How could someone do the things he’s done to their own family?
Unless you’ve been through it, you will never know how vicious your own parents can become. My 80-year-old father, who was once rock-solid and responsible, suddenly turned into a 17-year-old boy. He did nothing but chase women (of all ages), tell lies, had a restraining order taken out on him by a “girlfriend,” turned all his assets over to his sister, and then have a lawyer send me a letter to leave him alone when I was trying to help him see that he was going to get seriously hurt by his risk-taking behaviors. I am his only child. He has only one grandchild. He has stabbed us both in the back. It was probably the biggest hurt anyone has ever done to me. I’m still at a loss as to how someone could do the things he’s done to their own family.
I’m sorry to learn that you are going through such a traumatic experience.
I’m not a doctor, but your description of his new behavior suggests that the frontal lobe of your father’s brain has been damaged.
According to healthline.com:
“The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate.”
If the change in his personality was indeed “sudden,” he may have suffered a “mild” stroke that affected only parts of his frontal lobe. So-called mini-strokes, TIAs and silent strokes typically last only a few moments and may not have been noticeable by anyone else. It may even have happened while he was asleep.
On the other hand, his change in behavior could indicate that he is now in a moderately advanced stage of dementia, especially if he began showing other memory changes over the past several years. For example, he may have been showing increasing forgetfulness that he and family members passed off as “typical signs of aging.”
Unfortunately, your options appear to be limited, especially if he is legally competent. Talk to an attorney who specializes in elder law about your options, including the possibility of having him declared mentally incompetent and having a guardian — hopefully you — appointed by a court.
If you do become his legal guardian, he should be tested to find out exactly what is going on. Should his problems be due to a stroke, there are a variety of medications that can reduce the possibility of future strokes. If his problems result from dementia, there are medications that can help slow the progression of the disease.
I wish you the best in these trying times.