1. Pheonix

    Pheonix Registered User

    May 29, 2014
    Please excuse the length of this, it's my first time writing on here. I am the partner of a carer. His mother has been diagnosed with a series of issues including 2 types of Dementia one being Vascular Dementia, some form of schizophrenia and psychotic behavior and other issues all to do with Alzheimers & Dementia all in the last 24mths. He is an only child and sees it as his 'duty' to care for his mother.
    However over the course of 24mths she has not only become verbally aggressive but extremely violent. She has managed to 'see off' at least 12-15 carers the last one as recently as today (she resigned). She returned from a day-centre last Friday to the carer and promptly punched her in the mouth and took to leaving the house with the carer in close pursuit whilst on the phone to my partner to report the situation. Luckily he was in the area and managed to apprehend her before she got into any further problems. The carer resigned today and refuses to come back and she owned the care agency and is a Dementia nurse!!
    She has attempted to attack me and has drawn blood from him on countless occasions. If however, she has a visitor from outside that is not a carer she is the picture of politeness and as friendly as talkative as ever, almost like she has no form of dementia but in saying that she has also injured a close family friend by hitting her in the face with a chair whilst her son was out of the house for 5 minutes, almost like she waited for him to leave before she did it.
    She is always attempting to attack him but he manages to dodge or 'talk her down'. The grandchildren are scared of her and refuse to go to the house.
    These episodes only happen at the house & on one occasion whilst in a&e but only once the Dr had left the room and then she attacked her son.
    He has no real quality of life and she endlessly wanders, repeats actions, packs up all her belongings to leave the country to mention but a few things. Added to this he is now unable to leave me alone with her in the house let alone in the room - he stands guard at the bathroom door should I need to 'go'!
    There is no quality of life in the household, she refuses to feed herself (or can't or forgets to eat) so he is doing that too. Now without a carer he will have to do the bathroom duties with her also. He is locked in his room most of the time or she will constantly disturb his attempts to do any work - so that part of his life is seriously suffering.
    There is not an agency that will work with her and so all the caring facilities in the area have now been exhausted. On the 2 respite weeks he has had this year she is calm and seems happy, she was a carer and thinks she is back at work. At the day-centre, which happens only twice a week she is calm and seems to enjoy it, she becomes unbearable at home which is where she spends 90% of her time.
    My question is when is it enough dealing with an 83yo physically fit & very strong person with Alzheimers who has turned into what sometimes seems like a WWF wrestling champion seriously!.
    There are very few moments of calm recently it is heartbreaking to watch, without badgering him to look into care homes (not wanting to seem like I want to get rid of her) but watching 2 people spiral into despair. It's almost like he looks at her with disdain now and then remembers that she is his mother but from my view she is a danger to herself and to him.
    Does she need a change in medication a care home surely cannot be the last resort.
    Thanks for bothering to read this far.
  2. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    Hi I read your post and didn't want to read and run.

    It sounds like your partner needs to ring the police, I've no experience, but my understanding is that this could be the doorway to help which your partners' mum badly needs. He should not have to cope with the level of violence she's displaying.

    By replying I'm hoping to bump you up the list. Someone with way more experience than me will be along to give you better advice than me.

    Lavender x
  3. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    Actually, I think you should badger him to look at care homes. You've both had the opportunity to see that she does better in a care environment than she does at home, so why go to so much effort to make her less happy than she could be?
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Phoenix, welcome to TP
    Another vote for looking at a care home, no one should have to put up with what you, your OH and the carers have. It my be possible to get her on some form of medication that will calm her down antipsychotics or whatever so do see the doctors ASAP.
    If need be as said report it to the police and you could look at having her "sectioned" for her violent behaviour.
    Your OH may see it as his "duty to care for his mother" but what about his duty of care to; you, the 15 carers and everyone else she's attacked, is he going to wait for her to kill someone before he wakes up to the situation?
    Being honest if I was you I'd leave until he did something and I don't say that lightly but I wouldn't stay somewhere I had to live in fear, this is domestic violence and no one should be a victim of that.
    Really sad read but keep posting.
  5. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Sorry to hear you are going through this. My mum was diagnosed with schizophrenia 30 years ago. She wasn't half as violent as your partner's mum, but nevertheless I had her sectioned for her own safety as well as everyone else's. Honestly, from what you say I am surprised she hasn't been sectioned already.

    Best of luck,

  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Time for a care home methinks. Her extreme behaviour might even get her CHC funding though maybe not for long if she calms right down while there!
  7. nannylondon

    nannylondon Registered User

    Apr 7, 2014
    Hi Phonix my husband was violent and aggressive I got hit quite a few times the last time quite badly you shouldn't have to live in fear like your husband I didn't want to.look at care homes but it got too the point where I had to call.police my husband was sectioned for both his and my safety he is now in a care home and is much more settled and is in a safe enviorment of course the guilt monster affects me but I know I couldn't go on coping anymore please try and get some help.for all.your sakes
  8. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    Why would a care home be the last resort ? My mother lived alone was very amiable but was found wandering on many occasions .My brother was adamant we were not " putting mum into a home " . I disagreed and this went in for quiet some time. Eventually she was sectioned , she was found wandering ,disorientated and dishevelled. From hospital she went into a home. It was the making of her ,she improved both physically and mentally ,found new friends and was always asking if we would like to live there. Find a good home and the quality of life may improve for her. And certainly would for you and your partner . Best wishes.
  9. Pheonix

    Pheonix Registered User

    May 29, 2014

    Thank you, I've never even thought of it this way, instead we collectively try to 'figure out' why she responds better in another environment and although I think it's because she is more occupied the last statement rings true - thank you for your wise words and different outlook. It's hard when you are in the situation to see other points of view.
  10. Pheonix

    Pheonix Registered User

    May 29, 2014
    Thank you for your response. I am trying to convince my OH that this is definitely not a 'last resort' but a best result I persevere, but as this nasty illness unfolds and the minefield that carers have to navigate continues I'm also trying to not lose both in the effort. Nothing would please me more than to see her active and parts of her personality return (she is hilarious at times and has us laughing for ages) she has even invented new words into her alzheimers dictionary!
  11. Pheonix

    Pheonix Registered User

    May 29, 2014
    Hi and thank you for taking time to respond. She was sectioned late last year, she had a very bad UTI which sent her into a total spiral and she stayed in a medical care environment for a week, she was very mellow for at least a month following that stint. The mere word 'sectioned' scared my OH although I convinced him along with the medical staff that this was the best thing to get her 'into the system' which it did, but once she was back at home 'the system' seemingly thought it was OK to take a back seat - it's very frustrating. Thank you for your well wishes.
  12. Pheonix

    Pheonix Registered User

    May 29, 2014
    Oh my do I know that 'guilt monster' he skirts that issue constantly, whilst I say that he would feel more guilty if she were to injure herself whilst on his watch. There's no right or wrong with this illness I am finding out first hand - it seems to have to be a case of what works at the time for the best, I've yet to discover what that is. I'm not normally at a loss for solutions for others but this one has left me stumped.
  13. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    What a terrible situation for you all Phoenix. It sounds like perhaps your husband is too close to the problem to get an overall picture and is locked into doggedly carrying on.
    Great advice on here. Do you not have a sw or GP or anyone aware of the true situation?
    I would only add to other people's suggestions, to keep a diary of events and record any injures. As advised previously, contact the police and ask specifically for the domestic violence section. I believe you need to take steps to change the situation asap but if things take time you need advice from the police on the best way to keep everyone safe.
    GP also needs to be aware and may be able to prescribe medication, although then it might be difficult to get her to take it.
    Wishing you all the best at this very difficult time and hope you can get the help you all so desperately need.
  14. Pheonix

    Pheonix Registered User

    May 29, 2014

    Hi Kevini, we spoke about changes to medication just last night she's currently on a low does Respiridone (excuse the spelling) 3x's a day along with other medications. He's already let me know that if the pressure is too much for me he would fully understand if I felt the need to leave - I won't do that, we have to get through this together. Thankful for me I don't live there but the visits to the house (he moved in to her house to care for her) are few and far between I can't deal with the restrictions which I guilt trip about constantly, hence the quality time is limited, I stole him last night for dinner out for a few hours :)
    Hopefully following last nights conversation he has contacted her Psychiatrist to talk about a change in or alteration in medication - let's see how that one goes. Fingers crossed.
  15. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    You're very welcome. :)

    I completely understand how hard it is to make these decisions, especially as for most of us the timing tends to coincide with our own stress levels shooting through the roof.

    It's only now, with a bit of distance, that I look back and wonder why the care home option is seen by so many of us as this horrible last resort. To be perfectly honest, the worst bit was trying to keep my mum at home, 'independent'. She was very unhappy, though didn't have the ability to recognise this for herself. But she was lonely, and dirty and living in squalor, and whatever I managed to do for her had to be done covertly. She also became very nasty and became convinced that we, her closest family, were stealing from her (everything from her teeth to her house), which resulted in absolute fury from her. Not so much physical violence but the verbal aggression was almost constant, and even if she was having a good day I was existing in a state of permanent anxiety. So the situation wasn't working for either of us.

    I was lucky, in a bizarre way, in that the decision to place her in care was almost taken out of my hands. She was going to be sectioned due to self neglect. So I took a deep breath, found a lovely care home, and conned her into going on 'holiday'.

    And it's worked out very, very well. It took her a while to settle but without question she's better off there than she was at home. She has friends, and one particular one she's now started to share a room with. They bicker but enjoy it. She loves the food, the singing sessions, the big gardens she thinks she owns (we walk around and she points out the trees and plants she thinks she planted), and our relationship is now better than it's been for a very long time.

    So while I do think there can be value to keeping someone at home, I suspect that many of us are so conditioned to think of care as this 'last resort' that we become blinded to what the person with dementia really needs, and that's often than more than one or two people can provide, especially if those people are on their knees with tiredness and stress. It seems incredible that my mum who always loved to travel and went far and wide now needs a very small and structured world around her, with familiar routines and faces, but it is what it is. I still get sad sometimes that so much has been lost but that's almost a separate issue, one that can't be solved by where my mum lives and who takes care of her needs.

    I wish you the very best of luck. :)

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