rebeccaalbreitJuly 28, 2006


I am new to the group and am looking for support. My husbands father is 88 years old and still lives alone. He has always been mean and demanding but as he has gotten older he has gotten worse. He rings our phone every 10 minutes throughout the day. He demands unreasonable things and curses at us into the answering machine when we don't pick up. If you ask him to not do that he pretends like he can't hear you or denies he is doing it.

Our whole family is so stressed over him. We don't know what to do. He is still driving, but he hasn't had a drivers license in a couple of years. I think my husband is afraid to take his car keys away or he just doesn't feel like dealing with him. It is causing a lot of fighting between us. I am so afraid he is going to hurt someone or himself. He got a speeding ticket last week and has to go to court next month. This will be a real fiasco.

He keeps calling here and threatening us over nonsense. We try to help him as much as we can tolerate him. I just don't know what to do. I took him to his doctor appointment a couple of months ago and he told the doctor that "he was going to come back down there and choke him to death if he didn't get better". The doctor just ignored him and spoke to me. Maybe he has dementia? I don't know.

Physically he is pretty good. He says he will kill himself before he would ever leave his home.

Any help appreciated. Rebecca Albreit

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Perhaps when he goes to court the judge will rule that he not be allowed to drive. Then, it will be up to your husband to see that the car is disposed of.

He does sound as if there is some dementia in addition to just plain old bad temper and stubborness.

It's time to start looking around for a suitable Nursing Home that would take him. Then, when and if things just get more than your family can take, you'll know what the best place is. In a NH, medications can be given and monitered to calm him down some. The staff has experience in handling cranky old men.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 9:20PM
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Sounds like a psychiatrist is definitely in need to help in calming him. Possibly a big strapping male caregiver to spend some time with him to help divert his attentions elsewhere? Sneak over there and remove the distributor cap from his vehicle? I've been around several older men with dementia that get quite combative and mean. It might take a stranger to deal with him vs. a family member. Often times they are the meanest to the ones they love the most. Makes no sense but it happens.

Hopefully the court can help other than just slapping him with a fine and ordering him not to drive anymore. The determined will keep driving. Most serious accidents are caused by young male teens and those over 80. The last thing you need to deal with is knowing he could cause serious harm to others or worse, vehicular manslaughter.

Sounds like it is time to call in some additional help. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 12:48AM
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You and your family are allowing this person to control you. Call a family conference and decide what to do--and stick to it. Do not allow him to destroy your marriage, and let the family know you will not allow it. As to the driving, just have your husband either take the keys/car and put it in storage. As to the threats, do make sure he does not have or can get a gun. I personally would not put up with this. Sounds like the Dr is no help. It is called Tough Love.
Been there and done that!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 2:53PM
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My husband went to visit him and asked him for the 3rd time to please stop driving and gambling all of his money away. Grandpa went completely bezerk this time and told him he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. He said we will not tell him what to do and he will drive and now he is even going to gamble away more money. He said he is also changing his will. Then he lunged for him to try to choke him and threw him out. He has loaded guns. This is so awful. We are trying to get him in to see his doctor this week. The nurse said she will call him and tell him something to get him there.

Any ideas here of what we should do? We are trying to get medical power attorney and get him some drugs to calm him down. If we have medical power of attorney how will this help? Is the only solution a nursing home? My son thinks we are just delaying the problem and he will still have to go to a NH because he will never give up any control. Please help. We already have financial power of attorney . He needs a pill and not be allowed to give any more money away.

We visited a nursing home today and it was an awful one. We think it's sad because physically he can take care of himself pretty good, but if he is mentally unstable it cancels out his good physical condition. geesh

Maybe we can give him a pill to control his rage. But how do we get him to take it? Then after he is medicated maybe we could get the car and guns. Then do we need medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney to keep him from spending all his money? It sounds like we need a lawyer.

Thanks for ANY help. We are just at our wit's end here.

Rebecca Albreit

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 12:37AM
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You really do need a lawyer. I expect this will be a case where you will have to go before a judge and have him declared mentally incompetant. He could be a danger to others. I expect that he might be confined to a hospital until he was calmed down.

You need to document everything that he does that is not "normal." His court appearance may be just what is needed for others to see him. If he loses his temper there, you will have very good grounds to have him placed somewhere. The loaded guns and bad temper are scary!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 7:33AM
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Since he will be going to court for speeding ticket and driving without a license they may handle that problem for you. The guns, is it possible to remove them when he is at court?? As for spending/gambling his money away, it is his right. I can only imagine that would add to his rage. I would leave that part out of any discussion (with him or legal services) in trying to get help for him. Good luck in a difficult situation.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 10:45AM
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>>>> As for spending/gambling his money away, it is his right.

I don't think it is someone's right if they have lost their mind. This isn't like him. He is carrying $1000s of dollars on him and handing money to people on the street when he damages their cars or for a tip etc. I called an attorney this morning because this has to be stopped or he will be in a public aid NH because we have allowed him to give all his money away. I would want someone to stop me from doing this.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 11:21AM
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You have a very and I mean a very dangerous situation. This person must be stopped NOW. Obivously you husband cannot control the situation so someone in the family must contact a lawyer, medical dr and law enforcement immediatly. He has threatened your family many times and what is to stop him from killing all of you along with others. A nursing home will not take him under these conditions so he must be confined to a hospital for evulation and medical help. There could be many reasons for this behavior and may or may not be solved by meds. He could have had a stroke, may have tumors in the brain, cancer, or other problems. As to the money, contact the bank manager for suggestions. Another thing, when all his money is gone, the state may make you or other members of the family pay for his care due to the fact you did nothing to stop this person. If he threatens your family again, notify the law enforcement immediately for your and your neighbors protection.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 1:46AM
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"Another thing, when all his money is gone, the state may make you or other members of the family pay for his care due to the fact you did nothing to stop this person."

I seriously doubt that could happen. This is an adult and you have no control over another adult. Same with a child over 18. Let this be the least of your worries.

I've followed this thread, and can only say that I hope that there IS a solution for you.

Have you tried to talk to local police privately, and voice your what-ifs? They might have some ideas.

There is no way you can force someone to take medications, no matter how much they may need it. Even in a nursing home situation, a person can refuse. Patient's rights.

I wish I had an answer for you. But do try to talk to the police (not have them confront Grandpa, just for information for you), and talk to the attorney, altho there won't be a lot of help there, and if the attorney works for Grandpa you won't even get the time of day, due to client privacy.

Check your local agencies, mental health, adult protective services. Talk to everyone.

Best of luck----

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 10:03AM
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I am an RN who works on an inpatient psychiatric unit. From what you have written here, you have more than enough reasons to have him committed involuntarily to a psychiatric unit for evaluation and treatment. My suggestion would be that the next time he goes ballistic and threatens harm to others - call the police; being sure to tell them that he has loaded guns in the home. He will undoubably act out when they come and you can have them transport him to the nearest hospital - you do not have to go to a hospital that has a psychiatric facility; he can be transferred to one after he is evaluated. When you get to the ER, tell the staff that he is a danger to himself and others; and that you want to fill out a petition for involuntary admission to a psychiatric facility for evaluation and treatment.

You can pursue gardianship; and may, in fact, be able to obtain emergency guardianship while he is hospitalized. You will need to contact an attorney for this. The hospital case management group should be able to assist you with nursing home placement.

You actually can get a court order for involuntary administration of medications when the pt is proven to be a danger to self or others.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:40AM
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See my "bad day for all of us" post for the update on Grandpa. It pretty much went like you said other than they wanted to let him go because he was making nice when they saw him. Now it's almost 3:30am and I am still up worrying.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:26AM
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