A difficult topic...


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
I originally sent this post to a moderator but as he suggested I should post it afterall here it is:

I've got another question but I don't want to post it for fear it will upset people and make caring harder for some.

Seeing as you seem to have managed to keep a loving relationship with your wife despite the disease, i thought you might be the best to ask.

My mother used to be the primary carer for my father, and over the years I've often worried about the way my parents argued with each other, even before the disease.

Anyway my question is, is it ever okay for the carer to hit the person with dementia? Not that that is necessarily happening just that Dad had bruises, not large ones, just marks on his arms, so I worried. Sounds like a stupid question and you may not be the one to answer it because no doubt its different when you are dealing with a dementia patient bigger and rougher than yourself, who won't do the things you want them to do. My mum as far as I know never hit Dad as such, but she did confess to me of rolling up a newspaper.... She also told me of a time when she took to hosing him out of the car when he refused to get out. She said that she was worried he'd suffer from the heat, to which I though she should have just opened all the doors, parked the car in the shade and let him come out when he was ready.

Am I being too judgemental of her, is this normal behaviour for a carer stressed out to the max?

Would appreciate your opinion,

NOTE: My mother no longer cares for my Dad he is now in a home, but the stress this situation caused me, still bugs me and I thought others may have suffered the same.
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Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
In my opinion it is never ok for a carer to hit a sufferer. That's the theory.

But I'm sure it can happen, the stress is so great. If it does, the sufferer will forget quickly. I imagine the carer won't forget so easily.

But the carer should only need to have done it once, to make them be so alarmed that they then get a hold of themselves thereafter.

A rolled up paper could be all right if used gently, but there should be no bruises! Remember that bruises also happen as accidents anyway because they lose their spatial awareness, or may collapse or just bump into things.

Carers need to work out some strategies to sort these situations without recourse to any form of violence.

Problem is you can't always reason with someone who is a ways into their dementia, so it is so easy to get frustrated. If you can't reason with them and they are in danger of something, then it is a problem. What can you do?

I never reached this stage because I would always turn my anger/concern in on myself. The times I banged my head on the wall!

Does anyone have any suggestions as to their approaches in these situations?

Mary Poppins

Registered User
Sep 20, 2005
Those difficult times

This is the first time I have ever joined anything like this so bear with me! My Dad has Alzheimers and has been diagnosed for 5 years. My Parents never had a cross word and I had never heard my mother swear before my dads illness. My theory on the stress is that I know My Mum wants my dad back and she knows she can't have him as he is going further away from her and the frustration of the moment when you want the person you have shared your life with for nearly 60 years to respond in the way they used to must be immeasurable. I know the constant questions and obsessions get to her and sometimes shouting at my father gives her a release but it doesn't change anything. She has never hit him but I worry that he might hit her. My dad always had a strong personality so it hasn't got any easier because of his illness. I don't think hitting anyone is the answer but it easy for anyone else to judge your mother but caring for someone like my dad is something I never thought any of us would have to face. Who knows how we would react ourselves dealing with it for 24/7. Please forgive your mother and forgive yourself none of us are perfect :)


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
A carer should never hit a sufferer,if you do you have lost it.
I have been so frustrated at times that I have been very near to doing it
I too have literally banged my head on a door,walls are too hard I find.
If I haven't got a door handy I walk away,have a good cuss and then return when I have cooled down
I think to hit some one would cause a great deal of guilt to the carer,not to the sufferer,they would forget quickly.
If a carer is becoming constantly angry and finding it difficult to control their feelings,this may be the time to seek advice from the GP.


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005

Thanks guys I'll take your comments on board.

I needed to read the responses to this post, just to confirm my thoughts.

It was very stressful for me at the time.

Its amazing in fact the reduction in stress I have now that my Dad is in a nursing home just up the road from me. He takes up more of my life now, but I don't have to worry as much about him.

Thanks again to those that replied and I hope if anyone else has been in a similar situation to me, they too get some relief from knowing they're not alone.
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