1. JulesLK

    JulesLK Registered User

    May 22, 2007
    My father was diagnosed with dementia about 3 years ago now and since January we have noticed a quite rapid deterioration. This has placed a considerable strain on my mother who is not in good health and is finding it very hard to cope. After much discussion she finally agreed to a night's respite and we arranged for him to spend last night at his usual day care unit.

    Unfortunately there was a physical altercation with another patient who it appears objected to my father being there. My father is a big man, who before his illness was not aggressive but now has tantrums, throws things around and it can be very difficult to manage. As a consquence after only 3 hours at the centre we received a phone call to say that they were too short staffed and would we collect him and take him home to my mother. I was quite upset at the attitude of the carer who rang, she told us that they would write a report and may get the police involved.

    We've asked for a meeting with the Senior Nurse to talk about what happened and a possible way forward. But is it usual for the police to become involved in such situations?

    Kind regards
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Jules, so sorry to read of dad's bad experience.
    What a shame for your dear mum too.

    I have never heard of police being involved in this type of incident, after all surely they must be used to agitated/aggressive behaviour?

    Hope another member will have something positive to add soon.
  3. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    What type of day centre is it ?

    Does sound strange that they would do that call police , if they know your father has AZ .

    Did a social worker arrange the day centre ?
  4. citybythesea

    citybythesea Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    coast of texas
    I wonder if that was just a ruse to get you to pick him up quickly. Either way I would look for respite elsewhere as it seems they may not know what they are doing.


  5. JulesLK

    JulesLK Registered User

    May 22, 2007
    Many thanks for your replies.

    Well the police haven't turned up yet !! The respite was actually arranged through the memory clinic at the hospital and is the usual day care centre my father attends each week. Must admit my son and I also thought it was an excuse to reduce the number of patients that evening as they were short staffed ... but hopefully we'll be able to sort something out with the centre manager next week.

    Kind regards
  6. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    So sorry...

    to hear your experience was so negative. My Uncle was never a particularly easy man to get on with, and in his later years was banned form his local health centre, shops etc and ended up with a police record for assault when he knocked a skateboarder who was blocking his path over (my uncle was in his wheelchair!). needless to say I often commented to his daughter that I thought he was mentally ill, even though I confess I hated spending time with him myself he was so ill-tempered. Eventually he was sectioned and then they discovered he had probably had early onset dementia but as his wife was not in the best of health and he had some history of domestic violence towards her she had not been in a position to alert anyone to his condition. The odd thing was he was totally devoted to his wife in many ways, indeed when she passed away after a short illness despite his mental condition he died within a month of her - almost certainly as a result of a broken heart. Whilst trying to plan and contribute to her funeral arrangements he was the most coherent he had been in years. He died shamed by his record and seemed to recognise this but I can not help feeling someone should have noticed his symptoms the GP, health visitor, social worker - all of whom seemed to visit less frequently as his abuse(largely of a threatening rather than actual physical nature) intensified.
    How sad that some who is ill can be given a criminal reord what a sad reflection of our times.
    I do wish you well, at least your fathers condition has been recognised and this should be helpful if the police are called. meantime I would contact the teamleader and ask for an interview, and get yourself a chaperone as back up too.
    Wishing you all wel
  7. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Jules
    I am sorry about Dad, and your mum must be very upset also. My dad has a history of violent episodes and his dementia symptoms require special nursing to prevent triggers setting things off... Were the respite home aware of any potential problems? They really should be used to handling patients that can be volatile. I agree with everything else that people have advised. Its obviously something to bear in mind at future asessments of his needs. It does have a bearing on the kind of care(respite or othewise)he needs to have. Has your mum been on the receivng end of this kind of behaviour? She may not want to talk about it of course, but it is a possibility.
    take care
  8. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Reminds me of when the respite centre rang my mum and told her they couldn't handle Dad anymore and she would have to come get him. I don't think it was because he was particularly violent, instead it was simply because he was a big man and thus very hard to handle if he didn't want to do something. What blew me away at the time was the respite centre not seeming to comprehend what they were doing, if Dad was too difficult for them to handle with their specialised equipment, trained and multiple staff, how did they think my mother was supposed to cope with him, especially if she didn't have somewhere she could send him when she desperately needed a break??
    For us this was the final straw, because of course my mother couldn't cope, and it was just 2 weeks later that Dad had to go into a home permanently (or at least for 3yrs until he was taken home again last year), as Mum could no longer cope looking after him at home by herself when there was no relief of respite to rely upon.
    I remember being absolutely gobsmacked by the system, what are you supposed to do if there is no respite available??
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    All of the previous posts have triggered off such bad memories for me. Early last year, Ken was in respite and I had to bring him home. The staff felt he was 'too distressed' to stay. Then his 2 mornings day care package also started to unravel when they too kept phoning me with the same tale to ask would I pick him up.

    I just couldn't cope and felt I was in the most enormous black hole. A few weeks later, Ken was admitted to an assessment ward and the rest is history, as they say as he is now in permanent care.

    I still feel that if I could have got some respite and day care, Ken would still be at home with me.

  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #10 Margarita, Jun 7, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008

    I had an Incident like that with a Day center , but my mother was just verbal abusive. I also felt it was to do with being short staff , but they keep mum they after I got all the back up reports that her behavior was due to her dementia

    Tell the Manager that if he can meet your father needs of challenging behaviors your find another day center, but you really don't want it to get to that stage , but if they can not meet your father needs your have to do it . I later found out that they don't like you saying that because it won't look good on them .

    Ask him is his staff are train to deal with people who have dementia with challenging behavior.

    Ring Social services they run they own day center for people that have a mental disability & are trained in dealing with those behaviors , so they no the trigger points in how to defuse a situation before it get the person in to a situation that they feel they have to lass out , because they verbally can not express themselves in a sociable excitable way due to they mental disability

    Good luck , don't let that Manger intimidate you .

    That how its becoming with my mother , that I had to tell SW that yesterday about the trigger points in my mother behavior that sets her of on one .
  11. JulesLK

    JulesLK Registered User

    May 22, 2007
    Thank you for all your support. I must admit I sometimes sit here in tears reading posts which reflect what is happening in my life. It's difficult to understand the impact on families when a loved one is living with dementia.

    I have checked about the threat of involving police and am assured (from a very reliable source) that no action would be taken as my father is not capable of being interviewed nor responsible for his actions. That's a weight off my mind !

    All I am trying to do is find help for my mother who wants to keep my father at home with her for as long as she can cope. But with her physical health poor, the memory clinic and centre have always been supportive in the past (except for this one episode) and I want to try and keep them on side.


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