Mum's aggression getting much worse

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Stripeysox, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Stripeysox

    Stripeysox Registered User

    Oct 18, 2016
    Hi everyone.
    Last week they changed my mums careline pendant for a watch type and since then she's been constantly fiddling with it and they have been getting 20/30 call outs a day, which they always attend. Last night they called me saying they had called the police and ambulance because of her behaviour.
    She has it in her head that there are 2 boys locally who are stealing from her/coming into the house etc etc (they don't and never have existed). Anyway she got it into her head that one of the lady responders was the mother of these boys. She grabbed her t-shirt and wouldn't let go, punched her and pushed her against the wall. It took me 5 minutes to unclasp her hand from the woman's top while she was shouting and screaming at me to stop. She's 96, I've no idea where she found the strength from.
    She then started accusing me of betraying her by going into all the neighbours houses and talking about her (I haven't). She shouted at my daughter who was with me that she was a tart who would 'go with anyone for a few bob' and accused her of talking to everyone about her too.
    She did calm down a bit when my husband turned up, but still wanted nothing to do with me or my daughter and kept telling us to get out.
    The ambulance turned up, she was ok with them, they said physically she's fine but obviously not mentally.
    I've been in contact with the mental health team today. As the dr is putting her on thyroid medication from next week she said that could make a difference, and she wants to meet me with mum next week, but to let her know if anything else happens in the meantime.
    I'll be spending this coming weekend looking at carehomes as it looks like we've now reached that stage.
    I know the best thing is to agree with our loved ones when they say things, but how do I manage this? If I agree with her that I'm talking to everyone about her then it'll make her more angry, if I deny it that'll make her angry as she won't believe it.
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015
    Am so sorry to read your post. It is heartbreaking. Yes it is time to look at Care Homes. Explain all about your Mum's behaviour as she needs expert care. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Aisling x
  3. Sancy

    Sancy Registered User

    Aug 1, 2017
    Wish I could offer advice!
    Same boat as you. We live with mum and the last 9 days have been aggression, weeping and accusations!
    Will not let me call the doctor. Threatening to lock all the doors, tell all the neighbors what we have been 'doing'! A previous visit to the doc she was on top form therefore no help.
    I won't agree with her either as I feel it will just add to it and escalate!
    It's all aimed at my husband who is moving things etc apparently! He and my children are away a the moment and I guess our next step is that he will be moving out back to our old house due to the hatred Mum is showing to him! Now it's turning on me as a bad daughter!
    Guess it is a question of care homes but not wanting it at all for her!
    I wish I could offer an answer but is there one in how to respond?
    A big hug although I have never met you and you are not the only one going through this!
    From Sancy
  4. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hello, stripeysox. I'm so sorry to read your post.

    I know that delusions are common in PWDs (persons with dementia) but that sure doesn't make them any easier to deal with, especially not when the PWD gets so upset and can't be reassured or redirected. I suspect many of us have been there and done that with various sorts of delusions.

    I agree that you can neither deny the delusions (you're right, that will just set her off more) nor agree with the delusions (especially about you and your daughter) as I think your instinct is correct: either response will only fuel her anger.

    The only response I can think of is to try either the polite ignoring/redirection sort of response, or the concern/empathy/I'll deal with it sort of response. I'm not sure that was very clear.

    By "polite ignoring and redirection" I mean that you nod, and maybe make a "hmmm" or "you don't say" sort of murmured response, and then immediately change the subject/redirect her/distract her. I know that works for some people in some situations but I feel doubtful about what you describe with your mother, but thought I'd throw it out there.

    A better choice, I think, would be the concern/empathy/I'll fix it response, but I fear this would only work for the delusion involving the 2 local boys breaking into the house/stealing from her, not the ones involving you and your daughter. So when Mum says, "those boys came into my house again last night! They are always stealing my things! It's terrible and awful et cetera," you might respond with something like (and tone of voice and body language are very important here, put everything you've got into it), in a very shocked and distressed tone of voice, "Mum! That's terrible! How awful for you." Then with a warmer and concerned tone of voice, "goodness, how terrible for you. I'm so very sorry to hear that. That's just awful. Nobody would want that to happen. I tell you what, I will look into that/call the police/take care of that for you. I promise you will be safe," and then you go directly into a distraction: a walk, an activity, a meal, a snack, a ride in the car, whatever works for her (food works for my mother).

    But as far as the delusions about you and your daughter, I have no advice, except for your daughter to stay away from your mother for right now, and maybe for you to do so as much as possible as well. If she responds better to your husband and he is able and willing, have him go and deal with her as much as possible. It's possible, through no fault of your own I hasten to add, that you may inadvertently become a "trigger" for those delusions. I'm sorry to add to your burdens but this is also not uncommon and again, it isn't because of anything you have or haven't done. It's just very common for the PWD to "take it out" on the person who is closest/the main caregiver, and the delusions the PWDs come up with are mind boggling and very hurtful. I'm sorry to say I've been there and done that with my own mother, although it's currently not much of an issue.

    Otherwise, it sounds as though you're doing everything you can. The ambulance crew checked her out, you are in touch with the mental health team, you are thinking ahead to possible care homes, that's all good. My only other thoughts are if the new careline watch button is an issue, to maybe see if there is any way to get the old style back, and if there could be anything physical going on to cause a sudden change. An infection, dehydration, constipation, or other physical problems can cause all sorts of behaviour changes, so if she has a urinary tract infection or something brewing, that could be part of what's going on. If there's a thyroid problem that can't be helping, I'm sure.

    I wish I had other advice to offer, but there is no lack of sympathetic ears on here. If you have time and energy and the inclination, I hope you will keep us updated, and please try to look after yourself. This is all very hard, and I'm sorry.

    Best wishes.
  5. Stripeysox

    Stripeysox Registered User

    Oct 18, 2016
    Hi and thanks to you all for your replies.
    I know there's not much more I can do at the moment apart from sorting out a carehome for her, but it's just good to hear that from others in the same boat, so thanks so much for that.
    I've not been over to see her since, I'll go on Saturday as normal with her shopping and see how she is with me then. It could be a long or short visit depending on what she thinks I've done!
    My boss, who I get on with brilliantly, made me take yesterday off to sort myself out and make any calls etc I needed to which was such a great help. It's just good to know I've got work on my side as well in all this.
    Thanks again for your replies and advice x

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