I am fed up with my family and him. I have been in this situation for so long I no longer know what is right and wrong... am I wrong to be this upset by bro and sis and their insults and negligence? am I wrong to have taken his guns? (he would wake up and insist there were people attacking the house and alligators in the hallway I feared for my life and his that he would be confused and shoot me or himself) I have resisted putting him in a facility because I don't want strangers caring for the man who was always there for me growing up. I thought that is what was right. I am not a martyr, just a daughter who loves him. I am lost and at the end of my rope. some outside assistance/input would be very appreciated. Do I go ahead and seek a facility? is it just a phase? is this to be expected? WHY does he attack ME and yet not say one word to them about their neglect?

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OHHHH thank you all, it is so wonderfully relieving to have people who actually know what I'm talking about. My friends have stopped talking to me and taking my calls because ... well, this is my life now and its hard for them to understand it. Thank you all so much! still crying and laughing!
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CM-
And I eat the bon bons all day and watch soaps on tv. One relative was going to take mom on a hike in the woods to clear out the cobwebs. Did you also know that if I took her on a long, brisk walk each day those cobwebs would probably be gone by now?! Pure and simple ignorance. And a walk in the woods, where cell phones won't work, what if something did happen?!
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Don't feel guilty if you decide to move dad to care facility or get more in home skilled caregiver help. Spend his money to get the help you need.

Agree with all above posts. It is very hard but don't take his outbursts and cruelty to heart -- it is the disease and everyday or a matter of moments can be different. These parents are Jekyll and Hyde.

My mom is exactly like your dad when agitated. I don't live with her but one conversation is nice and the next minute she screams, accuses and threatens me over something she perceives has happened or if I tell her something she doesn't want to hear.

She pretty much forgets most things, but she gets in a loop about some things or some wrongs and there's no reasoning with her...that's when I redirect, drop it, or leave the situation for a cooling period and we start over.

Guns. My mom had one and refused to give it up, but kept hiding it and "losing it". We finally took it from the house while she was out and she accused us for a long time and then dropped it.

She has periods of paranoia and honestly I'm afraid she won't recognize or remember me and attack me thinking I'm an intruder. I no longer spend the night in her house when I visit and stay in a hotel. She doesn't have the gun but I fear being stabbed or beaten with something. I don't tell her I'm afraid of her, just make an excuse of having internet at hotel.

Bottom line, come here for support, do some research and visit some care centers in your area to learn more and find a good setting for dad, or bring in help.
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Well, like others have said, when asking where to draw the line, ignore what the rest of the family says. Only you know your physical and emotional limits, and sadly, if you aren't there now, you will be someday.

I know from firsthand experience how you, as the one who literally does everything to keep the ship from sinking, get blame and judgement, while at the same time getting no credit for the hard work and sacrifices that are required daily. I don't know how to solve that one, the way I handled it was to confront the people who decided to run their mouths. It didn't stop them from thinking badly of me, but at least it stopped them from voicing their ignorance for all to hear.

The morals surrounding caregiving are so blurred, hardly anything is black and white. For one person, the first time they have to clean up feces or urine is the last, and they are done. For others, they just accept it as part of life. Neither response is wrong. Your best bet is to think about what YOU judge to be best and right, and not give thought to what others tell you is right or wrong for you.
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JessieBelle, yup that's me too - I lounge around all day eating chocolates and watching tv at my mother's expense… Not to mention hugely exaggerating her needs and level of dependence to make people feel sorry for me…

I find great relief in making vulgar gestures at my (PIG-ignorant but know-it-all) SIL when she's on the phone with yet another lecture about how my mother needs to be up and at it, following the boot camp regime she recommends to cure all ills - how childish am I?
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Countrymouse, I could have not said it better. ypiffani, I know what you mean about your siblings thinking you're living the free life of Riley. My entire family, including my mother, think that I have it made because I'm living here for free. It is demeaning when the task that we do is not seen as work, but as mooching -- like we should be grateful we get a room for free. They don't understand, probably because they would probably feel guilty if they did. Sadly, a family caregiver often takes on the burden of a family so the others can live a better life.

You were very wise to take the guns away. Some people even remove sharp things, e.g. knives and scissors, when there is a threat of violence. I have to admit I wouldn't go as far as removing knives. I would place my mother in a memory care unit if it comes to the point that I fear for my life.

We often hear that it is not our parent, it is the disease. Still we are dealing with the new person who has the disease. Many times this new person is mad at us for sins we haven't done. It is very hard. Sometimes it is best to just walk away if there is no immediate threat. It sounds like you are wrestling with some strong feelings in your father, and I wonder if some type of sedative may help him feel less agitated. I would definitely seek help.

I wish I had good answers, but I've learned we just have to play it by ear and hope for the best. Do you fear for your safety?
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Your siblings will not give any more time then they are willing to do and will not provide care, that is obvious. Everything that you describe is part of the disease, not only your father, but siblings reaction is part of their denial. You were definitely right to remove the guns from the house. When one is so angry and has dementia, they no longer understand the anger and could potentially do anything to protect themselves. His delusions are part of the disease, but are very real in his world.

When was the last time he saw the doctor? What medications is he on? It sounds like time to evaluate medications and if he will not take them, perhaps you should look for a facility.
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Huge situation, but with some very simple and reassuring answers points in it:

1. You were not wrong to remove the firearms. You would have been very wrong not to.
2. Your father attacks you because you are there.
3. Your father doesn't complain about your siblings because they are not there.
4. The foul language, the irrationality, the paranoia are all part of the disease. They are not coming from the loving father you knew.
5. (4) does not prohibit you from disliking this behaviour and declining to tolerate it.
6. Your options are more various than a straight choice between the status quo and a nursing home. Start researching them.
7. Your siblings are ignorant pains in the nether region. As far as practical, ignore them. Certainly do not take their opinion of you to heart: they have no idea what they're talking about.

Hope this is a start! xxx
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First, the dementia. It SUCKS! And change our loved ones into complete strangers. Their personality, attitude life choices seem to change over night. You absolutely did the right thing removing the guns from the house. Especially someone becoming "increasingly vicious". From everything you've mentioned - BM and urine accidents, bad behavior, confusion and being partial paralyzed it is time you get help. This is not a phase. He has prgressive dementia! Do you have Power of Attorney? Big step/issue? If so....
From the way you've described your siblings don't even try to get there help. Start contacting facilities and/or in home aide companies. There are also many great resources on this site to help.
Also, once you find a facility or company let them help you! They have so much experience dealing with these issues. It made moving my MIL a lot easier bringing them to the meeting when we informed her.
If your siblings give you any push back on this choice ask them when they can watch him and explain EVERYTHING that needs to be done.

Good luck and please remember this site has been wonderful for both support and information.
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