Abuse Feed

Embarrassing Social Behavior Can Stem from a Number of Causes

AgressionDear Carol: My dad has always been blunt with his words and loud when he’s unhappy with some service but lately he’s become publically belligerent over the slightest irritation. I find this humiliating. A recent example was when we went to a fairly nice restaurant and there was a spot on his spoon. It was just a water spot and could have been wiped off, but he made a huge scene. The waiter apologized and brought him clean silverware but Dad kept shouting that this is no way to run a business. I wanted to crawl under the table. Is this just old age affecting him? He’s 76 and he can’t drive anymore because of his eyes so we try to help out. I’m not sure what to do about his behavior or if there’s anything that I can do. What would you suggest other than not take him out in public, which, I’ll admit, we have considered.  GE

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Caring for Parents Who Didn't Take Proper Care of You

Depressed...Now her parents are getting frail. Nancy had been through a lot of therapy so she could learn to cope with her childhood issues. She's come to terms with the fact that her father did what he thought he was supposed to do. She rightly felt, as a child, that he should recognize and stop the abuse her mother was doling out. Through therapy, she has learned to forgive her father for his lack of involvement and the fact that he didn't stop the abuse.

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Alcohol and Dementia Can Be Toxic, Complex Terrain

Aggression

Dear Carol: My husband has been a recovering alcoholic for years, but after we both retired he started having a drink here and there. It didn’t seem like a problem until he started to show symptoms of dementia. He was eventually diagnosed with mixed Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. I’m not sure whether he forgets how much he’s had to drink or his alcoholism has caught up with him. He often becomes angry and on a couple of occasions he’s become threatening. He also falls after he’s been drinking, which is scary. I can’t get him to stop drinking or to return to his recovery meetings. I think I could care for him with his dementia at home for some time if he didn’t drink, but I’ve become afraid of him. His doctor tells him not to drink, but that does no good. He drives to the store to get alcohol and once, when the car was being fixed, he took a cab. I feel isolated, frightened and lonely. How do I handle this? DSR 

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Primary Caregiver Often Takes Brunt of Abuse

DepressedDear Carol: My mother was both physically and verbally abusive to me when I was growing up but the last 15 years, since I’ve been out of the house, we got along pretty good. Then, last year, she was diagnosed with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s. That’s when we decided that I should move in with her so that I could provide care. I had to quit work to do this, but Mom and my two siblings were all on board for Mom paying me a small monthly stipend to care for her.

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Caring for Parents Who Were Abusive to During Your Childhood

AloneDear Carol: Both of my parents were abusive alcohol and drug addicts. My mother died years ago. My dad and I have reconciled to some degree after he got help for his alcoholism and drug use. I believe I’ve forgiven him, and am trying to help him during what are probably his last years, but I still have flashbacks.  I get angry when he becomes difficult, though since he’s had two strokes I should be able to understand his frustration. In the past, I sought counseling, but my counselor doesn’t understand how hard it is to take care of aging parents. Can you help me map out how I can take care of dad’s needs without risking my own mental health? TM

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Potential Hospice Help Sometimes Rejected because of Misinformation

Alzheimers_elder_caregiver6Dear Carol: I know from reading your column that you are a champion of hospice care. We want our loved ones to be comfortable, so providing drugs for pain relief makes sense to me. Even stopping treatment that is meant to cure a disease when the person is past the stage when that treatment will help makes sense. What doesn’t make sense to me is when hospice won’t give food or even liquids. Aren’t people hungry? Isn’t this causing death? Ronny

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Global Alzheimer’s Study Now Enrolling


Caregiving: Setting Boundaries in Toxic Relationships

...Yet, it's natural for adult children to love their parents and even want to care for them as they age. If your parents abused you when you were a child, how do you care for them without harming yourself by being subjected to ongoing criticism and abuse?

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer