How do I deal with my mother's anger that seems to be increasing daily?

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Mom is 84 with Alz. Recently broke hip ( due to an anger outburst from AD she fell down) and spent time in rehab and is now home with us ( living with me 1yr 7 months- she thinks a few weeks). She is on a form of tranquilzer ( at my requuest due to anger outbursts even to others visitiing from Alz assoc and caregivers etc....) to help us cope with her anger but it seems to be getting worse any way. I try taking her out for a drive grab a burger as she use to love just to people watch but seems after bringing her back she is even MORE angry and upset at every little thing so makes me not want to even take her out in the first place ( as she is almost entirely wheel chair bound and I have to get her and wheelchair in car etc...). Does taking an AD patient out energize the disease and make them more irritable?

Can sundowners take the form of anger instead of pacing?( She use to pace when she could walk). It is very hard to spend any time with her as she is always angry or can't understand what I am talking about. It is extremely hard to take her out as when we get there she gets upset about being there for what ever reason then wants her car back etc...... I am so tired of covering up that her " car is at the mechanics" etc..... should we ask dr to increase her meds to calm her down?

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
As on many links here, depakote is a wonderful drug and calms them right down, I would ask your/her neurologist or doctor. (I get the sprinkle capsule ones) Yes anger is a form of sundowners, its crazy time!! My Moms neurologist wont put Mom on tranquilizers because he said it makes them unsteady on their feet and they can fall. Its completely managable , its trial and error on the dosages, makes them sleep at first but then they are pretty normal again, its a life saver drug and safer than seraquel, etc. Your poor Moms brain is racing, this will take her right down for you and she herself will feel so much better too. Best of luck.
That was a great answer it will probably take awile to get her on the right med which your doc should realize if not change docs there are ones who deal with elders-it will be trail and error until you get the one that calms her down without making her too sleepy. Are there any neuro groups out there for you-talking with others with the same issues would be very helpful. My mother is angery most of the time and her mind is very sharp-she is ok with people who are not family but with us she rages often.
Getting ready to give you my two cents, I see where you have already had my principles sent to you and you made an equally cogent response. We live in a modern world just as every generation before us has done. We have medicines that were undreamed of in our parents youth. Take advantage of these modern solutions. You will be happier then -- than you are now.

In our area the local hospital/rehab center has a evaluation center where memory loss clients can be placed for a 30 day evaluation. During this time they will evaluate your parent, diagnose them, and then put them on meds. This allows professionals to monitor the meds and find the most workable solution making it easier on the caregiver. Maybe there is such a place in your area. If so I highly recommend you give it a try.
The doc prescribed xanax 5mg 5 times per day to quell the anger in my 78 yo mother who has cancer and severe and very painful osteoporosis with vertebral collapse. Finding calming TV like Turner Classic Movies on cable helps too. These are older movies, many in black and white from the 30-60's genre. They are familiar and calming to her. Try to restrict her watching too much TV news, esp the inflammatory political rhetoric. It's all very upsetting to an older person.
Jeffgk, my mom tried that Xanax/klonopin but it made her unstead and wow did it constipate her, beware that might happen, it slows down their system. Mom now has prune pudding and a teaspoon of miralax daily without that pill even. Just wanted to mention, it was a tough lesson learned in the emergency room.
We have a dr appointment tomorrow for follow up so I will def ask him about the type of meds and the amount. I just know she use to not be this way but the AD has changed her and I get it....... she is frustrated by what she can and can't do now but she is not a pleasant person to be around and my teens avoid her which is sad
Hi Deej,
Your Mother's behavior sounds like my 94 year old Mother's behavior about 8 months ago. She had been on Seroquel and Exelon patch for a couple of years, then more turned out NOT to be better. Our experience with a geriatric psychiatrist has been: with meds for dementia, "less is more". Their failing brains do not utilize drugs the same way a healthier brain does.
I echo luvmom's mention of Depakote, which mine is on now, but each is different, like snowflakes. I think what we know as anger, is the brain with dementia burning out, misfiring--however you perceive that it is not a conscious anger. I don't believe they are having a fit just to have a fit. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. THEY CAN'T HELP IT. Aggravating as they can be:)
This caregiver responsibility is a good one to teach us, not only patience and compassion, (I read your wall), but to realize that their reality is not our reality, and we cannot expect them to be the same with this disease as they were "before". It is sad to watch, and very difficult to take care of our Mothers 24/7--I did it in my house for a year.
Ask LOTS of questions tomorrow! Tell the doctor as soon as he/she walks in the door: you need this time to get it right for your Mom!!! Because if she is more comfortable, you will feel better, too.
I wish you and your Mom the very best, Deej. You are doing the right thing:)
Blessings and Hugs, Christina
Thank you for asking how dr appt went. It meant a lot that people care when you're going through it with a parent and AD. I wish the appt had of gone better than it did but we will see. I wrote him a short letter explaining I needed him to write a script to say NO DRIVING and meds for the anger. I explained how she gets angry about the car yet two minutes later is repeating the same story over and over and adding to it each time a new twist and that I get it...... it is the AD so I just go along with her and say "OK we will get it done" or I agree what ever it takes to not get her more upest or trying to pull her into reality as I fully understand she lives in her reality and I enter into it with her ( took a year of once a month AD support group to learn this one and still learning!)

Any way the dr upped her meds which is Chloropromaz ( sp?) and nothing about the driving. I didn't want to out right ask in front of her as it might get her upset who knows any more so we are trying the higher dose of meds and I am hoping it will calm her down enough she won't talk about car again but I guess I can call him and leave message to write script. My other recourse is another BIG theraputic lie and tell her that the DMV required her health records from dr and he sent them and seeing them they refused her license. I know it still might stop her as she has already threatened to drive with out it, but don't worry the car is gone. We sold it so it is not here for her to even try to get into and go and the keys to my families cars are kept hidden just in case she would go so far ( I don't think so but am prepared).
It has been challenging dealing tactfully about the driving issue with her but I know have done what is best for her and those around her. She was getting lost driving when I took the car awayand is what prompted us to get her tested etc....... thanks all

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