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verbally agressive to only me


Registered User
Feb 11, 2016
Mum has had alzheimers for 6 yrs now and is mostly sweetness and light to everyonewhich sometimes includes myself. However with no warning she will get very aaggressive verbally with me and whatever I tryto say or do is all wrong. I have tried all sorts of reactions and thought hard about what iI say and do but she just changes out of the blue andeach situation is different. We used to have such a close relationship up until the last few years but this dislike of me just gets worse and worse am worried I'll have to stop visiting her.


Registered User
Mar 1, 2015
I am so sorry for you but I know exactly what you are going through I look after my father in law and he is exactly the same to me and all sweetness and light to my husband even though I am the one doing everything for him. I have tried everything in the book so I don't bother now trying I give him all his care needs he wants for nothing but as for conversation I don't. after so long you get worn down. the hard thing is after about 10 mins they have forgotten but it still stays with you . nevermind about anyone else you have to do what is right for you because if you crack who will look after you


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
I saw this in mum during mid-stage dementia.
It was like a light bulb going on and off. When the "light bulb" was "off" she got very confused in her thinking, but as there was nothing wrong with her :rolleyes: and I was the one doing things for her - well then, it must be my fault, mustnt it?

edit to say that this stage does pass, thankfully, but in the meantime you just have to do what kassy suggests and try and ignore it (hard though)
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Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Hello, Kim, and welcome to TP. There is lots of good advice and support available here and I hope you will find some help and relief. Don't forget that TP is always open!

As you have heard from others, you are not alone in experiencing this. My mother (73, Alzheimer's, no short-term memory) definitely went through a bad patch of this kind of behaviour. She was only nasty to me, and only when she thought she couldn't be overheard. She would stop in the middle of a vitriolic rant to sweetly thank someone bringing her coffee, and chat with them very appropriately, and then switch right back to laying into me. It was worst while she was in hospital (under a section) and then right after her move to the care home.

It was, in fact, so bad that I didn't visit her for about two months. Then I started short visits, never alone, and would leave the room at any sign of unpleasantness (I had to go to the toilet a lot). Things did improve and we are now at the stage where there hasn't been a nasty comment in person for months.

My mother's neurologist talks about these kinds of moods, and suggests that if possible, you use humour or a distraction or a change of subject or a change of location, to help "flip" their mood back to something more positive, but acknowledges this isn't always possible.

You could try this. You could also think about how you could change the structure of your visits, to make it less awful for you. Shorter visit, different location, offer an activity, offer a cup of tea, go with company, whatever.

How often do you visit, and for how long, and is it usually on your own? Where is your mother living? If she is at home, does she have carers come in, or go to day care or a lunch club or something similar? If she is in a care home, have you talked to the staff about this?

Personally, I would try leaving the room when she starts, and then beginning another subject when you return. If the verbal abuse continues, I would simply end the visit. If you are never able to visit without this happening, then I would consider not visiting for a while. But that is just what works for me, and your experience may differ.

This factsheet about dementia and aggression may or may not have some helpful information. (The Alzheimer's Society website has lots of good information and resources on a variety of subjects.) https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=96

It's very challenging and unpleasant and I am sorry. Best wishes to you.

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
Sorry your mum is being nasty towards you. Unfortunately this is a common thing in mild to moderate dementia. My mum used to be nice to all her friends at her lunch club, but used to slam the door on me when I tried to visit, but ok with other family members. She would snatch the food or money that I brought for her and tell me to bu**er off, even on Christmas Day. She no longer recognises me and thinks I am a carer when I visit now, but can still be awkward difficult and abusive to all visitors.


Registered User
Feb 11, 2016

Thanks for your reply Amy and for making some suggestions. Unfortunately none of these seem to have worked (at least so far).
She initially smiles and says hi but very quickly turns her back on me and I find it really difficult to get her to engage. She snaps at me to shut up if I try and talk and if I just quietly sit there with her she starts shouting that there is no point me visiting if I don't talk!
I feel that my visits are not doing either of us any good so think I will just not go for a while.


Registered User
Oct 14, 2015
MIL is the same with me more snide comment than outright nasty apart from when she is explaining her ulcer and grazes on her legs from me attacking her with her stick or a hammer...... only a joke (after she is challanged)....I think it is part can't explain why I can't do stuff myself /resent the care giver... as in the last week or so I have taken a step back made OH take to hosp, dr appt as I have a job where I need advanced DBS so need to protect myself by not being alone with her too often, so now MIL has now become' 'sharp' , as she would put it , with OH who has ben arround in the day this week even poking a finger in his face agressively leaning over him when he was sitting down exclaimimg ' Igo to club I know how much it costs' (of course she doesn't have a scooby).... and OH is her wonderful son ber pride and joy so I think it who ever does the most gets it in the neck.... glad poor old FIL who was laid back isn't around as she would have made his life a misery as she always told him what to do and blamed him for any mistakes long before dementia reared its ugly head:(.

Also if you resemble your mum may be she remembers how she once was in some way and finds it difficult to accept??