Violent response to being in assisted living - what to do to help the transition - my mother is aphasic.

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We moved my mother into assisted living after her having a stroke that left her physically ok - but aphasic. When in rehab she loved everybody - now she hates everyone - mostly me - refuses to eat or take her meds. She has a bladder infection too. My daughter finally got her to eat a little and I got her meds - but she was flying around the facility yelling at everyone and knocking things down. There really has not been any direction for us to take and we are frustrated.


Your mother can not be the only person the facility ever had that was violent! They would certainly have a plan for how to deal with elderly people who have to be there but don't want to especially when they have a severe medical condition. There must also be some kind of caseworker that can give you advice and work with you in conjunction with her doctor to help her adjust. My heart goes out to you and I know that you doing the best you can in this difficult situation. Be as easy on yourself as you can. You are doing the right thing!
Why did you move her into an Assisted Living facility after one stroke? Aphasia can be handled as well as the bladder infection. The decision must have been your personal choice.
My mother is in an independent/assisted living facility and they have a social worker on staff. Call the facility and ask to meet or speak with the social worker. It is the facility's problem as much as it is yours to make sure your mother is okay there. If they are just calling you telling you about the behavior and not actively doing something about, I would find another place for her.
When a similar event occured in my Father's life while not only in assisted living but also in hospital, I found that, despite my admonitions that he not be given a tranquilizer, he had been given one that caused a minor "psychotic break" because of his having had several TIA's and was being given quite a few other medications with which the problem medication was interacting. There was no psychiatrist on staff. Being a clinical counselor with special training in elder care and work with the seriously mentally ill, I was able to insist that he be seen by a geriatric psychiatrist who was familiar with appropriate medications and some consequent follow-up psychotherapy. He got what he needed and was fine after that until he died of a stroke at age 9 0. Best wishes and be strong!
You should talk to her doctor. She may need additional or changed medication. If she has never been violent before, something else is up. Can she communicate enough to ask her what's wrong with the ALF? Is it possible that she has been mistreated? If she doesn't have dementia, she may need less restrictions at the ALF. Also, I have heard of infections or medications for infections causing behavior control issues. You do not need to explain to anyone, why you moved your mom into an ALF.
There are several reasons for moving her - first I live 3 hours away - my mother has a history of hitting my dad when he was alive and not liking certain people's appearances - so I was concerned with 24 hour care - which 3 doctors said she requires...if she didn't like one of the caretakers- she would kick them out. I can't drive 3 hours each time she throws a fit. The other thing is - she will go to brush her teeth and leave the water running. It isn't only aphasia but also her short term memory affected. To calm her - her doctor prescribed anti anxiety meds to see if that will help. She has been not only violent (hit my husband) but verbally abusive to me. Then nice as can be to the cable man. She acts like she is 4. So - no - not a personal decision - one the 2 doctors recommended for her.
You can try 24 hour care. We did that for the first 30 days with my mom (dementia) and it made a world of difference. Or maybe just have someone sit with her during her 'bad times of day' if it is regular. Also, call your local Hospice and have her evaluated. You'd be surprised at the services they offer. You don't have to be on your deathbed.
sad1daughter - N1K2R3's comments were thoughtless.
I agree with the others, have her doctor check for an infection and reevaluate her meds. A long conversation with the nursing director or social worker at the AL would be a good idea. Especially if you like the place and want your mom to stay. I'm sure, too, that they've had other residents who've been violent and they should have some plan to deal with your mom's behavior. Make sure you outline with them a plan for if your mom's behavior doesn't improve. If the facility is just AL, they will ask you to move your mom out if they feel staff or other residents are endangered. It might be a good idea to do some calling around to dementia units or nursing homes to have a 'plan B' and not have to make a quick decision in a crisis.
A bladder infection causes really bad behaviors in most geriatrics. Lets hope that is what is causing this. When I worked in the nursing home, Nursing 101: When someone started showing erratic behaviors suddenly... first thing: CHECK FOR UTI. For some reason it really messes with the elderly. I am hoping that the timing of moving and the infection have set this off. Let the antibiotics do their thing and hopefully she will mellow out.
The same thing happened to my mom after her stroke, it affects the brain, they don't mean it. I called moms doctor after she started hitting my caretaker when I was at work! He put her on depakote sprinkles and she was a new woman, tired at first but then ok. I tried to wean her off for over a year but the anger came back. Now that it's been three years I drop one depakote every six weeks and it's been okay. Mom lives with me, and has severe dementia/alz. I would call her dr. Good luck.

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