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Question about aging father's odd behavior....!!

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Old 11-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #1
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Question about aging father's odd behavior....!!

I am writing about some recent “issues” regarding my beloved father. He is very well-educated and has a great professional career. However, he has always been a little lacking in manners and common sense. He is 62 years old now but in great physical shape, athletic, and doesn’t look his age at all.

In the last few years and lately when visiting my parents house - have noticed some things which drive my mom, siblings, and I crazy. He is getting very strange in his older age, possibly a medical condition??

Here are some examples: constantly has food stuck on the front of his teeth, especially lower row. Most notable is pepper specks, but I have seen pieces of chicken, etc. This has been observed by multiple people on a fairly regular basis after meals, even in public places. We comment immediately but he brushes off our advice & continues on, making zero effort to clean or remedy the problem - I myself would go immediately to bathroom. He even has been known to leave mustard on the side of his face/mustache and not be concerned enough to wipe it off when we ask him to. My father talks to waiters this way and it’s very embarrassing. He literally will ignore our requests or say it’s ok and doesn’t bother him personally. We are gentle about it, but when I have mentioned that I’m leaving the table unless he grooms himself properly, he gets angry & clenches his jaw while saying I shouldn’t be that concerned about it.

Also while out to eat, makes repeated (about twice a meal) comments to wait staff such as "wow, this is a nice wine glass, is it free to take home tonight?" or "I sure would like to have these plates and silverware, I can have them right?" You should see the odd, shocked looks he gets. He makes off the wall, goofy comments.

Recently went on a two day business trip out-of-state to meet with some company heads, lawyers, etc. Found out afterward he conveniently forgot to bring a toothbrush & then claimed that the hotel concierge was charging $4 which he declined to pay. So he went two days without teeth brushing to save the measly $4 when I myself would have gladly paid $30 for a toothbrush had I been meeting with those individuals.

If anyone in the household opens the fridge door AT ALL he immediately drops what he’s doing to come investigate, literally looking over your shoulder and supervising the “fridge activities.” He gets mad if you look for even five seconds - get in and out seems to be the motto! I’m not sure if he is worried about the energy conservation (light on) or what? I have also noticed him leaving perishable items out on the counter top to avoid opening the fridge door. These items include but are not limited to: milk, meat, bacon, and cheese. This is of course unsanitary but also strange.

Unless utilizing bathroom for a #2 - he absolutely REFUSES to flush the toilet on main floor (near kitchen.) He urinates in the toilet, then even has the nerve to leave the lid open. This includes when guests are over or coming over. Almost like he doesn’t want to waste the water. This is downright disgusting and the minimal amount of water can certainly be afforded.

When walking into the house, he has to announce loudly “hello, I’m home” multiple times, and expects a response. Often we are busy - talking on phone, talking with guests, watching a TV program, or cooking. He expects you to drop what you’re doing, put your guest on hold, and respond to his loud outburst. My family finds this rude and his remarks almost always get ignored, but that doesn’t stop him from announcing his arrival daily for months now.

If you are in a room, he will walk in and shut the light off on you - of course knowing you are in the room, whether reading or whatever the case may be.

He has been claiming the vacuum is too loud, so the house can only be cleaned while he is away. Yet his hearing hasn‘t changed and the vacuum never was an issue until recently.

When pulling into the garage or parking spots in public, he will maneuver and reposition the car 5-8 times, going back and forth, only marginally moving the automobile.

My father also creates his own wastebaskets, notably on the edge of kitchen island counter - mostly for papers, letters, junk mail, etc. Thinks its ok to pile it up there until someone else throws it away, can’t seem to make the extra effort to throw it himself.

Lastly, the man makes up pet names for people (mostly family.) Despite being told never to call them that, he continues - almost like we never mentioned how much we hate these silly names - in one ear & out the other I suppose. Getting angry does nothing to phase him. We often wonder if he does these things to push our buttons and create resentment. One final thing, he insists on some type of physical greeting. But this is required every hour or so. Spending the day with him takes multiple long handshakes, or he puts his arms around your shoulders and almost shakes you back and forth. It’s not a simple gesture - normal hug or shake. It’s prolonged, physical, and weird.

Any ideas? This makes us want to commit either him or ourselves to a psych ward!! Thanks.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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Re: Question about aging father's odd behavior....!!

It almost sounds like your father is strating the have some dementia issues.. When was the lsat time he was in to see his doctor? Has he had a good thorough check up? What I would do is write out a list of things-like you told us-that your father has started doing that is not the norm. Then get the list to the doctor-or talk with him before your dad has a check up. That way his docotr has a heads up why you are having him tested. You can tell you dad that he has to be checked for his drivers license or some such nonsense if you need to. But do get him in.

The behavior you mentioned certainly isn't normal behavior, and it bears looking into. there are mental tests that can be done to see if your dad is having problems...

good luck-and I hope it's nothing more than the desire to irritate you!

Last edited by ibake&pray; 11-07-2011 at 10:43 AM.

Old 11-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Question about aging father's odd behavior....!!

I agree about getting your dad evaluated because my husband did things at restaurants and other places that made me very uncomfortable and he was evaluated and had dementia. I no longer take him to a restaurant and bring food home. He no longer drives and I don't argue with him since the wires in his brain are not functioning like they used to. There are support groups you can go to and learn about these strange behaviors. Best wishes.

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