“My Dad Has Dementia-He’s Being Horrible to Me!”

Please Share

I’m hearing this same painful thing a lot lately.

Aging parents who have “early dementia” are refusing help and verbally abusing their adult kids who are trying to help.

In all these situations, the aging parent was a controlling type person before dementia developed. It could have been a business owner, a professor, a CFO of a corporation. The nearby adult child is is trying hard to protect mom or dad from himself or herself. The parent is uncooperative. In fact, in all these cases, the parent has turned on the very person who is trying to supervise, protect or otherwise do the right thing for Mom or Dad.

“You’re stealing from me!” is an accusation the adult children are hearing. (It’s not true in these cases. to which I’m referring) “You don’t care about me, you’re just trying to lock me up!” is another accusation.

This could be you. When your aging parent turns paranoid, accusatory, abusive and unreasonable, what can you do?

For the millions of adult children and spouses of loved ones with dementia, this scenario is real. Money is a focal issue, as your aging parent so often believes that someone is stealing his money. If there is a Durable Power of Attorney the parent signed some time ago, your parent becomes enraged and cancels it. (Unfortunately, until declared incompetent, they can revoke a DPOA).

Or, if they’re getting in trouble with money and the adult child tries to persuade them to sign a DPOA, they refuse. The parent is at risk for being ripped off because of poor judgment about money.

I’ll share with you the advice I’m giving to these exhausted adult children at AgingParents.com. It’s not easy, but we all have to have a plan in these very challenging situations.
First, try to get cooperation from your aging parent’s doctor. Because of confidentiality, the doctor can’t discuss your parent’s medical affairs without your parent’s permission. If you don’t have permission, you can still communicate with the doctor, even if he/she can’t respond. You can write to him or her.

I encourage adult children to jointly write a letter to the doctor explaining your concerns. E.g., “we’re all worried about Dad because he is verbally abusive, has made many mistakes with money lately and his behavior is erratic. Give an example or several. Have all involved sign the letter. The doctor is now on notice of the problem and may request an appropriate evaluation.
The doctor may be more persuasive than family in getting your elderly parent to accept help.

Second, if your aging parent is not only refusing help but is clearly unable to care for himself or herself, you can call a family meeting and brainstorm about the best way to approach your parent. Two heads really are better than one. One adult child may be able to get through to Mom better than anyone and it’s worth a try to make that person the kids’ emissary. If everyone in the family and perhaps a best friend is willing to approach your parent, you may be able to get your parent to accept that help is necessary.

Third, if your parent is in danger with extreme self-neglect and he or she has alienated the family with abusive behavior, you can contact your local adult protective services, part of the social services department. Report the self-neglect. Be specific about what you see at your parent’s home.

A social worker can investigate and sometimes, if your parent is truly a danger to himself, the county where your parent lives can begin guardianship proceedings. Contact your Area Agency on Aging for information if you’re not sure where to start. A guardianship attorney is a good source of information about this problem.

A word to you if you’re at your wit’s end with your aging parent: being a good daughter or son or other relative doesn’t mean you must wear a target on your back. You don’t have to tolerate continued mistreatment. Some aging parents can’t be managed by family. That’s ok. Professionals can do a better job with these extremely difficult aging parents who are just too much for you.

Your own health and peace of mind is every bit as important as your parents’ care. Separate yourself from whatever is causing you harm and let others care for your loved one.

And thank yourself for having the courage to admit your limitations.

Until next time,

Carolyn Rosenblatt,

AgingParents.com

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • Intrusion or Just Being Safe? Monitoring Aging Parents’ Finances June 13, 2017
    For most adult children with aging parents, there is often the dilemma of whether or not they should be involved with monitoring their aging parents spending habits. You want to honor their independence, but what if they show signs of…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Heed These Warnings About Aging Parents’ Medications June 9, 2017
    Is your aging parent one of the many battling Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and taking medication? Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk, a Silicon Valley, California-based geriatrician, recently quoted in an article in The Mercury News, strongly advises against elders…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • What Aging Parent Leaves A Legacy of No Regrets? April 19, 2017
    Does it seem impossible that a person can reach his last days and look back without any regrets at all? What does it take? We all seem to regret our mistakes and some of our choices in life. At AgingParents.com, we…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Avoid These Three Retirement Mistakes That Can Make A Mess For Your Family April 7, 2017
    Retirement talk is on a roll. With 10,000 Boomers turning 65 every day, no wonder. But besides advice on how to “live the life of your dreams” and have a “secure retirement” there’s some important information too few are taking…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief