How does one handle a Alzheimer patient who displays violent behavior?

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This seems extreme for even Alzheimer's behavior. The paranoia and fear are "normal" for the disease, but this horrifying chain-saw stuff and pulling a knife seems like more mental illness going on. Would she act on it? One wouldn't think so, but I'd consider a psychiatric evaluation as soon as possible (separate from her Alzheimer's, unless an Alzheimer's expert says this is part of the disease). If she has thrown furniture, etc. your dad may not be safe. She may need to be in a psychiatric ward until they can decide what to do or get her on meds to calm her. At the very least, she needs an evaluation immediately.

Carol
I found when dad starting getting aggressive, he would physically try to throw me out of the house. I would stand firm and just hold his hands. He would wrestle me, but I wouldn't budge with my hands down when he wasn't charging me. He would try to storm out of the house if I stepped away from the door, so I looked like a body guard. Eventually he would storm off so ticked off, and come out a minute later and ask me "Oh hi! When did you come in?" He never remembered.

What was weird, I could see it coming in dad's eyes. The key was to diffuse it before it began. So I would stand out of his line of site, but keep an eye on him through a mirror and "just appear" if he went to make a brake for it. I used to ask him for things, since he LOVES to help out. If the look in his eyes got fiery I knew I was in for a rough one.

Maybe others can offer some other options?? Now dad is in assisted living and he responds much better to strangers than to me. They know his trigger to distract him is asking him to "help" with things. He's instantly distracted because his core fiber and reason for existence is in helping. It works every time (well except for once when his world was being changed).

Hope this helps.
My father has been taking care of my mother who has alzheimer's and until this week has not wanted any help. I live an hour away so I don't see the day to day happenings.

I found out today that my mother pulled a knife on a visiting neighbor last week-end and threatened to kill her. The woman handled the situation and left safely but it brought things to a head and made my father realize changes needed to be made.

This neighbor said my Mom wanted to "take a chain saw and kill" all the people living next door. She also said she wanted to kill several neighbors and both my father and me. (Apparently she has no anger issues with my older sister.)

She also is constantly paranoid and sees many people in the house who aren't there. They steal her things and frighten her.

My Dad finally openned up to me today and said that she has thrown things at him, including furniture, and threatened him with a knife. I think this stuff is happening frequently. With the attack on the neighbor Dad has come to terms with the need to get Mom into an Alzheimers unit but right now can only get her on the waiting list. Until then she will continue living with my father in their house.

Is it possible that my Mom would act on the things that she says? Is it safe for Dad to be in the house alone with her?
No matter what the anger is about or who it's towards, I always look directly in my mothers eyes, hold her hand and say "Your absolutely right. You know best." That always seem to snap her out of it. And she forgets what she was angry about.
Thank you so much for the "you're right" advice; it is very loving and direct, and calming and reassuring. I think it would possibly work in more extreme situations, too. I will remember it!

Otherwise, and outside emergencies, I too would be asking why this behaviour is so extreme. What medication is that person on? Could it be causing these side-effects - hallucinations, paranoia, aggression? Alcohol? High blood pressure? These can contribute too.

Inthemidst, I wonder if you both still have your own homes?
I am so worried about my poor dad's world being changed, in two weeks, yet again. I will be moving him from my home to assisted living just 15 minutes from my home. I took him on a tour yesterday. He liked it until he found out how much it costs every month. He said, "we need to talk about this". All of a sudden he wants to talk about something, when he would just get mad at me or ignore me. He said he can't afford it. I said you have no idea what you can afford, and there are not other options right now. He said yes there is, I can go back to my home (1,200miles away in another state). I said no you can't, you can barely walk, and you cannot be left alone to care for yourself. I said, don't worry about anything, I am taking care of making all payments, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the activities, and let everyone else do all the work. I am worried about him adjusting, but it is a very comfortable place, where the caregivers are very happy and pleasant, and show a lot of concern and pride in their work. I'm still not telling dad that he is losing his home of 40yrs to a short sale. I think this would devastate him even more. My dad also seems to respond better to strangers, than to me. I'm not sure what to expect next in behaviors, since he has not had a brain MRI yet to determine what exactly is going on. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia with possible alzheimer's. This disease is so tricky, is the violence inevitable, or do some people not get violent at all? Could someone tell me what to expect next?
Inthemidst, I'm not going to tip toe around this, although the disease of Alzheimer's, dementia, etc should be evaluated. That is not your responsibility to get for him. However, you are not married to the man. I do not need to know the details of the relationship, because technically that is none of my business, but...

... marriage is a commitment in sickness and in health. If you were married, you would owe him the commitment. People choose their situations many times, and the consequences of our choices can be either healthy or destructive. The question is, which way do you really want to go?

God bless you in your decision.
Does he have children and if so, have you talked to them about this? My father tried to do all on his own and became very stressed because of it. Since the incident with the neighbor (above) my sister and I became completely aware of what he was dealing with on a daily basis. He wanted to take care of his wife of 50 years until death but this Alzhiemer's is to much for one person to take on all alone. Now our family has come together to help him. We moved Mom into a memory care unit--though not the one we wanted. She is on medication and much calmer. Most of all they are both safe and my Dad is sleeping again. It was a hard move, but best for both. My sister and I took care of the details. I was happy to do what I could for both my parents.

I wonder if you told his children then all of you, as a family, could help him together. He might still refuse to beleive he could be ill, but you would not be alone in dealing with it. Best wishes.
I started a relationship with someone who i believe may have Alzheimers now. We're both empty nesters and we were looking for companionship in a mate. The dating period wasn't long and I felt very comfortable taking our relationship to the next level. So, we're in a domestic union now and what I thought were "personality quirks" are actually early stages of the disease. I'm not a medical professional and he has not been evaluated (and would never consider) going to a medical professional for any reason. I'm faced with making the decision to end the relationship because I don't have any "legal" rights as a spouse but the guilt of leaving this person is overwhelming as is the desire to try and get him help. His lucid vs. his non-lucid moments are erratic and unpredictable at best. There is a strong potential for violence and that's what I fear although this person has not harmed me. He is very paranoid. I'm curious to know how others encouraged their loved ones to seek help in the beginning.
Thank you all for the considerate and objective responses. No, he's not on medication. He doesn't have medical insurance and I have the option of putting him on mine now that we've lived together for 6 months as a domestic partner. He's healthy almost to an unusual point where he has absolutely no ailments...ever. The frustration appears when I try to talk to him about things like wearing the same clothes over and over. Or tell him that I never said I wanted something that he insists I did. The most concerning is the nutty road rage. From the minute he starts the car, we can't make it one block down the street without him aggressively driving, cutting people off, carrying on. I've told him how upset it makes me that he act the way he does. Honestly, he's going to express road rage at the wrong person and get us seriously hurt. He thinks the next door neighbor is "out to get him" so he bought a gun. I don't think he would know how to load it but the point is that there is a phenomenal amount of rage when he's walking around in his non-lucid state.

Or punishing me by not speaking to me when I disagree about anything and then no recollection that he caused a scene or that I walked around on eggshells until he decided he would speak to me.

In a nutshell, this person cannot be reasoned with and I have no authority. I was going to attempt reaching out to his children within the next week or so when I see them in person. I don't know that I'm strong enough to see this through. It doesn't matter that I realize his memory is seriously challenged...it still hurts when we're intimate and he doesn't remember who I am or assigns personality traits to me that people in his previous relationships possessed.

The ability to detach and just co-exist with this person is a hard pill to swallow.

Now writing this out it appears I've made my decision but it will still be a while before I actually leave because the guilt of leaving someone behind that needs help is overwhelming. I'm hoping my conversations with his children go well.

Thank you all for your support and allowing me to have a sounding board.

m

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