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Aggression from my dad

InElysium

Registered User
Mar 14, 2011
37
0
Me and my Mum (80yo+) have just sat through an hour long aggressive episode from my 90yo Dad a few minutes ago, rude and vitriolic... Walking around like king of the house hostess mode while everyone is on egg shells. Almost impossible to get a proper diagnosis but between Alzheimers and Dementia symptoms I put it down to behaviour variant of frontotemporal dementia. It's so tough and difficult to ignore it every time.

Thankfully he has not (yet) been physically violent towards us but I dread the day each time he gets aggressive that this could be the day when he does strike out at my Mum or me. I don't think that day is far, while he has not raised a hand, he's hit doors, walls and furniture. I've noticed he has briefly looked for an object to launch.

We can't rely on medication because he is non-compliant with his meds and often throws them in the bin. The GP has cut down on his usually long list because it's sheer waste if he's going to bin them and even with the shortened list he's doing the same.

It always make me think - at what point does the line between domestic abuse and dementia merge?
If it's impossible to get a diagnosis recognised - is it domestic abuse? If it is dementia, does it excuse domestic abuse like behaviour?
 
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angelict

Registered User
Jan 16, 2020
153
0
Look after yourself you are in such a difficult position any change in behaviour tbh does need investigating a go would rule out physical causes has he maybe got a urine infection that can cause a major change in behaviour. Is there a number for your local older persons mental health team or a crisis number. The last resort would be 999 please be kind on yourself ♥️
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,806
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@InElysium , your father's behaviour is very much like my mother's was while she was at home. She could be fine and then something would send her into a total meltdown. Afterwards she would have no memory of it. Mum threatened violence, mainly towards the neighbours who she thought were stealing from her, and she did throw a lamp off her balcony much to the annoyance of the man in the flat below her, but her rages were mainly verbal. My brother and I and our families had an evening of her raging about how we were all deliberately freezing her Christmas 2018. We were all boiling in t-shirts while she was wrapped up in loads of layers. The whole thing wrung the rest of us out, but mum kept on saying how much she'd enjoyed Christmas. She never tried to physically harm any of us though.
Do you and your mum have a room you could go to with a lock on the door if your dad does look like he might try to harm either of you. I'd also keep a phone on you to call 999 if you are in danger.
My mother is now in a care home. They've managed her pretty well, but she can still be pretty feisty. Like your father her diagnosis of vascular dementia is pretty vague as she would never engage with the memory clinic. It was given by a psychiatrist who came to see her at home. The manager of the home thinks there is a degree of frontal temporal lobe damage as mum is also fairy sexually uninhibited too.
Do make sure you take care of yourself. I never felt in danger from my mother, but then I only saw her a couple of times a week, and could go home if she got too much.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
I would contact social services and let them know.

I would start a diary, if you can provide ‘ evidence’ of incidents you will be taken more seriously.

I would sign up to carelink or similar service, for mum . Pendant around neck , press the button and help summoned. ( Ask social services about this).

If mum can work a mobile phone then encourage her to select garments with pockets and keep a charged mobile on her, as @Sarasa recommends.

Consider a Pivotell to dispense his medication each day, that way it is not a person ‘telling him what to do’ ( talk to social services)

Discuss distraction techniques with mum.
Use mobile to call landline. ( No one there ???)
Oh is that a woodpecker in the garden?
Tea and cake?

Should the behaviour escalate and result in sectioning, you have a result!
Excellent care, experts looking to change things for the better. Never fear sectioning.
 

InElysium

Registered User
Mar 14, 2011
37
0
@angelict - Thank you, it's more difficult now to get any diagnosis at the moment and was never really convinced GPs could do anything. He gets angry whenever any surgery letter comes through the letterbox and hates any medical interventions.

I do sometimes think it would be better if he hit me so I can call the police and perhaps that will kick GPs into action. I'd rather take the hit and protect my Mum.

@Sarasa - Thank you. Strangely when he's out he puts on a fake facade so to everyone else he's the loveliest man in the world when he gets his way. If he doesn't he's cursing and swearing about them once he's home.

For instance, if he wants something from GP that the GP doesn't think he needs - once he's home he's swearing and criticing the stupid b****** / b**** saying they don't know what they're doing. Same with dentists. Once he had a mouth ulcer but he wanted the dentist to pull a tooth out which they wouldn't as there was nothing wrong with it. Again he was swearing and criticising the stupid b****** / b****.
You can see what I mean about where the line crosses with abuse / controlling or coercive behaviour.
Once the ulcer healed, there was no apology. No I was wrong. He's always right and always an answer for it.

The nearest we got was when GP arranged for a home assessment from geriatric mental health unit. He got angry with them and rudely chased them out of the house. That MH Dr has since changed jobs and put down on discharge report because Dad 'refused to engage' with services / scan. I remember that day vividly. They never got that far to ask, It's almost feels like - hey I'm changing jobs so I need to shift my caseload, allegedly. I guess it's like anything else, if he's not willing, you can't force him.

He's a very reactive patient. He's non-compliant so doesn't take daily / preventative meds. He won't take anything unless he's already ill and then says medicine is rubbish.

I can relate to the freezing and boiling. Because of his dementia, he seems to be unable to regulate temperature and appetite. He's always cold and constantly has heating on. Everyone else is boiling and mouths and throats are dry which without saliva is breeding ground for infections. Even tried to buy him his own heater but he's fixated on whole house heating. We've got thermostatic valves on radiators but it's a pain to be constantly turning them on and off all the time.

We don't have lockable rooms but we can just leave the room and retreat to bedroom and let him vent. Usually once he has vented the toxins it'll be like nothing happened. Lockable rooms would only make him more paranoid than he already is. He's always opening and closing doors repeatedly which is a known trait so having locks on doors will only make him think we're hiding something.

@Weasell - Thank you. I do keep notes on my phone if I get the chance to log it. I remember printing out one day entry which came out onto well over 10 pages of a word document to show GP. It was what initially made the GP arrange for the geriatic mental health assessment (above) back in 2019 but the discharge ended that.
I remember the GP in the past saying if he's non-compliant with meds, even if he prescribed dementia meds, he wouldn't take them anyway.
He's very cunning though. If there's every a review appointment he can't avoid, he'll constantly squeeze out his inhalers or blister packs so it looks like he's been taking them. Hence cutting down on wasted meds.
Best we can do is remain vigilant.
I don't think I will get mileage with Social Services if I can't get mileage with GP. It's also behavioural and not memory affected so his fake facade will kick in. The rudeness and temper towards the geriatric mental health Dr / assistant in the house was probably the first and nearest any medical professional will witness his behaviour behind closed doors. Even when the Dr / assistant was standing outside a few metres away from the house waiting for the taxi, they could still hear his shouting and cursing that they had to walk down the road and out of view!

I'm only officially my Mum's carer as she has mobility issues, I'm not an official carer for the Dad other than the fact I look after both as a family carer. I look after the day to day for everything so it has heightened his hostess mode where nothing is good enough. I've noticed that once I have gone out for shopping or errands, he will sneak out on the bus to town. Considering that he's in the clinically vulnerable group with COPD and 90yo he should be shielding and stay home, that is dangerous and there's no knowing what he might bring home. His frontotemporal lobe wants the most saturated, the most sweetest food available so he will come back with that because I don't have that stuff so it isn't readily available when he goes rummaging cupboards. I and my Mum eat healthily and there's always healthy food in the house so it's not like anyone is growing hungry. It's just not what his FT dementia cravings want.

Given that he's not very mobile at home and non-compliant with meds such as statins, you can see the damage he is doing to himself. The loss of appetite regulation and over eating plus his COPD, he's carrying too much weight that he and his body can carry. Any attempt to tell him or warn him only leads to anger.

Hey ho... hard to believe it when we can say that there are others in worse situations than we are in...
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
I would also consider installing a key safe by the front door.
If mum feels threatened she can leave the house quickly. If she doesn’t have time to grab her handbag with keys in it, this ensures easy access back into the house.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
I feel medicaion is your route out of it.
You say he is a big eater!
Hungry men sometimes eat Jaffa cakes like wolves!
If the correct medication was obtained, could the tablet accidentally slip its way into the jelly inside the second Jaffa cake ?
 

InElysium

Registered User
Mar 14, 2011
37
0
@Weasell Thanks. We both carry our own keys on us most of the time so that’s usually not a problem. I’m always home 99% of the time unless out for essential shopping.

If there was ever a risk to my Mum I would just get the police involved straight away and my Mum knows that’s the only option. Once he’s reached that stage there’s not much of Dad left, as harsh as that may sound.

As for the meds in food bit, I’ve never considered doing that as somehow it feels wrong and against his will.
I don’t know if anyone has done that and the ethics surrounding that. Is that a done thing in dementia families? I guess from all the years hearing GPs and HCAs saying “if he doesn’t want to take his meds, you can’t force him to.” Its always stuck with me.

I would have thought something like health / welfare would be under some sort of power of attorney or court of protection? I’ve heard those banded around in discussions but never really sat down properly to see what’s what.

The one thing I noticed this week was that aggression discussions were under the middle to later stages section of the forum.
Not sure if that’s where my Dad is at or whether I’m reading too much into the categories and symptoms will vary widely that he could be at any stage. I think I’m overthinking it.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
@Weasell Thanks. We both carry our own keys on us most of the time so that’s usually not a problem. I’m always home 99% of the time unless out for essential shopping.

If there was ever a risk to my Mum I would just get the police involved straight away and my Mum knows that’s the only option. Once he’s reached that stage there’s not much of Dad left, as harsh as that may sound.

As for the meds in food bit, I’ve never considered doing that as somehow it feels wrong and against his will.
I don’t know if anyone has done that and the ethics surrounding that. Is that a done thing in dementia families? I guess from all the years hearing GPs and HCAs saying “if he doesn’t want to take his meds, you can’t force him to.” Its always stuck with me.

I would have thought something like health / welfare would be under some sort of power of attorney or court of protection? I’ve heard those banded around in discussions but never really sat down properly to see what’s what.

The one thing I noticed this week was that aggression discussions were under the middle to later stages section of the forum.
Not sure if that’s where my Dad is at or whether I’m reading too much into the categories and symptoms will vary widely that he could be at any stage. I think I’m overthinking it.
You are quite correct about the medication, it was very silly of me to mention it.
It is not a ‘dementia thing at all? Most people would never consider it.
In a professional situation it would take a multi disciplinary team to approve it.

I am afraid having experienced the life story a friend who’s head came in contact with a fireplace, I am over protective of my family. It is a personal thing.
 

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