Dementia patient showing increasing aggression.
I am hoping someone else has had experience with this. My mother has moderate- to severe-dementia and has been in a NH for a year. I received a call from the NH Social Worker this morning informing me that mom has become increasingly combative, verbally abusive and has begun throwing objects at the nursing staff. The last incident involved her being found standing over her roommate's bed in the middle of the night, with a pillow raised over her head as if to suffocate her in her sleep. Of course, the roommate and her family are alarmed - and I am too. We are going to try medications for her to reduce the anxiety (or whatever is causing these outbursts), and I've asked to put her on a waiting list for a private room. But I am terribly concerned that someone may get hurt while we are trying to address this. Mom has been difficult and non-compliant for years, but over the past six months she has slowly escalated to actual physical aggression, and while she is frail enough that she requires a walker for ambulation, I believe that she has enough strength that she could injure another person. What can I do to help the facility help her? Should I follow up with the nursing supervisor to ensure that something is being done to address this problem? Should I advocate for a medical evaluation before we start experimenting with medications? Frankly, her behavior has become bad enough that I am less concerned with over-medicating her than I am with the possibility that she could hurt her roommate. Mom has a history of inappropriate behaviors throughout her life, and the dementia seems to have removed any filters that might have kept her from hurting people in the past.