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My mother is 85 yr old. The last couple of years she has become more angry and aggressive. She would complain about everything. Everything she is not happy with, she takes it out on me. She is angry about her sister, her parents, that they have treated her badly during her childhood. She yells at me all the time and becomes physical at times. If she thinks I have done something wrong, she slaps me and hits me with objects like a hanger or an umbrella, until I bleed. Initially, I just thought it was part of aging until recently, she was diagnosed with dementia having it for 2 years, which makes sense now.

I am her sole caretaker. She doesn't trust anyone and she thinks I am scheming up something behind her back. I am exhausted and drained. Unfortunately, I did something that made her even more angry at me. I called the police one day because she hit me so hard that I was bruised all over. Police thought it was domestic violence and I didn't know any better. In hind sight, I should have called her doctor. It's too late now. She was supposed to go to a hearing but she didn't because she doesn't think she did anything wrong. She missed all the court dates so now they have a warrant for her arrest. I feel so guilty and so bad about what I did. I can't believe I caused her to have a criminal record in her late years.

Has anyone been in this situation and how did they resolve it? I wish I can take her to an assisted living or a home but she will resist and fight me. What is the best way to get an aggressive dementia patient the help they need?

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Thank you all for responding. It's comforting to know that there are people who can provide some advice and offer kind words. Everyday, I face unkindness and abuse so it's good to come here and take refuge.

Mom and I have a codependent relationship. I was brought up to obey my parents and listen to them so that's why I thought it was normal to listen to her and "take it" since I believed she was always right. I only recently realized that it was just a form of control and abuse. Now that she has dementia, it just intensified her behavior.

I am talking to her doctor and hopefully, they will give her some kind of drug treatment. Thank you all.
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Um.

There are lots of instances on this forum of dementia making people lose control or exhibit violent and aggressive behaviour.

Not so many of caregivers who think this is a normal part of aging, or who think that the correct response is to stand there taking it until they are black and blue.

I still agree with both Jeanne and CW that violence is not something you can hold a person with dementia accountable for. If your mother has dementia, and it has been formally diagnosed, she cannot be criminally responsible for her actions and the police and court procedures will take that into account. She will not have a criminal record, because you cannot be guilty of a crime if you lack the mental capacity to understand what you are doing. Rest easy on that score.

But looking at:

your prior belief that this was normal;
the extent to which you were prepared to allow your mother to injure you;
and now your feelings of guilt about reporting the problem, which was a completely reasonable and proportionate response...

These things make me wonder about the underlying relationship between your mother and yourself. Are you so used to abusive treatment from her that it seems normal to you?

Your mother does need care, and she does need help. But it sounds highly probable that you should not be the direct provider.
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To have a criminal record she must be convicted of a crime, when you accompany her to the hearing and explain what has happened she will (hopefully) be sent for psychiatric intervention. Hire an advocate for her if you feel you can't handle this step on your own.
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You must protect yourself from aggression. Yes, the person with dementia cannot control herself. Yes, you love that person. Yes, you don't want the person to get into trouble. But you absolutely must protect yourself.

You must also try to protect your loved one from herself, from the consequences of her own disease. It is not a kindness to allow her to continue to be violent.

So, what you need to do when violence erupts is call the police. Tell them, "My mother who has dementia is having a violent spell and I can't stop her." The desired outcome is for her to be taken for evaluation and hopefully to discover a drug treatment for her.

Let us hope you can deal with this before she has another outburst. Call the doctor who diagnosed dementia and report her violent tendencies. Ask for help.

Poor Mother. She did not ask for dementia. This is Not Her Fault. But you didn't cause her dementia so it is absolutely Not Your Fault. Do whatever is necessary to keep yourself safe, and whatever possible to keep your mother from being aggressively out of control.
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