My elderly husband with dementia is verbally abusive.

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What are my options? He has become so abusive to me saying very hurtful things to and about me. I am a senior too and trying to keep my head above water keeping bills paid and regular household chores and dealing with him. I really can't take much more. My life is so stressful and unhappy. He would never agree to going into a nursing home or somewhere and I would never put him there if it wasn't for the daily abuse. I understand what is causing it but am finding it hard not letting it turn me against him due to the personal attacks. Does anyone have any advise? If he refuses to go in a home do I have any legal options in court to force him to go if it comes to that?


Anti-anxiety medications....get him to a doctor and be very honest and give full details of his behavior.
I know what you're going through. In my case, it is my mother instead of my spouse, so it makes it a bit easier. I can just walk away and go to my room. It would be terrible if my room was hers, too.

Do you have any help with your husband, like from children? It would be nice if you could get away for a while and let someone else take care of him. Do you know which stage he is in? People in moderate stages seem to be the most difficult. Knowing it will pass doesn't make it much easier when it is happening.

If you give some specifics of what he says, people may have some ideas on how to respond to him. Sometimes the abusive remarks comes from their own fears and disorientation. The one they feel closest to ends up being the one they release their frustrations on. Sometimes it comes from feeling like the other person is not acting the way they should. Like if you tell him that it is time for his medicine, he may feel that he doesn't need to be told. He doesn't fully accept how his mind is not fully with him anymore.

Let us know a bit more and maybe someone will have some ideas. If you have a chance, watch some Teepa Snow videos on handling verbal aggression with someone who has Alzheimer's. She speaks to teach people who are professionals, but most of her advice is good for us family caregivers, too. I have found her videos to be very helpful.

But still I get very upset when I get targeted and I'm not doing anything wrong. I know what you're going through and realize that it is even harder when it's a spouse. I hope you can get some help and take breaks. A week at the beach or in the mountains may cure a lot of the hurt and anger.
Both comments are helpful. I agree with anti-anxiety medications. The medication we use to treat my grandmothers anger and abuse caused by the disease is Lorazepam. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. This drug works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA). It's mild and effective and works well. We found information about that from a helpful website called ConsumerAlert and scroll down to the links.
I've tried to get him to see our doctor about it but he refuses to go. About that and other things too. I don't have anyone who can help me with him so there is no getting away for a while. The best I can do is be in a part of the house he seldom goes in. He just goes off on me for the least little thing sometimes and I've learned if I respond it only makes him angrier and crueler in what he says to me. I feel pretty helpless to do anything about it without our doctor's help and like I said he won't go. If he thinks or knows he has a problem he won't admit it. I never know what to expect from one day to the next. He has left car doors open wide all night long and I noticed it the next morning. He has gone out side at night when I am asleep and come back in and left our front door barely open but with the dead bolt and door knob locked which doesn't do a lot of good against the bad guys. He likes to go out late at night when I am asleep and sit on the back porch and I don't know how many times I have gotten up the next day and found it shut but not locked. It's hard to sleep well when you think a door is not locked and I am too tired to keep getting up to check them. Especially since I'm upstairs and the doors to outside are down. I keep finding myself wishing he was not here. Not dead but just living somewhere else. I guess in a way I feel I have a right to want him to not be in this house any more but I also feel guilty feeling that way.
I am in almost the same situation where my husband seems to be getting agitated quicker. His doctor has given him Xanax but it seems he has outgrown it. I am in a worst situation because we came to our former state to sell our properties and I have to make decisions in consultation with our son back home. We are in the midst of getting a power of attorney for our son to be his agent. That also has issues but anyway my husband's behaviour is changing fast and the comments/advice here are very helpful. Needsomepeace
When your husband is abusive to you, walk away, don't even bother to respond to the negativity. If he says, why aren't you answering me? or something like that, don't answer. Don't take personal attacks to heart, remember it is the illness not the man you love that says those things. All the best, Arlene Hutcheon
My mother was mean as mean can be. A mean husband is worse. Mother refused to see the Dr, too. She even made my dad's nurse cry.
Finally I got her to go to the Dr when she hurt her back and also needed a flu shot. I called the Dr before her appointment and explained my situation.

Dementia has phases. Now my mother can barely speak and is completely dependent on me. For now, do things you enjoy and build yourself back up. Avoid him and make excuses to get out of the house for a while everyday.
Many of us here are dealing with this. Please let us know how you are doing.
Thank you for your comments. After the last incident, days passed very peacefully. He stayed in the library for 4 hours with his kindle. Easter Sunday was also very well spent. Took him to a church he's been wanting to go. I am thankful that I have a space to vent my frustrations and feel I am not alone.
It's sad to hear about your story. Really i understand as a women how you feel specially when your spouse abused with you. I have a suggestion for you, appoint a assistant for him so that you also get sufficient time for you. Because experienced assistants have good knowledge how to treat with dementia person.
That idea would surely help you to get rid out of this type of problem. For your further help i have a company in my mind that provides memory care facilities at affordable rates because i was also suffered from this type of situation, my grandma had same dementia problem and my one friends from suggest me to hire a assistant fro her and i did so and now we both are living happily. She is now in old age home care center at "Tennysoncourt". They are providing temporary assistant also. You may contact them and hope they will solve out your issue.
Oh, I certainly know what you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with dementia when he was 48. He is 62 now. I worked up until he couldn't be alone. I do everything inside and outside the house and he does what he wants and comes up with lots of mean spirited comments. He used to be so sweet and most of the time I barely can recognize that sweet person I married.

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