Alzheimers and violence

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Poppetweb, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. My mother cares for my father full time apart from Mondays and Wednesdays for a few hours when he attends day care. He was diagnosed as an Alzheimers sufferer about 5 years ago. I have been reading much of your website regarding the progressive degenerative state of the patient and until recently I felt that my mother was coping. (My father is 74 and my mother is 66). I am now worried for her safety (a diabetic) because my father has started to become violent, something total out of character even 6 months ago. My mother has bruises on her body from where he has kicked her and he has even held her up against a wall and threatened her. He sometimes crys afterwards because he has realised what he has done. They have been together since 1957 but married in 1962. I am worried that she is going to have a heart attack or something similar. My father also has a hernia and prostate cancer which is being controlled but this does not stop him doing what he does. Is my mother's safety at risk so much that she must consider care for my father. What can I do without interfering.
  2. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi Poppetweb,

    I think I would actually want to 'interfere' at this point, for both your parents sakes. Have you been talking to your Mum about this? Does your Dad have a social worker? How about talking to their doctor? It's one thing for your Mum to keep coping but when aggression comes into play there's a lot to be said for seeking help and may be your Mum needs someone (you?) to step in and take action, hard though it is.

    All the best,
  3. Thanks Nada and daughter.

    My mother gets some support from her doctor and CPN. As you will know they are not there 24 hours a day and sometimes my dad won't go to bed for up to three nights in a row. I don't think there is any answer to this particular situation.
  4. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    Do the doctor and CPN know the full story? Because if they do then they should be doing something about it quickly! The health of both your parents is at risk, apart from the effect this will be having physically and emotionally on your mother, she won't be able to physically stop your father doing any silly things (like wandering off) that the AD may make him want to do. Please make sure the CPN knows exactly what is happening, ring him or her so you don't have to talk in front of your parents if necessary.
    Take care, and let us know how the situation progresses.
  5. JoJo

    JoJo Registered User

    Sep 25, 2003

    I don't know whether this is of any use but my dad is not yet violent although has confessed he often feels tempted to use violence against my mum. His CPN has said in the past there is medication which can be used to reduce agression.

    Best of luck

  6. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi poppetweb
    you must speak to your Dr and CPN,and make sure that they are aware of the situatiion regarding Dad's violence.
    You should also be contacting Social services for help.
    You are not interfering but Mum coauld be at risk

    Best wishes
  7. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi Poppetweb,

    Welcome to Talking Point.

    I would echo what others have already said. You need to make sure that the GP and CPN have the FULL picture, which may mean communicating directly with them. Your mother may feel very reticent to discuss this type of behaviour, even though it is entirely due to the AD, with "outsiders". If your father is going for three nights without sleep and being physically violent towards your mother serious medical attention is needed. It is also possible that some other medical problem (causing pain or depression for example) is responsible for your father's behavioural change.

    At this stage, I would say that your parents need all the support that you can offer and while it might feel like "interfering" at first, in the long run it will be seen as essential.

    The GP and CPN can advise on medications that might be helpful, but it's also worth looking at triggers for violent behaviours. Because this disease is constantly changing the person affected, coping strategies that worked for both of your parents six months ago may no longer be effective now. Aggressive behaviour can just be a phase, possibly relating to greater feelings of frustration and less conscious control of emotions.

    Here are some interesting web sites that discuss aggressive behaviour and AD:

    Alzheimer's Society Factsheet

    Take care and keep posting!

  8. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Dear Poppetweb, my Mum was violent for a while, I told the medical team and they prescribed something to help. Please do as the others suggest, talk to your Mum and get help for them before any real harm is done. Hope things improve soon, thinking of you, love She. XX
  9. Violence

    Thanks for all your advice but it's not always possible to get involved when a couple have been together for a long time and know each other as well as they do. They are a unit, one in union, not separate people.
  10. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    They are a unit, one in union, not separate people.

    ..which is as it should be.

    but then Jan and I were like that, and, painful though it is having someone so much a part of you living elsewhere, if their needs are being catered for more effectively that way, and if the carer is also less worn down by the second-by-second business of caring, then it can work.

    Key point is that the decision should only be in the hands of the couple concerned - unless the second person's safety is genuinely at risk. If your Mum isn't ready for it yet, then so be it, and let's hope that she is not damaged at some time.

    The key thing is that the GP must be informed of the situation.
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Hi, Brucie sums it up in the words, GP must be informed. Even if you feel you darn't interfere, for every one's sake, do inform the GP of the current situation. If any thing should happen and the GP was not aware of the gravity, he would not be best pleased. Thinking of you, know how hard this all is, love She. XX
  12. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Poppetweb,

    Now is definitely the time to step in to the breach. Your GP needs to know asap.

    Violence and aggression are sadly all part of this horrible disease and can be controlled. Hopefully it will be just a transition stage and your father will settle down again.

    My parents have been married for 63 years and they both have AD. My father became verbally aggressive towards my mother and physically violent towards myself on a couple of occasions. Our GP prescribed some drugs to calm him down which I gave to my father in times of dire need when he seemed to be winding up and extremely agitated. It worked and the medication was only necessary for a couple of days on two separate occasions until he felt relaxed again. Such medication has not been necessary now for over 18 months.

    At the time that Dad became violent we had just moved house and he was feeling confused and out of control. His only way of protesting was probably to react in the way that he did at the time. It was a real shock because he has always been very mild and peaceful and never shown any inclination towards violence in his life before. Still, it was a very worrying time because he was just so unpredictable then.

    Do contact your GP as soon as you can.

    Best wishes,

  13. #13 Poppetweb, Jun 15, 2005
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2005
    Everyone's advice

    Thanks for everyone's advice. :)

    I have made my decision - whether or not it's the one you would like me to make is, well, debatable. :confused:

    My dad goes for day care twice a week so my mum has the opportunity, if she so wishes, to make an appointment at the doctors and speak to him herself and show him her bruises.

    Only she can decide the best course of action I have decided.


  14. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Hi Paul, I understand where your coming from, but.... Please make sure that you are there for your Mum, to safe guard her, it's too late after the event, you would never forgive yourself. She may well try to hide the bruises and hurt from you too. A black eye can be the result of a fall, as can a broken arm or leg, but then again...... I am sorry, but, the reason I say this is not to hurt you, but alert you, you must monitor the situation extremely closely. I myself sported a black eye my Mum gave me when I tried to help her undress, (she was going home to her own house of 40 years ago she informed me, not staying in this awful place, my home that is.) Next day, I had to attend my uncle's will reading with the solicitor as an executor. Of course, I lied about the black eye, we all do it.Thinking of you all in this difficult situation, love She. XX
  15. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Hi Paul,

    I agree with Sheila on this. Please do keep a very close watch on your mother.

  16. Away from home


    I don't live at home but only about 3 miles away so I am in contact a few times a week.
  17. I have been to the GP

    Hello again,

    I had cause to go to my doctor today for hay fever :eek: remedies and I spoke to him about it.

    He told me he would note what I had said and my mother was "welcome to come and talk whenever she needed to". :)
  18. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Hi Paul,

    Well that's a really positive step forward. At least the GP is now aware of the situation and it's on record.

    It might be a good idea to keep gently reminding your mother to visit the doctor. As they say, an ounce of prevention.........

    Best wishes,

  19. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Dear Paul,well done you! I am so relieved you have spoken to the GP, now it is not just your problem, the professionals are now aware. Jude is right, keep gently nudging your Mum to speak to the GP herself, it is for all your sakes that I say this believe me. So many times the main carer is driven to despair or something happens which could have been avoided. I know it was hard for you to speak to the GP, that feeling of "betraying" those we love, boy do I know about that guilt trip! But it is because I have been in that exact position that I can say to you, that was the right and only sensible, responsible, loving, caring thing to do. Lotsaluv, She. XX :)
  20. Selling up

    My mum, who cares full-time for my dad, has decided to arrange some respite care for him and consider getting him into a home where he can be looked after. It will be very hard for her but she is now at the threshold of tolerance. :mad:

    She has decided to sell their house and use the money to pay for my dad's care as long as he lives. :)

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