Aggression from Mum (she has dementia)

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bettybee, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Bettybee

    Bettybee Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    I went to see Mum and Dad this morning as I always do on a Saturday. I also go during the week to cook and clean, but I bake for them on a Saturday. Mum is on medication and she seems to be quite settled. But this morning I was totally shocked by her behaviour and wondered if this has happened to you and maybe you could advise.
    She is increasingly relying on food for comfort as she goes to the cupboard a lot for a cake here and there or she may get through a packet of biscuits. She will even get up after she's gone to bed and go to the kitchen and snack. But that is not the worry. (She has had various scans and although she is very light, she is healthy.) Mum looked in the tin I put on the side and was quite excited to see the raspberry buns I'd made. She wanted one and Dad said no. This is because she will snack on cakes etc and not want a proper meal later for her evening meal. As Dad was putting the lid back on she attacked him. She clenched her fists and thumped him just like a cornered boxer would, first one fist then the other, right in his stomach, half a dozen times. She was furious and her face was white. Dad just stood there and took it. It was an awful moment. She was fuming and walked away said ''I have lived here all my life and you do not tell me what to do!''
    She has said this a few times, especially when care workers arrived and she didn't want them in her house but we no longer have them and she has been so much better since I have been caring for her. I know just what to say to her and how to say it.
    But I wanted to know the best way to deal with this. I can't have her assaulting Dad like this but I don't think she understands the seriousness of what she has done. He is in his 80s, they both are. He must be bruised after that. I don't know if she's done this before and he hasn't told me. It's obviously frustration and she won't be told what to do. Any ideas?
  2. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Oh crikey :( I have no ideas myself only sympathies, and Yes do wonder if it's happened before and your Dad hasn't said.
    My Mum with Alzheimers has a fascination with all things sweet too.
    Mum hasn't shown any agression, but quite often frustration with Dad.
    Dad has cognitive impairment and cannot take anything on board that you (or Alzheimers Key Worker ) says, as far as strategies or coping skills when dealing with Mum when shes being difficult.
    Mum has said to me twice over the past 2 years, laughingly, she gets so mad with him she could kill him :eek: its hard to know when I would take this seriously??

    Will be interested to hear from others also.
  3. 99purdy

    99purdy Registered User

    Oct 31, 2014
    Hi, just read your comments and could not just read and run. My Dad is also very aggressive, he has assaulted staff at the care home, hospital and even other patients. Luckily for me I am able to duck and dive when he starts. I understand exactly where you are coming from, it is so shocking to see. I have apologised, on his behalf, on numerous occasions. The only way myself and the care home staff deal with him is just agree with every thing he wants, obviously nothing that would harm him or others. We also just walk away when he shows signs of being aggressive. He is very unpredictable. The Doctor has prescribed diazipam for when he starts to get annoyed. I feel very sorry for you and your Dad I don't really know what the answer would be for your Mum. But just to let you know you are not alone and I am sure lots of people on TP will give lots of moral support. X
  4. davesmum

    davesmum Registered User

    Feb 20, 2015
    No, you are not alone. My aunt can also be aggressive and for a 6 stone 80 year old she can pack a punch. She was admitted to hospital because she discovered a taste for wine at 79 yrs old. She had fallen 3 times and was taken in for assessment. When she arrived there she assaulted 3 staff members and hurt her hand bashing a locked door. They then sectioned her and started her on anti-psychotics, this calmed her down and there were no more violent incidents until she was released into a care home 6 weeks later. On her first night there she punched 2 staff members. The next day when I was trying to leave, she assaulted another two as she also wanted to leave. They have told me today that her anti-psychotic drug (respiridone?) had been reduced in the hospital but it was now to be increased again. At home she shouted and screamed at me but was never physical although I could see she was getting worse. Sorry I can't help you more, I am fairly new to this whole thing but learning more on this forum than I've learned from the "experts". Good luck. x
  5. Bettybee

    Bettybee Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. I am sure a lot of it is frustration and with Mum I know it is about being told 'No.' She reacts as a child would. She was aggressive at the beginning of last year, and then when diagnosed and put on meds she hasn't shown any since. That was last March. I have no idea where this sudden outburst came from. I have read an awful lot about dementia and I am beginning to understand it so much more. But I am a little frustrated at the lack of advice in how to handle certain situations.
  6. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    Sorry I also don't have any helpful advice except commiserate with you. Mum had significant aggression last year it was horrific. Mum has recently been moved to a full dementia ward which is far less busy. Mum ,really really hope it stays, appears to have calmed down. Even the staff were geared up for the aggression to return with the move.
    Having said that after reading this forum I do realise people just move on pass the aggression. Unfortunately for some families the aggression can stay quite a while.
    My concern in this scenario is your dad , poor thing.
    I hope you are able to have assistance from the medical professionals to assist
  7. Pottingshed50

    Pottingshed50 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2012
    Oh dear I do sympathise, these dear little old ladies (I have one 95 frail but punches like Mike Tyson). Our Mum is in a Care home but as you have the problem at home, may I suggest as you would do with a 'child' you hide your lovely cakes, somewhere Dad knows where they are and so the temptation is not there, or just leave one in the tin. Our Mum's memory is that she would not recall if there had been 20 in the tin or 2 so may be it will work.

    Poor Dad I do sympathise with him. Poor chap.
  8. Bettybee

    Bettybee Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    I've suggested that to Dad. He takes some out of the tin and keeps just one or two for her to find. Trouble is she's so determined she homes in on the hidden tin like a missile. Lol. But on a serious note, I must persuade Dad to take her to the doctor to review her meds. I am sure they are well overdue for revision. She is on various, and I wonder how they are all reacting or maybe cancelling some out with this medication from the memory clinic.

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