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Resident in Care Home hit Mum

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by istherelight?, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. istherelight?

    istherelight? Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    Mum has been in her Care Home for a year and the care is generally very good, with kind, well trained carers. Mum is in an EMI unit as she is a wanderer.
    This morning the CH phoned to say that another resident came into Mum's room in the early morning and slapped her across the face. As this is a safeguarding issue I have been told that it has been reported to Social Services and that "measures will be put in place". But as all bedroom doors are left open I cannot see how this can be resolved. And this is not the first time Mum has been hurt. Some months ago she was found on the floor in the corridor with another resident (not witnessed so no one knows exactly what happened) which left her with a cut above her eye. I would be prepared to bet that it was the same resident.

    Moving Mum is not an option but I can't think how to tackle this. They can hardly tie down this resident, who wanders everywhere - and only lashes out because they have no idea what is going on - and I can't see how they can stop this happening again. Poor Mum, it's so worrying.
  2. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Hopefully something to warn them that the particular wanderer is up and about so they have time to intercept before any accidents, at the very least, stop them from entering other rooms. Difficult and worrying for you.
  3. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    It sounds as though the home are following procedures and unfortunately whilst not acceptable this can happen among residents as you say with limited understanding. Is this resident known to show aggression to other residents? The home should put measures in place that ensures the other resident is monitored closely...this happened with a resident as my dad's NH my dad and others were on the receiving end of the resident lashing out and the only outcome available in the end was for that resident to be moved. You say that your mum is also a wanderer and whilst this incident happened in her room I would also want to make sure the staff also knew where your mum was at any given time so if she for whatever reason was a trigger..not her fault obviously....the previous corridor incident...to this resident's aggression opportunities would be minimised
  4. Malalie

    Malalie Registered User

    Sep 1, 2016
    Well, it's good that the Care Home have been so up front about it all, and are hopefully going to follow procedures to help. That's a positive thing.

    MIL was in the Care bit of her home, along with others who had mild/mid dementia, or others who were just frail, but there was a lovely little wandering lady there (She must have had dementia, I'm sure) - she just went up and down the corridor all the time we visited - acknowledged me if I greeted her - no harm to anyone. Mum had never been nasty about anyone before dementia, but the sight of this little old lady made her furious and full of rage - she would say the most appalling things about her - completely out of character for MIL. I suspect that the aggressive person must have had the same feelings as MIL, but have been a bit further along ....

    Terribly difficult for the home, but it really must be the resident who lashes out who must be most carefully monitored, with pressure mats, CCTV, more personal supervision or whatever - just to keep the others safe. I do hope that the home will come up with something.
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    In an EMI unit you'll probably see a lot more "challenging" behaviour than your average care home, I see some member of staff get hit or kicked on a regular basis just in the time I'm visiting.
    I've had a resident have a go at me more than once had magazines, books, drinks thrown at me, one woman like to bite people. EMI tends to be more hardcore than your average care home and the staff are usually the ones with the bruises to prove it.
    The worst thing that happened to my wife was in an assessment unit where she got pushed over and broke her wrist but one of the men there got his hands round my neck and the staff had to pull him off. Sadly some people with AZ do become aggressive and EMI is where they end up.
  6. istherelight?

    istherelight? Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    Thank you all for your comments. Dementia is such a trial but at least it means that Mum didn't remember anything of the night-time fracas. The CH are monitoring the resident and I notice that Mum's door is closed. I am keeping a close watch.
    It's so difficult because the resident is not aggressive as such - they are very far down the dementia route and only lash out when something frightens them. @Kevinl - what shocking things to happen.
  7. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    Dad was not physically aggressive but would flap his arms about at personal care and push if he didn't understand what was being asked or required. I could see the lack of understanding in his face producing a reaction and the flight or fright response mechanism we have must get terribly muddled with dementia. The lovely lady who was moved to a secure hospital unit where she is still being looked after was apparently the most gentle of mums pre dementia so we can never be sure which challenges our pwd will develop or not. Whatever dad's extreme challenges and they were like most tough to live with were, I always felt grateful and sorry for those pwd and relatives who had far more physical aggression to deal with
  8. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    Hi Istherelight - I felt so sad reading your post, because I am the daughter in law of a lady who is an aggressor in her care home. She had been increasingly verbally aggressive whilst living with us, which eventually turned to physical aggression, and we had no real choice other than to find her a place in an EMI Nursing home. She has been there about 18 months now. The verbal aggression continued, and gradually the physical aggression has increased. Starting about 4 months back, we began to get lots of phone calls or we would walk into the home to find that she had been in a 'altercation' with another resident, often she would have slapped or tried to scratch the resident, or she would have (without any reason) become verbally abusive or struck out at a resident who is also aggressive, and would have been hit back or otherwise hurt - on one occasion, we had the same situation as Kevin when another residents hands had to be pried from around her throat.

    In the last 6 - 8 weeks, her aggression has worsened, and the staff now monitor her very closely. She hasn't managed to get at any residents recently, but has developed a habit, when she blows, of grabbing at carers hands and arms, pinching and twisting, as well as hitting out. One staff has had two dislocated fingers, another has been slapped in the face, one has been left with deep scratches down her arms, another has had her thumb left bruised and swollen, and the worst was a carer on her first shift who was left with a dislocated finger and a broken wrist. The staff have tried to find triggers for her aggressive outbursts and can't - she can just become furiously angry, in the blink of an eye, experiencing sudden delusions about staff having said or done something that she feels justifies her attacking them. Medication - a long, long list of it - has been tried, and nothing has helped. I feel so bad for the staff, who have been absolutely amazing and assure me they know it isn't her fault - which I appreciate, but it doesn't change the fact they have been injured.

    I am absolutely terrified that she will somehow manage to get at another resident. So many there are frail and the thought of what she could potentially do to them is frightening. I can well understand how their relatives would feel if she caused injury, and I don't blame them one bit. And at the same time, I am so worried about her - about her state of mind and how frightened/confused she must be to behave like this, how horrible it must be for her. About her going for someone who could cause her serious injury. And about what steps might have to be taken to protect others. The staff are fond of her - in between the aggression they find her funny and such a character - and I know they are doing their best, but I also know that the safety of the other rsidents is paramount. This home specialises in challenging behaviour as a result of dementia - but even so, it may come to the point where for the safety of others, she will have to be moved. And the only option left now is a secure ward in some sort of specialist hospital, where it will be as much about containment as care. The thought of her ending her days somewhere like that is too heartbreaking for words. Because she isn't a nasty person, she was a guenuinly lovely lady before this foul illness got her - however, the reasons for her behaviour take second place to the risk she poses to others. And I get that, 100% - if the boot were on the other foot, and Mil was being injured, I know how woried I would be.

    Mil's care home are, I'm convinced, doing everything they can to help Mil and protect the other residents. I just wanted to let you know that as the relative of someone who lashes out, I fully understand how you feel and hope that the home are doing as much as Mil's care home in trying to protect your Mum xxx
  9. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    #9 love.dad.but.., Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    Your description of your dear mum AnnMac is exactly the same ad this other lady who I enjoyed chatting to. Her daughter is lovely and I still keep in contact with her 18 mths on to see how things are for her and her mum. It was the predictability that she would react or have episodes but also the unpredictability of those episodes coming out of the blue with no warning that made it so difficult. In the end everyone ...residents staff her daughter and a visitor or two had been walloped so the risk became very high even though the manager and most of the staff tried hard to find a way to manage the extreme challenging behaviour. Various medications didn't help change although the home and mental health team tried very hard to keep her the risk to others was the ultimate decider.Like your mum inbetween she was the loveliest lady as is her daughter who never stopped trying for her mum. I always felt there but for the grace of God it could have been dad and there is always someone and their family who has more torment because of this vile illness. I sat many times with her lovely daughter while she was in tears after her mum had yet again lashed out. Part of the reason for her aggression was tgat she didn't like people in her 'home' so she was very territorial and possessive of her bedroom space and all communal spaces when she was in them and that made things very difficult to handle.

    However she was moved to a small secure unit part of a hospital and it was the best thing to happen. Staff ratios were very high and also importantly they were extremely experienced in looking after and finding a way to help the new resident because staff numbers are so high monitoring and preventative action before escalation is very good. Her mum has thrived in terms of settling in they are regularly managing personal care and managing her episodes. It has meant that whilst her daughter was dreading the last resort of a secure hospital unit in fact she has found the staff and unit her saviour and consequently she is more relaxed because she has confidence that no matter what the aggressive episodes are they can deal with them and She leaves after each visit knowing her mum is finally in the right place. Dad's NH even though an experienced dementia home were not geared up for constant aggression. So I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your mum and there will be an answer somewhere but certainly the relatives of residents who were on the receiving end of this lady's torment had great sympathy for her and her family.
  10. istherelight?

    istherelight? Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    I so sympathise @Ann Mac and @love.dad.but.. because although, my mother has been on the receiving end of the unfortunate behaviour recently, she was noted as "aggressive" herself when she was in hospital. I was present during an incident where we had to stop her trying to restrain a nurse from helping a patient (who also had dementia) because Mum, as an ex-nurse, thought that "her" patient was being attacked. The Care Home manager realised this during her assessment and the CH were able to communicate to Mum that residents are not her responsibility. I think not being in hospital helped too.

    I realised early on in Mum's journey that you can't blame a dementia sufferer - how can one blame someone whose brain is so under attack? The person who slapped my mother is very far down the dementia road and is not really aggressive, just completely unable to work out what is going on, so she lashes out. She does not have your MiL's level of difficulty, Ann Mac - your poor MiL, such a cruel disease - so I am hoping that the CH can find a reasonable solution. Maybe love.dad.but.. will give you some kind of hope...
    It does help to be able to share our experiences. It can be a lonely journey.
  11. Caroline 890

    Caroline 890 New member

    Nov 17, 2019
    I'm v new to this...my mum had several seizures and was moved to a secure nursing home in July
    Since moving there she has been extremely verbally aggressive to me on the telephone ...has attacked members of staff...constantly has all her room packed by the front door waiting to leave
    She wants to leave go home and get supper from the moment she gets up until she goes to bed
    Before this she was struggling at home but calm happy and just about coping
    I'm not coping with it at all
    I cannot face going to see her ....I have not been to the home yet in 3 months
    This is appalling but I can't. ..I phone her every day and speak to her...she doesn't remember...I'm suffering with anxiety and depression...I think this is because I just can't find a resolution to the situation ...there is nothing anyone can do
  12. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Caroline 890 although I’m sorry you’ve needed to find us.

    you’ve come to the right place for support and understanding. I know how difficult it is when one can’t find a resolution to the things that get thrown at us with dementia and sometimes it’s okay to take a step back.
    Your mum may not like it but she is safe in the home. I think it’s ok for you not to phone her every day - it doesn’t seem to be doing either of you any good. Some homes recommend leaving a week or two to allow the PWD to settle in what will be their new home forever. Perhaps you could phone the carehome manager and check how your mum is instead of speaking to your mum. You might find that she’s fine most of the time.

    I found it very difficult to visit my dad but when I did I would leave after a few minutes if he was bad or disinterested but stop for an hour or two if he was in a better mood. All you can do is play it by ear and take your own feelings into consideration too. It may be better than you imagine if you do visit.
  13. ShrinkingViolet

    ShrinkingViolet Registered User

    Nov 16, 2016
    It sounds as if the home are doing what they need to do and, if it comes to it, it will be the poor soul who is doing the slapping who is moved. My mother developed BPSD (behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia) - she never actually attacked anyone else but she was verbally demanding and began to harm herself (pinching, scratching, head banging etc) and in the end we had to move her to a nursing home where they have more resources and are more used to complex problems like this.
  14. istherelight?

    istherelight? Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    Hello, @ShrinkingViolet

    Your poor Mum. Dementia affects people in the cruellest ways.
    Things have moved on a bit since I first posted this thread. The little lady who attacked Mum became too frail to walk so was no longer mobile. She was actually a lovely lady and only lashed out because she didn't understand. Unfortunately my Mum didn't understand either!
    After nearly three years Mum is one of the longest term residents and I have seen so many different ways that dementia affects sufferers. But it still tugs at my heart to see how new residents struggle with it all. And how their loved ones struggle too, @Caroline 890 . I feel for you. I found the depression passed with time and I hope it will for you.

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