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Mum hit someone- how to react?


Registered User
Apr 10, 2013
So, my sister and I went to pick Mum up from the care home at the weekend to take her out for a coffee. We were going up the corridor and another resident was stood in the middle, just near the door to get out. We were stood alongside this resident and they said something and Mum just turned and gave them a good couple of thumps. It was very quick and actually shook me a up a little, especially the expression on Mum's face and the way she just "turned".

To clarify, the home are aware that she can hit out, and she has done it before, and although it doesn't happen a lot she is on a 24-hour watch so they know where she is at all times.

What I'm wondering is, how do you, or should you, react? It's the first time I've seen her do it, which is probably why it was a shock, and I didn't really say anything, but my sister said "no Mum, you mustn't do that" etc. But is there any point? It feels like something needs to be said, but does it?


Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
Ask the care home for advice. They can guide you as they have seen it before. What do they do?

One of the residents in my Mums CH hits, but only carers as far as I have seen. They firmly tell her that it is not allowed.


Registered User
Mar 26, 2014
Hello baby star , my mum has done many things including hitting people and growling at times and I always say not to do that . She always apologises to the person involved and for a while later will show kindness etc to that person . So I do think it's important not to accept this behaviour so readily , as sometimes you do get glimmers of them realising they have done wrong. I always give my mum this chance to hopefully realise what is wrong and allow her the chance to apologise , even if it's only till the next time .
Best wishes


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
My Mum has AD but my Dad has MCI.

My dad is the one with certain behaviours, which has found me over recent years due to Mums decline having to step in and tell him off.
My GP said not to let Dad get away with things and pull him up if necessary.

Although they say Dad has MCI, due to frontal lobe atrophy I have always wondered if indeed he has frontal temporal dementia as lot of the symptoms fit.
Dad can be impulsive and say things that hurt others feelings, particularly name calling.
Selfishness is another, and lacks empathy... especially when it comes to Mums AD.


Registered User
Jul 5, 2014
I'm sorry you are having to go through this, babystar. It is a real shock to witness a previously loving individual 'turn' like this. Over the last year I have been at the receiving end of many thumps and even had a badly bruised face from it at one point...interesting to explain that one away when people asked! When mum was in hospital, the nurses told me to respond by firmly saying 'That is not acceptable and I'm leaving,' which I did. I don't think she ever felt any contrition but it made me feel better to not just accept it. I have seen her hit other people and it is even more mortifying. I think it is important for the person who has been hit to hear others say it is not acceptable.
A lot of people say look for a reason why the individual may have hit. In my opinion this is useless as there is no ryHyme or reason in dementia!


Registered User
Apr 10, 2013
Well if we witness it again we'll let her know it's not acceptable. She was laughing about it afterwards and my sister told her straight that it wasn't funny. The trouble is Mum has so little verbal and mainly says yeah and laughs I think what's the point? We are pretty sure she is more aware than you get fooled into thinking because of the lack of speech.

Luckily she hasn't hit out at us. It's not nice for anyone to hit anyone but I think I'd find it really difficult to deal with that, and I feel for anyone in that situation.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
As my mother starting losing her ability to express herself, she started hitting, punching, kicking etc etc etc, partly out of frustration. That may be happening in your case.

There's not much I can advise, as we had to have Mum put on anti-psychotics. She was on them for years and years, till finally we weaned her off them when her disease had progressed to the point that she was no longer violent.


Registered User
Apr 10, 2013
I think that's what the care home suggested as well- Mum can't say get out the way so gave them a good belt instead. Hopefully it won't be too regular an occurrence.