Grandma is physically abusive now, at 94 years old how long can this possibly go on?

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Anybody had any experience with this? We were just notified by the nursing home that my 94 year old grandma, who has dementia and possibly Alzheimer's and is wheelchair bound, has been kicking, hitting, and trying to bite the CNA's when they go in to assist her to the bathroom, etc. We are wondering how much longer this can possibly go on.

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First of all, I am sorry you are going through this. My grand mother has been liviing with me for 7 years and has been violent the whole time. She also has dementia. I try to look at things from her perspective. She doesn't know people she used to. She doesn't understand what is going on or why. She can't communicate what she wants or if she hurts. It must be a very scary, frustrating and lonely place. Compassion helps...sometimes.
Then there are the times when I am tired of getting scratched and bitten and spit at and hit and kicked. We have gone through 17 caregivers in 7 years because of her violence.
So, I have become inventive...and patient,
I always wear long sleeves when caring for her. I have long hair that I always wear up. I sometimes put oven mitts on her to cut down on the scratching. I keep her nails short and clean to cut down on infection when she breaks the skin. The care giver and I joke about granny the prize fighter. I try distracting her with a stuffed bear we named Peggy Ann. U reassure her that she is safe and loved. I sing to her.Most importantly, I have learned to walk away, give her time to calm down and try again. Sometimes nothing works and I take a beating. She is afraid of a world she no longer understands. I think that would make me want to lash out too.
I know these words don't help. I don't have any answers. We have tried meds. They knock her out and she wakes up long enough to beat us up. All I can really do here is tell you I empathize.I am with you. Sometimes you need to walk away and try again later. A wonderful nurse once told me, "what is waiting really going to hurt?" The answer in the big picture is..."waiting hurts nothing". If that doesn't work, there's always oven mitts. Stay safe!
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twinlaura: Either get a doctor to prescribe medication that will calm your father down and/or find a residential placement for him because you are in danger of getting hurt the way things are.
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My mom and dad sleep downstairs, it's easier for them to get around, my ma called me down this mornin at 3 am and said dad wet himself. OK, lets change your diaper. I went to get him up and he got so mean with me. He then wouldn't get off the chair he was sitting in. Finally when I got him off the chair into the bathroom, after he said some very mean things to me, I said Dad you have to wash up down there. He threw the towel and continued to be mean. He grabbed my wrists and luckily I took a class a long time ago on self defense, so I was able to get out of his grip. I brought him back and put his sleeping pants on and he said in a mean way well isn't that nice! I put him to bed. this is happening to often, my wrists are hurting because he is a big guy. has this happened to anyone.
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Well fortunately the nursing home has talked to us about this and they are used to it. The CNA's know to watch for it and said it is actually very common among the residents and they call it "sundowning" since in mostly occurs after dark when the residents get tired and grumpy. They said they are not going to kick her out, thankfully. Grandma is on Paxil to help with anxiety but I am not sure how much good it is doing her. She still gets very upset. They are notifying her doctor and maybe he will put her on something else. I agree at age 94, all she needs is something to give her some peace because she is always angry and miserable. Thank you everyone for the responses. I was wondering if this is end stage Alzheimers but the nurse we spoke to said it can happen at any time. I hate to think of her spending 10 more years like this.
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My grandmother who lives with us and has Alzheimer's is at that stage too. Yes, it is unfortunately normal in Alzheimer's. My great grandfather did the same when we had him. With him, it did change and it seems like my grandmother is getting less violent than she was. I keep wondering if there is a part of the brain that is being transformed and triggers this at a certain point in Alzheimer's. One thing that seems to help is Valium (there are times when I wish I could have some myself!). It seems to relieve the anger behind the physical violence. A low dose would be fine for her if her doctor thinks she would not have an allergic reaction. Some people might tell you that Valium can be habit forming as they told me but I can only respond by saying that my grandmother is nearly 100, she is dying and this isn't going to get better. At this stage of life and in her situation, I wouldn't worry about it as the Valium gives her more peace.
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Until the doctor writes an order for an anti-anxiety med. She will calm down and the CNA's will be able to care for her. Most dementia patients do not like running water or being handled by others. I don't like it either, so she is just acting like a private person. Hang in there!
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Unfortunately, I agree that those behaviors aren't likely to change. However, you might talk to her doctor, preferably a neurologist/psychiatrist who specializes in patients with dementia, about whether there is any medication that might be helpful. I have heard some people say that Namenda has been helpful although I never found that to be the case with my husband's difficult behavior. In his case, Seroquel was helpful. However, if the nursing home hasn't said anything about this, they are probably willing to deal with the behavior.
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A nursing home can dismiss a resident with Alzheimer’s for violent behavior, have they brought this up with you? You may need to transfer him to a facility with higher levels of care. Violent behaviors such as these are unfortunately very common among seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer's. I don't think those behaviors are likely going to change.
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