First physical assault?

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
This afternoon , after work, I took my son with me to see ‘Grandma’ …. and take her ‘tea’

She was animated and talkative but a bit ‘wild eyed’, delighted to see us both ….. but as were trying to leave (rather hastily I admit) she asks him directly ‘What on Earth would I do without her?’ …… (i.e. me) …. followed by ‘Shall we find out?’ … at which point I found myself in the grip of a frail old lady trying to strangle me … and being witnessed by my horrified son ......

My throat has recovered - I have a lot more bulk than mum to be able to overpower her - but her grip was astounding ….. I’ve trotted out the ‘It’s not your Grandma it’s just the disease’ … but … but…. but…….

What, if anything does this mean? What do I do?



Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
Karen, you poor thing, how awful for you and your son.

I have no experience at all of anything like this all I can do is hope someone can give you an answer. Makes me cold just thinking about it.

It may be the disease making this behaviour happen,but the effects on you are still the same.



Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Karen

Oh wabbit that must have been dreadful for you and your son, dont know what to say really honey except maybe you should have a chat with mums doctor, seems to have been a shift in her behaviour. :(

Can only equate this to the day an iron came wizzing past my left ear, as you say, where does the strength come from. Yes it is this awful disease, but its been said many times before, violence is violence. We had to make a decision about my little niece and nephew visiting mum (then 4 and 12 months). We seem to have come through that 'phase' of the disease, and onto the next one.

Seriously I would have a chat to her doctor, dont wait until next time hey.

Cate xxx


Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
Gosh Karen - how awful for you and your poor son - he mustn't have known what to do!

Unfortunately, I've had no experience of this (although thankfully for me) - I would agree with Cate though - you definately need to speak to her doctor.



Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
Hi Karen

What an awful experience. I am sure that it was a devastating experience for you but I cannot imagine what it did for your son. Unfortunately "violence is violence" but having said that if this is an isolated incident then it can be put to one side, if it happens again then...... I am not sure, it is beyond my experience.

Why do I feel so useless when a dear friend is in need.


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Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Dear Karen,

Not a lot to say really: it's all been said by others. I wonder if this behaviour is related to your mother having problems distinguishing fact from fancy. I would imagine having dementia must seem sometimes like being in a dream-like state, where your actions have no consequences. However, you obviously can't let this go without further investigation: fortunately (?) this time it was a frontal attack, but what might happen if she took you by suprise from behind with the proverbial blunt instrument? She may be frail, but a frying pan could do a lot of damage.




Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
She may be frail, but a frying pan could do a lot of damage.
Sorry that does make me lol :) as I now have a vision in my imagination of karen mother running around the house with the flying pan ruing after Karen

My Humour :rolleyes: Jokeing aside sorry :eek:

Gosh Wendy what a shock that must have been for and your son , the only time that happen to me is when my mother was peeling a orange with a Knife and standing near my daughter and I, for some reason, she did not like us talking and nearly went for her with the Knife this happen 2 years ago also I always remember my mother untie in Gibraltar who had dementia when I was 12 , throwing a knight at me .

yes sounds a good idea going to see your mother doctor , to see if he can give her some medication .

My daughter keeps asking me of late, what would I do if nanny was to hit me now ? but its all stop , she just has a bad temper that is only show up when i wake her up to change at night , happen last night , then she says sorry I am a pest .

I am not feeling sorry for her or excusing it, so I say that we all argue and become friends again. Other wise I would have the hump with her all night

I am no way saying thinking about your situation in what your mother just done karen .

just talking about my situation with my mother .

But I must say Even thought you know it’s the disease that does not help , I bet your mother forgotten about it now ?
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Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
Sorry to hear what you have gone through today and being with your son as well!!! i know your mum as not always been the sweetest , but this does sound like another step further into dementia. not sure how you can handle this . but it does need to be discussed with the doctors it may be that something will have to be given to calm her down, thats if she is not already on meds for this ,is she due a visit from dr moss soon .sorry not much help to you, but here to listen,any time.
chin up chuck.


Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
I know this is quite a serious subject, but Margarita you do make me laugh:D
my mother was peeling a orange with a knight
I now have this vision of your mum standing next to a knight in shining armour whilst peeling an orange!!



Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
so sorry

so sorry to hear what happened, and i guess for the future forewarned is forearmed and you will be on the alert for a future attack. My mum who had hardly ever raised her voice before went "beserk" when she was in hospital, threw a drinking glass at a glass panel and threatened to hit the staff.
I was both amazed and horrified when I got a call at 1am to ask if this was typical behaviour for her!
I could hear her screaming abuse in the background, words I never imagined she even knew!
although she is very frail and on a zimmer frame i have never quite forgotten, and I always make sure either someone is in the room with me or at worst the door is open and Im sitting near it.
As tragic as this is, we do need to stay safe and look after ourselves. I know I would never really be able to trust my mothers behaviour again.


Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
Karen, how awful for you. Jean has had her violent moments but nothing as savage as that. It's usually kicking out and one can be aware of the kicks coming and get out of the way. I think the biggest p[roblem is trying to get folk to understand how a normally mild -mannered, homely, loving Mother and wife can suddenly turn into a total beast.


Registered User
Feb 12, 2007
I've been hit a couple of times and know frail old women can really pack a punch! It's very upsetting when it happens.


Registered User
Aug 11, 2006
Margate, Kent.
I've often wondered about the strength aspect too. A few days ago I was grabbed round my wrist with a grip of iron! I'm a strong person, yet it took ALL my strength to release the grip. How is this possible.... seeing as my Alzheimer's sufferer is almost 93! Where does this power come from???


Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
hiya karen,

Gosh what a terrible thing to happen to you and in front of your son,
dont really have any answers but just to let you know im thinking of you :)
donna xxx

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
My poor girl

Oh Karen, I really feel for you! As you know, my mother has been aggressive and sometimes physically violent for most of her disease. She has punched me, tried to scratch me & threatened me a number of times. The most memorable was when she grabbed a fork & said she was going to stab me in the guts. I calmly armwrestled the fork away from her & said "Not today".

Definitely a chat with the doc is in order. Also, you will certainly be more alert around her in the future. The most frustrating thing to me is not being able to figure out what triggers an outburst. I can read my mother quite well now so she rarely connects - my bobbing & weaving would impress Muhammed Ali.

If your mother has not been like this before, it probably will be a short-lived phase. Is it possible she has a UTI or something else physical bothering her? AD patients do respond so erratically sometimes.

Meds may help but be careful. Is she on any anti-psychotics at this time? It's easy to say to medicate but if it doesn't work, it takes much longer for the meds to leave the system of an older person.

I hope your son can take it in stride - it really is the disease but it's upsetting for everyone. How old is he? 12 or 13?

Much love,

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Margarita said:
Sorry that does make me lol :) as I now have a vision in my imagination of karen mother running around the house with the flying pan ruing after Karen
'Twas ever thus!!!!! :rolleyes: :D

Seriously, thanks for so many of you responding so quickly - still feel a bit tearful, shocked ... but yup - gotta keep going and even see whatever 'funny side' of this .... perhaps me and sonny could go in 'Starsky and Hutch' style next time ....?

Frying pans at the ready all round, then ... bless all ... not trying to make light of a horrid horrid situation, but thanks for helping me start to see through to 'the other side' ....

Docs for sure ..... she likes them - give her lots of attention!!!! ;)


Registered User
Apr 19, 2006
Cheshire, UK.
Was saddened to read of your dilemma Karen......Just wanted to say i`m thinking of you, ( it used to upset me when my dad kept kicking my little grand-daughter who used to live with me......she was only 3 at the time and i had to watch him like a hawk, i could never leave tham in the same room together....) All i can say, is that hopefully with time, this phase will pass, like it did with my dad. He still gets a wild look in his eyes, but no longer lashes out. Good luck at the doctors Donna, keep us posted. In the meantime....... sending you

{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGE HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

Love Jan. Xxx
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Registered User
May 19, 2006
Dear Karen,
only just caught up with your thread. So sorry this has happened. Don't really have any advice, the others have said it all. So just sending you and your lad a hug and hope it was a one-off.
Thinking of you,
love Tina

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