Is aggressive or abusive behavior common among Alzheimer's patients?


So far I am not seeing this in my husband's behavior but it's a question I am asked by other people often and I just wondered if all Alzheimer patients become abusive or aggressive with this disease?

He is 84 (21 years older than me) and a big man and I do get concerned and wonder how I would handle him if he became that way. He was diagnosed this summer but about 2 years into the disease I think.

Are there caregiver's out there of Alzheimer patients that don't find the patients becoming nasty? The future scares me enough and I sure would feel better if I knew that not everyone gets this way?

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I think it all depends; and depends on many factors and situations. Keeping the person on a routine helps lower frustration and therefore agitation levels. Patience is key; so make sure you are getting the rest and care you need as well --not always easy. If you can get friends/neighbors, church volunteer or other family members to come in a few hours weekly so you can get out or take an undisturbed nap; by all means do so.
My mom is very combative and has lashed out physically, pushing, shoving, throwing things when she is frustrated by the disease and recognizes her loss of power. Its heartbreaking, frustrating and scary but I try to understand its the disease. Make sure you protect yourself if needed.
If there are people or situations that increase his agitation level; then exclude them. Explain the situation and say NO when you have to without apology. Its about you and your loved one now.
Some drugs can ease any paranoia, hallucinations even at very low doses so consider this if and when the time comes. It takes awhile for their system to adjust so give the meds time and monitor closely with doctor.
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Thank you Jeannegibbs for your response. I feel like I am learning so much about all this stuff but at the same time, am ignorant about what's the best way to handle things. At the moment, I am fine with things (even though he does drive me crazy with 500 times "lets go get something to eat" a day.... morning, noon, night, and right after we eat. But I can deal with that. And so far at this stage he is "ok". Like living with a 4-year old that you constantly have to keep watch over and reminding of things. I miss the wonderful man I married though as I know everyone on these blogs must also miss the person they are caring for. Such a sad disease...
But you told me what I wanted to hear.... that not EVERYBODY gets violent.
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It happens enough so that other people have heard of it and ask you. But it is by no means universal in the disease. And you have time now to read up on the subject and learn ways to defuse the situation and to head off aggressive behavior. If worse comes to worst and he gets to a point you cannot care for him for any reason then you will look into alternative care situations.

My husband had Lewy Body Dementia. He was hospitalized last year and I asked his day shift nurse if she had ever heard of LBD. "Yes," she said, "I had an LBD patient a few years ago. They get really violent, don't they?" I agreed that some do, but that my husband had never shown any tendencies toward aggression. At the end of his stay she said, "I'm glad I got to learn that not all LBD patients are aggressive. Your husband is a real sweetheart!"

I'm sure you will hear horror stories. Most of them are probably true. But they are not applicable to all persons with your husband's disease. Take one day at a time. Be watchful, but not overly frightened.
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