• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Aggressive most of time

Jane D

New member
May 24, 2021
My Mum has had Dementia for nearly 10 years. She still lives in own flat and carers go in twice a day. Myself and siblings visit weekly.
For quite a while she has been so aggressive whether with us the carers, doctor when they visit, foot nurse, anyone.
Whatever we try to do to help she throws an awful tantrum. Swearing or shouting. Lashing out sometimes.
We've not been able to wash / cut her hair, cut her toe nails ( foot nurse unsuccessful) She told nurse she'd throw water all over her !
She keeps curtains closed all day. Turns off lights when we visit.
Tells us to go away and leave her alone.
Does anyone have tips , advice on how to give her help
Do others have similar problems ?
Yesterday I visited and she seemed scared of a full black plastic bin bag I was about to get rid of .
What is it that makes sufferers so aggressive ?
Sorry for going on so long


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
Hi sorry to hear about your Mum.
My Mum had Alzheimers and Dad Vascular/Frontal lobe dementia.
They both passed away this year.

In my experience any type of infection especially a UTI can cause agression. I had this with both my parents.
I think it just upsets the body chemistry & electrolytes… certainly with dehydration.
Does your Mum drink enough?

The other causes are any other advancing illness/virus or pain.
and also just a progression of their dementia. Confusion , memory and cognitive impairment and trying to make sense of the world when your brain is misfiring.
With both my parents they were put in a low dose anti psychotic
Mum Quetiapine , Dad Respiradone.
It gave them some quality of life back. It was much easier for the care home and us to pick up on a potential UTI, as their behaviour would change suddenly,


Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
Hi @Jane D and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. It sounds like you need to talk to your mum’s GP and social worker (if she has one) about what could be done to help her. It could well be she has an infection, but it also sounds like she could now do with more support.
Do you or your siblings have Power of Attorney as it sounds like you may shortly have to make some difficult decisions about whether she can still remain at home or whether a care home might be more appropriate. If you have it makes things easier. If not you may need to consider Deputyship.


Registered User
May 21, 2018
Hello @Jane D

If infection has been ruled out, I agree that a review of medication may be beneficial for your mum. My mum was very aggressive much of the time and reviews of medication did help over the years.. Even regular paracetamol can be useful (with the GP!s approval) in case there is pain or discomfort present.

An anti depression/anti anxiety medication can be very helpful and improve quality of life. Mum was given Mirtazapine which did help a great deal.

This link might be useful:


Jane D

New member
May 24, 2021
Many thanks for reply. My Mum was on medication for some years but then we found she'd hidden tablets, spat them out when carers not looking. Never liked medication even before dementia came along. So her GP took her off the Donepizil ( think that's the name ?)
But it's something I will speak to GP about again .

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Yesterday I visited and she seemed scared of a full black plastic bin bag I was about to get rid of .

Your mum might have been seeing the plastic bag as something other than it was. It might be advisable to get her checked for visual disturbances.


Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
Seeing ordinary things but believing them to be something else is not unusual. I knew someone who was convinced that a black bag in her garden was a rabbit She would not rest until her brother came over (a 30 mile trip) to remove it. My wife believed that a tree in the valley at the end of our street was a man watching the house, waiting to steal our dog. This sort of mistake seems to be common. It can be frightening for the person and may spark aggression if challenged or made light of.

Resistance to personal and other care can also be a source of aggression. My wife went through a phase of this in her care home, several weeks after she seemed to have settled in. Replacing Donepezil with Memantine seemed to help. Lorazepam was prescribed for times when she could not be calmed down otherwise. it has not been necessary for about 18 months as the aggressive phase seems to have passed.

Dealing with aggression and finding the triggers and causes can be challenging.
But it is worth persevering in order to improve quality of life. Speaking to your Mum's GP would be a good start.
Last edited: