my father has had his first physical violent outburst

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by sdl, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. sdl

    sdl Registered User

    Mar 15, 2015
    Hi, I am new to this forum and was just looking for a little advice to a physical outburst by my father.
    A little background info, my dad was diagnosed in Feb last year, but recently suffered a mini stroke some 3 month ago. I'm looking for a bit advice about an incident that happened a few days ago. My father pushed and held his hands around my throat after I explained that he wasn't allowed to do something. I explained the reasons why, in a calm manner, but he wasn't happy with what I was saying and this resulted in him physical attacking me. While he apologised an hour later, I am left feeling very confused with my emotions. Firstly, I understand the effects that the disease can have on a person's behavior..and I understand it wasnt really him. Secondly, I'm struggling with the fact that he actually attacked me in the manner that he did. I've got so many conflicting emotions and I don't know what to do for the best. Any advice or has anyone been in a similar situation?
  2. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    Oh dear, no advice to offer, just some sympathy as you must feel very upset (despite knowing it's the disease) especially if your dad was never anything like this as you were growing up, really shocking to experience. My dad speaks to me rather rudely now and once tried to push past me quite aggressively and that was bad enough as he would never have done that when he was well. Hope someone comes along soon with some wise words. All I would say is to keep safe. Is your dad still strong? My dad is a frail old man now and I could probably blow him over! Much more significant if your safety is at risk.......
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi sdl, welcome to TP
    You need to get him to the doctors and see what they can offer by way of something to calm him down. Unfortunately what's happened to you isn't all that uncommon, it's the way this disease affects some people. You do need to consider that it may happen again either to you or he may become aggressive or violent with someone else.
    I think the part that's hardest to understand is how far this person has ceased to be themselves and become someone who will now do things that before they would never have considered, it's very had to accept.
  4. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Hi sdl
    Yes, been there, done that, though in my case I only got punched. With malice aforethought I may add. Unlike your dad, my OH had forgotten it in a couple of seconds. My arm didn't, however!
    Violence is my tipping point ( my father, also with dementia was occasionally violent). Don't do it, although dementia is enough to drive all Carers to violence, let alone carees!
    You have to decide what is acceptable to you. If violence is getting increasing common, you need a secure room and a phone, so you can lock yourself away from it and call for help.
    I was also telling him that the thing he was trying to do was not on, and the reasons why ( fire hazard ). I can only surmise that they get an idea and, to them, it is right and no one can tell them otherwise. Compassionate communication is ll very well and good, but some things need to be said, in my case hygiene and fire hazards.
    You have to try and understand things from their point of view, not easy!
  5. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    Another thing to think of is to enrol on some self defence classes. If you are faced with this situation again you may need to be able to break free. The fact that he can turn violent and actually try and strangle you is horrific, you need to be able to defend yourself if this situation suddenly arises again. I hope you are ok now and you can find some peace. I'm so sorry this has happened. X
  6. sdl

    sdl Registered User

    Mar 15, 2015
    Thank you for your comments everyone, I'm sure everyone has there own battles to deal with and I'm very grateful for your help and support. My dad has always been known as the quiet man, so, to have him react in the manner that he has done, is hard to comprehend. He was recently discharged from an assessment centre and had a few agitated moments while staying there. However, I'm not sure if this was a combination of being in unfamiliar surroundings and agitation whilst waiting for his visitors to arrive.....even though he would swear blind that no one had previously been to visit. My father is about 5'10 so is still larger than my myself at (5'4), however he is getting on in years and is somewhat frailer than he once was. I have been able to distance myself since Friday night since the incident occurred, as I have step siblings who have been able to take over the reigns whilst I give myself some breathing and thinking space...I would hate to think that I say / do something that once said/done, can't be undone
  7. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Keep yourself safe. Im trainedcin self defence. It will help you so ask for help. Try shouting very loud to divert him. Peoples pinky fingers tend to be a weak point. If you pull their pinky up towards their wrist it hurts and they might let go.
  8. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    Another thought, if this is totally out of character, has he got an infection anywhere? Urine infections are well known for the detrimental affects it has to the dementia sufferer.
  9. sdl

    sdl Registered User

    Mar 15, 2015
    #9 sdl, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
    Thank you Quilty, I did manage at the time to prize his fingers from my neck, whilst assertively stating that it would be the first and the last time he would ever raise his hands to me. My step sibling did say that he was deeply sorry for his actions when she spoke to him the following day.
    Susy, he's recently been in hospital, so no signs of a UTI. I think it's just a combination of the recent mini stroke and the Alzheimer's disease....not a good combination x
  10. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Just a point, looking frail is no indication of strength. Trust me, I know! So don't make that mistake, please.
  11. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    Only you can know how much risk you're prepared to accept.

    Personally I would never allow myself to be alone in the same room with someone who'd grabbed me by the throat and might possibly do so again. It's a very long time since I did any Judo but I think I remember there are neck holds where you can cause your opponent to black out very quickly (15 seconds?).
  12. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    This must have been very upsetting for you sdl. My Husband also used to have violent moments-it's terrifying. I used to do karate for years and teach self defence to WI groups, so I know a thing or two in how to protect myself. The thing is I just COULDN'T use any techniques on Pete-and yes he put his hands round my neck and squeezed. I shouted loudly right at him to get him to stop.He also did the same thing to his CH manager and it took 3 people to get him to leave her alone. Pete was also frail at that time so please don't ever underestimate how powerful these surges of strength are.

    You MUST have a safe room to go and make sure you have a lock on the door and a fully charged mobile phone so you can call the police. They won't hurt your Dad but they will report the incident to the various agencies (GP, Social Services).

    Your Dad may need some medication to help him get through this stage so start the ball rolling yourself-at the very least report this incident to the above professionals.

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
  13. Amber 3

    Amber 3 Registered User

    Feb 4, 2015
    South Devon
    Unfortunately I do understand your distress as the same thing happened with my husband just over a week ago. I was trying to explain the he hadn't won the lottery and I was not about to phone Camelot, my husband completely lost it and punched me in the face. The shock that someone you love and have lived with for over 40 years could do such a thing is almost as bad as the injury, I finished up in A&E and the matter was reported to the police who in turn my husbands GP so the ball is rolling and I am waiting to hear what the next step will be. Please don't let this situation get out of hand, you need some help. There are some really kind and understanding people on TP and I had some excellent advice which I am sure you will be getting as well... TAKE HEED !

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