How should I handle my mom with dementia going into an irrational, aggressive and abusive rage for hours?

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My mom is 93 and it starts out of the blue for no apparent reason. It's like she snaps. She uses language that a truck driver would blush at. I try to stay out of her way but she comes after me punching (can't hurt me) and screaming. Last week this lasted for 4 hours. She just started again. I don't know how long this is going to last. I just ignore her and hope she gets tired like a toddler who is having a tantrum. What is this?????? Anyone have a similar situation??

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A few months ago a neighbor down the street dealing with husband's dementia called 911 when her husband's abuse got out of hand after about a month of escalation. After talking with police she had him admitted to a lockdown Alzheimer's care facility, where, IN HER WORDS, he went even ''loonier'' and ''meaner'', they treated him with heavy medications to control most of his outbursts, and often he had to wear restraints in bed - 3 months later they treated him for a UTI they had detected, and a week later, it was like he began to awake from a fog, and wondered where he was at and why. She got them to reduce the other medications they had put him on.
While he still had Alzheimer's, he had returned to his 'normal self', the mean screaming, fighting lunatic was gone. It took another month for her to get him back home, and his decline is worse for his time in the facility, but he is not the raging bull ready to charge that he was when she sent him there. She says now she wishes she had talked to his doctor when his mean/fighting episodes started but she was reluctant to tell the doctor about them. When the police were called, they made the best suggestion that they knew for her personal safety (to admit him to a lock down care facility).
She knows she lost precious time with him, and it caused his decline to hasten.
She now knows if the symptoms last a few days, to get him to his doctor.
She met a man at the lock down care facility who's wife was in there for violence and anger, then she got started on an anti-psychotic medication, and he has now taken his wife back home where she is doing better and happier.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family ready and willing to take care of them at home, but whenever possible, it is most often the best situation for the patient.
Most patients never leave a lock-down care facility.
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Thanks for all your responses. It is very hard to deal with rages. I know that it is not her talking. I try very hard to walk away and for the most part I do. It is the hurtful things that she says towards me and my husband. I am a mother too. I would never say these things to my children. ( I know that I am in my right mind). Then while I am still hurting, she calms down and is as sweet as sugar. She does sense that something is wrong with me. But I lie and say everything is alright. I find it very hard to hide my emotions (I'm Italian). It's the emotional roller coaster I find hard to deal with.
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First get a good medical/mental checkup. Then tell her in no uncertain terms that she cannot act that way and it simply will not be tolerated. Make sure she understands. Stand your ground. If it continues, and it is dementia, please make plans to remove her from your sight as it will eventually destroy you. Please do not let that happen.
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we have plenty of the real thing cats about 7 & 1 dog there is 3 that are playful & young .
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RUN don't walk to her doctors office!
First work with her doctors (especially geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist) on MEDICATIONS - also meet with a doctor or nurse for a visit on reviewing all of her RX's best time of day to take them, with or without food, any interactions etc. Even medications that she may have been on for a long time need to be reviewed.
Then discuss any antidepressant or similar medications that may help her on a daily basis.
Next - pay attention to possible UTIs or constipation - they can REALLY affect mood and behavior. We got to the point we knew grandma had a uti based on her behavior
alone, usually the emotional outbursts would stop within 24-36 hours of starting
appropriate antibiotics.
3 ask the doctor for a medication specifically for such events. There are many options including liquid and dissolvable medications like alprazolam or similar medications.
This can't be a happy situation for either of you, but you and her doctors are the ones that can find potential treatments and solutions.
Sometimes food, or music can help provide a distraction, but hopefully with the help of her doctors you can reduce the occurrence of these episodes.
Best wishes!
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Blessings - I can back you up somewhat on that robotic cat.
My older brother bought one of the "Joy" cats for our mother, a few months before we finally moved her. When he told me what he did, I predicted, and was right, what her initial reaction would be: What did he waste his money on this for? Followed by, as predicted, he should have bought this for YOU.
The reason for this is before dementia 1) she would consider this a waste of money, and 2) she was never really an animal lover. She tolerated the few pets, mostly dogs, that we had when growing up. She always tells me not to get any more when one of my cats passes on. Sorry mom, I like them and the company they provide!

Anyway... she would sometimes, long before dementia, fawn over little dogs, and maybe seeing a kitten (god forbid a cat climbed into her lap!), but that was the extent of it. That said, she has marveled over this "cat" - probably more so because she is fascinated with what it can do, not so much that it is a pet to be snuggled and cuddled. She apparently showed it off to the neighbors before we moved her, and still about 6 months later will still marvel over it and what it does.

What can it do? When you pet and/or scratch it and hit the "sweet" spots, it purrs, it meows, it moves it's head, blinks, wiggles the ears. Sometime it raises one paw and proceeds to "lick" it, slurping noise included! If done long enough and hit the right spots, it will roll the upper body back, purring away, to allow the tummy to be rubbed/petted. Eventually it will roll the upper body back up (it is in a lying pose, with head and shoulders raised.

Given a choice between dog and cat, for someone with dementia I would likely recommend the cat (I DO like dogs) - they have done studies and that gentle purring has a calming effect on many people, not just cat people. I have not seen the robotic dog in person or watched anything online, but real dogs tend to be more "exuberant", barking, jumping, etc, so I would guess these robots would try to mimic that behavior like they mimic the cat behavior. It would all depend on the person it is intended for, but again, I think the calm, quiet, purring and quiet meowing would be more beneficial for someone with dementia.

So, if your friend/loved one IS or WAS a pet lover, one of these could help bring some comfort, especially during those anxious moments that happen too often. If nothing else, it is a distraction from whatever they might be fixated on, and distraction/redirection is one of the caregiver's tools (and family members). It is certainly worth a try!

(If it doesn't work out, there is probably a young family member somewhere who would love to "inherit it! ... or you could mail it to me!! :-D)
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Caregivers, might be worth a try for those trying moments or just to aid in relaxing our loved ones during a quiet time. They are robotic cats, there is a dog as well. They are called Joy for all Companion Pets, they are manufactured by Hasbro, priced at $99. I've witnessed the cat & dog in action at a day program for the memory impaired, they work, really giving off a calming effect. If you google them there are videos of them in action. I found it touching to watch. Seeing the real time interaction with them, the smiles, the joy & calmness they seemed to bring I thought the pets were worth the $99. If one was more of a cat lover the kitties work, there are 3, which seems more relaxing than the puppy I thought. What can I say they are cute & it's a "feel good moment" to see. Blessings 🌸
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MYPETUNIA you are welcome! Want all caregivers to be safe & well. We matter too. Blessings 🌸
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Thank you, Blessings4Ever.
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So many good points or not? If you call 911, a police officer will arrive, a report will be made, they will possibly call for an EMT, the next move is your hospital's psych ward. Anti psych drugs will be used, much stronger than home meds. Your loved one will sleep for days, may be worse when they wake up, home may not be home anymore. Don't know if "man hugs" are a good idea either, in a hospital setting they are called "restraints." That's got to be frightening. If someone is scared, they may become more agitated or "give up," because they've forgotten what's going on to begin with. It's called being submissive. Compliancy happens with disease progression. Not investigating why at all what's going on? You don't do that with your own concerns, you seek out reasons & help, your loved one can't tell you what's wrong anymore. Let's not forget these are memory impairments; battles won't be won, any of your fighting words in response to their verbal abuse not understood, your direction & guidance way over their heads as soon as you give them. It's all way too much to understand for the afflicted, so you, the loving caregiver will be the recepient of it all. Less is better. Keep direction & guidance short & simple. Walk away when you sense any agitation coming on. Ignore the verbal abuse, even though it's hard, think pleasant thoughts. Just go with the "time out," if your 5 minutes is 15, let it be, it's a good rest for you. Try & take care of you both, if you choose, until you change course. Remember you are doing the best you can. Don't forget you! Blessings 🌸
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