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My stepfather is a mean and hateful person who has stopped trying to hide it now that he is dying. When do words become more than idle threats? He has told mom a couple of times that he is not "leaving this world without her". He is an avid gun collector but the guns are in the downstairs and until Friday - no one thought he could get downstairs. When hospice care came - he asked them to help him downstairs to look for a DVR book.
Yesterday - he was EXTREMELY angry because my husband and I helped mom with yard work and Xmas decorations. He spent the entire day ranting and raving. His daughter came to visit and he did not stop. He gets so angry that his eyes bulge, he turns white, and shakes. He thumps his cane and you can see the hatred pouring out of him while he restrains his urge to hit with the cane.
Today (Sunday) he was calm and quiet. Mom worked in the other room on cleaning kitchen cupboards. She heard a funny noise - peeked around the corner - and thinks she saw him putting bullets in an ammo cartridge. She cant search his area because he never leaves it. She went downstairs and saw an empty peg on the board that holds the guns. BUT she isn't 100% sure that there was a gun there.
He has always been jealous of the relationship my mom has with her children and grandchildren. We do not visit them. She comes to our houses. There has been no family gatherings for 20 years because of him. Mom should have left years ago but she is the type of person that pretends things get better. She lives much of her life in denial.
MY QUESTION - WHO do I contact to get help? I know I can call the police for a welfare check - but what are they going to do with a dying old man in rural Iowa? Nothing - he can't go to jail here. Courts take too much time and if he has any idea something is going on - it will be too late. His daughter is the hospice contact. She is totally intimidated by him. She is always trying to placate him and tells my mom "he's dying - it's all talk." The rest of the siblings do not visit or talk to him. They dislike him because they put up with him all those years before my mom came along. When he had her to bully - he left them alone. They could care less what happens to him.
YOU ASK - why doesn't she just walk out? Because she bought that house before they were married and it is her sanctuary. (OR was until this became too much to handle). And when he is gone - it will be her sanctuary. She is 74 years old and still works everyday because she enjoys cleaning other people's houses. She has filled her house with pretty things that he is threatening to destroy if she follows through with her threat to walk out.
She is safe tonight because she is in her bedroom with the door locked and her granddaughter is sitting in a car on the street watching him sit in front of the television.
I need to talk to someone in the morning but do not know where to go? Police? Lawyer? Doctor? He has COPD, untreated diabetes, pacemaker, defibrillator, large tumor lung cancer and I don't know what else.....He is not on any pain med except Tylenol.....takes a diuretic, stool softener, and a couple heart meds - nothing else for mental or emotional diseases. I find this incomprehensible.
Sorry so long - and thank you for any insight you may have. I am hoping that someone else has dealt with this type of situation.

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Good job! We're you unaware prior to this that he owned guns? I'm asking, because we all learn from each other here. Just as we've learned the important lesson that you can refuse to accept a parent when discharged from the hospital, or that the words " joint commission " are what get the nh staff to wake up, apparently firearms in the home when talking to the lawyers and law enforcement make a difference. Thanks for telling us!
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cherry, I am so glad to read this. I hope your mother doesn't have to put up with anything else from this man. Well done!
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Update - Guns removed. Restraining order in place to force removal. Will be taken for psych evaluation to determine state of mind. Then appropriate action taken for treatment and future placement.
When I started this morning to take control of this situation - I talked to a doctor, lawyer, and law enforcement. It was odd how nobody took anything we were saying serious until the word "gun" was mentioned. I find this odd because he could have done just as much damage to a tiny 74-year old woman with his cane as he could a gun. It doesn't matter now but I find it interesting.
At least we can all get some sleep tonite without worrying about every noise we hear. Its been a long time coming.
Thank you for listening.
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Knick knacks or your mother's life?.... what is most important to her?

Call the police an tell them your step-father is a threat to himself... the police will secure the house so that the EMT's can come in. He will be taken to the hospital for observation and possible placed in some type of secure setting. Do NOT go to the hospital to pick him up when he is ready to go home. Tell the hospital you or your Mom can no longer take care of him.
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Hadn't you better call the police? It isn't a matter of their taking your stepfather to jail. You need them to take the guns away. They can do that tonight.
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Cherryr, this is the sort of thing we see all the time on the news, but you have a chance to stop it. Call the police, let them know the whole situation, including that he has guns and is out of control angry - he is a danger to anyone and everyone. Believe it and act, before people get blown away. He should be in hospital hospice, but at least, no guns or other weapons, no vulnerable person ever alone with him, etc. Your mom won't lose her house, she may very well lose her life.
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I vote for hospital setting hospice care. It is your Mom's home and he is the one who needs to be removed. You are all in danger from this man and the sooner someone realizes it the better!
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Your stepfather has to sleep sometime. That is the time you remove the bullets from the home.
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I'm sorry,but CALL the police, tell them what the situation is,I don't think they will arrest him, they will just get the guns away from him, that is the whole point,.Don't think he couldn't do some damage just because he is old and sick And not just guns, what about large knives, I definitely would not let any person, adult or child that can't defend themselves be alone with him. I don't want to read about another family suicide on the news AGAIN.
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I'm scared for your mom. As long as she's in denial, she will never accept that her husband will hurt her. A part of her IS worried because she noted the missing gun, etc.... But the stronger part of her- will not let him chase her out of her own home. It's her home not his. So, she will continue to live each day in denial.

My dad used to keep a rife and spare bullets separately. He also had this wicked knife that one sees in TV that is used for close contact stabbing. My father said that he will use the gun/knife for anyone who tries to break in. One day, he had to go the ER. While there, I quickly (with great fear) went to his bedroom, grabbed the rifle and the bullets in the closet and inside the oven - and hid it under my bed. My room is a mess - almost borderline hoarder. You get down on your knees and look under my bed - and you will find lots of shoes, boxes, etc... The rifle is there but you have to move the junk to find it. As for his knife, I also confiscated it and hid it. When he came back from the ER, he ordered everyone to find his rifle. My nephews, nieces, oldest sis, etc.. they all looked all over the house. No one dares go into my bedroom without my permission. So, now dad thinks that oldest brother of next door took his rifle. =)
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If this were my mom, I would pick her up at her job and take her home. And the next day to a psychiatrist. PRETTY THINGS? The man has guns and ammo? I would have gotten rid of them long ago, but it's too late for that. Does Hospice have a facility where he can be cared for? Can you demand an in patient psychiatric hospital evaluation foe him, where he'll be held for 72 hours, during which time you search for the guns? Call 911 and tell them that your mom is in imminent danger?

Those are the things that pop into my head. You have to take an action without being paralyzed by rationalizing that it won't work.
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