Angry and insulting behaviour

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Pen49, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Pen49

    Pen49 New member

    Dec 15, 2019
    My mum has dementia and most of the time she thinks I'm her sister who has passed away. She is 79 but thinks that she stills lives with her parents. Most nights she asks to go home. She has lived in this house for 35 years with my dad. When we try and explain that she lives with us and we are her family she says that we are lying and that she will never talk to us again. She has started to kick me. There is no reasoning with her that it's 11pm and she has no where to go. It sounds horrible but we try and ignore her until she calms down which is about 2 hours later. We know it's the disease and not her but it's very hurtful and upsetting. Any ideas on how else we can mange this behaviour please?
  2. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    South East
    Welcome to Tp from me @Pen49 , I’m sorry I don’t really don’t have any experience of this , sure others will be along soon with some ideas . Can only imagine how distressing it is for all of you . I wouldn’t argue or try to tell her she is wrong but maybe try distraction or like you say Ignore it as much as you can , maybe there is medication that can be prescribed to help .
  3. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    Welcome from me too @Pen49

    One piece of advice I was given is never say the word no to a PWD (person with dementia) but start the sentence with yes and then give the reason why it’s not going to happen or offer a distraction. As this is happening in the evening it’s probably sundowning. I’m assuming your mum is less confused during the rest of the day so saying some like “Yes, but it’s too late now. We’ll go in the morning.” Would get you out of the immediate pickle you’re in and she’ll have forgotten by the morning.

    I found that explaining or using logic didn’t work with dad and the link to compassionate communication which @nae sporran has provided has some good ideas in it. I would say whatever kept dad calm.
  5. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    Hi @Pen49, welcome, I'm sorry to hear of your struggles. My Mum often struggled with Sun Downing in the same way - thought she needed to get home, although she never got violent she was insistent that she didn't live in her bungalow and the carers and often myself (when I was called) struggled to change that opinion with logic. In the end I used to stay 'we just need to stay in this lovely place tonight and we can go in the morning', she would then say 'what if the people come back' to which I replied 'they have said its fine they are away on holiday' .....she was then exhausted from it all and would go to bed. Eventually of course it was no longer tenable for her to live independently. When she went into a care home, she was still confused and sun-downed but the urge to 'go home' went pretty much immediately. There are no easy solutions really, the only thing that doesn't work is trying to have a logical conversation!! All the best. Keep posting.
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello @Pen49

    I know and understand how upsetting this wanting to go home behaviour is because I had it with my husband every evening.

    It is winter now and dark very early. As well as the advice you have had in previous posts, could you try asking your mum to `wait till tomorrow` because it`s too dark, too cold, too windy etc. and it will be easier then.

    My husband`s consultant advised me to make sure the house was well lit in the evening. It didn`t make any difference to my husband but it might help your mum.

    We can only try everything in the hope something will help.
  7. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    Chard, Somerset
    I had this with my mum and was advised not to disagree with her - logic doesn't work. She was always asking for dad (who died in the 80s) and if I kept explaining he was dead then she grieved (briefly) every time I said it. So I said he was taking the dog for a walk, had gone to ruby/cricket/the pub and that distracted her for long enough to move on. I tried to put myself in her position, i.e. being confused and maybe frightened about not knowing where she was. It could be that wanting to go home is just an expression to reflect her feelings of being lost. I totally agree with the suggestions about distraction, or saying we will go in the morning. Unfortunately it is a stage she is going through and it will pass, I just had to learn to work around it. For instance, mum had her own bathroom but if there was any other colour than pink flannels in it, she would think she was in a hotel and remove all her toiletries into her bedroom, thinking she was in a hotel. That too passed. I hope I managed to keep her calm and untroubled but we can only do our best and not beat ourselves up about it.
  8. Avis

    Avis Registered User

    Nov 2, 2019
    My husband does this too. Every night he wants to go home or to go to band practice even though it is not on any more and we have lived in this house for 10 years. He gets angry and demanding too but he usually calms down after a couple of hours. Distracting him works sometimes but on others it is just trying to wait it out. My GP says that if he gets any more violent than the odd push and the shouting, he will help me put him into care. I really don't want this but when we are going through the "Sun downing" - which can be any time at night - I would love someone to whisk him away for the night. Not helpful I know but I really can sympathise with you.
  9. Pen49

    Pen49 New member

    Dec 15, 2019
    Thank you for all your kind words. It does help to find out other people are going through the same situation. I like the idea of using 'yes'more and avoiding 'no'. Will definately give all your ideas a try.
  10. Alfiefern

    Alfiefern New member

    May 14, 2018

    Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time. It is not easy. My advice is to try to enter their alternative world.
    When my Dad said he wanted to go home ,I would just say you are staying here tonight. I would never disagree with him. If he said black is white I would just agree. By doing this you avoid any disagreement or confrontation.
    Anti psychotic medication certainly helped to ease the evening sundowing.
    To help him to sleep he was prescribed melatonin which is a hormone that induces sleep and this also helped.

    I would try to get some advice and support from either an old age psychiatrist or a community psychiatric nurse who specialise in dementia. Your GP could maybe help with this.

    My personal belief is that it is very upsetting for the person who is going through this agitation and anything that helps is good. Distraction with a ‘playlist for life’ songs that your parent knows well is also good and works for us sometimes. Or distraction with something that your mum enjoys. A jigsaw, cards or something.

    I hope you find something for easing the agitation and distress.

    All the best
  11. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Hi there,

    We have this with Mum too. She lives alone, and gets very angry if there is no one home in the evening, she thinks Father is still alive (passed away in the 1980s), she says he hasn't come home from work,has got himself another woman, and if he doesn't come home soon she will kill herself with kitchen knives, stab everyone, wreck the house and blow it up. Its scary to witness. She's also started to do a weird roleplay thing playing the part of 2 people, having a conversation with the other person and stomping around the house. they put her on anti-psychotic meds a while ago, but it doesn't seem to help much. She rings us all night (usually in the middle of the night) saying she's going out to find Father and catch him with this woman. She leaves the front door wide open and anyone can walk in. We would like her to go into a care home, for her own safety. We don't know what she's capable of its scary.

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