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My 86 yr old uncle is in early stages of Alzheimer's. He's always been one of the sweetest and most good-natured people I've ever known. We were at a party this weekend, and he fell and hit his head, so I accompanied him and his wife to the ER, because I knew they would need support and a 2nd set of ears (she's elderly and overwhelmed most of the time). While going through triage, my uncle was clearly confused and even forgot how he had hit his head (he seemed to not recall being at a party). So, I began to contribute some information about him (his wife wasn't even speaking up), and he suddenly turned on me! He was yelling at me with rage and anger, telling me to get out; that I was not helping! In all my years, I'd never seen him behave like that, nor speak to anyone in this way. It was absolutely devastating to me. I quietly got up and extricated myself from the hospital. I spent the remainder of the day in tears.

After reading the whole thread, i have a question....are you sure he hasnt been abusing your aunt for many years?? Her actions or inaction(not speaking up in ER) sounds to me that she was afraid to speak. This just made the hair stand up on my body, especially since she is elderly. And because i was married to an abuser(physical, mental, sexual) you name it for 21 years, and finally was able to extricate myself when my kids were out of school, it sent red flags and chills through my body. I sure hope this is not the case, but i would call their children or someone who could do a wellcheck....i am very concerned for HER safety and well-being......alz/dementia or not, she shouldnt have to be subjected to physical or verbal abuse....please keep us posted, we do care...
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RaisedOnElton May 30, 2019
Cherokee, you make some very good points and suggestions. Thank you. Someone else on this thread had the same speculation about abuse. Over the past several months, every time I've been over at their house, his wife starts crying over minor issues. I thought she was just being an over-reactor, but now I have reason to believe - as someone else here pointed out - that she's been "trained" to keep her mouth shut, and that perhaps, he had shot her a look that informed her of the kind of verbal assault she was in for. Instead, it was directed at me, since I was the only one relaying info to the nurse.

Regarding your years of being abused, you have my deepest sympathies. I am just so sorry for you, or anyone, who finds themself in that predicament. I pray you will never be in that type of relationship again! Peace...
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Yes, this is part of the disease. He was probably overwhelmed by everything. Don't take it personally. It will not be the first time.
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RaisedOnElton May 22, 2019
Thank you for your support. I'm sure he was overwhelmed. Honestly, we all were (the hospital is always a frightening experience). But I am wondering if there's something more to this than just the "disease." Please read my above reply to againx100 . Apparently, my uncle hasn't forgotten about it. He is still accusing me of interfering in his business. This is someone I only see about once a month for social occasions. I never poke in his affairs. But this one time that I advocated for him in the ER has turned everything around suddenly!
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Elton; looking at the bigger picture here, it sounds like your Aunt needs support and help understanding and coping with Uncle's illness.

His brain is broken. Folks with dementia often perseverate on things (go back to them over and over again). Some folks become paranoid, have delusions and in many ways, act in ways that mimic mental illness.

The good news is that many of these symptoms of dementia can be helped by medication. But your aunt needs to talk to uncle's doctor, or to a geriatric psychiatrist, or to the neurologist who is treating his dementia about these symptoms. She must not live in fear like this.

One of my uncles was the dearest, most gentle man you ever met. He and my aunt lived far away from family. We knew he had dementia, but aunt put a good face on things. One of their adult kids paid a surprise visit while on a business trip.

He found his mother black and blue, beaten by his dad, who had begun to wander (they lived near a freeway). Aunt would not give up the key to let him out, so he beat her. She said that she would never allow him to go to a facility, because he would die there.

Her adult children placed their dad in a secure memory unit. Aunt dropped dead of a heart attach about a week after he was placed. He lived there quite happily for quite some time.

Please put your aunt in touch with the Alzheimer's Association and get her to reach out for help. And maybe send her here for support as well.
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RaisedOnElton May 25, 2019
Barb, thanks so much for your thoughtful answer. Much appreciated... And I learned a new word: perseverate!

Your story about your aunt and uncle was a tragic one. What a sad, sad scenario. I'm so sorry. It does remind me of what's going on over at my uncle's place. I have been reaching out to offer them help and support, but she always turns me down. I think she doesn't want me to see what's truly going on over there, because I would then tell their adult children that it's time for them to downsize to an assisted living apartment.
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RaisedOnElton, one has to consider the situation, your Uncle had a traumatic fall and that could have caused a brain bleed, or if no injury, serious embarrassment.

So, wisk away those tears, your Uncle didn't mean what he said. Remember you all were in the ER, at triage, and hospitals are filled with different sights and sounds. Your Uncle wanted to put on a brave front, and didn't want to feel like he was the "patient".

How is he doing? Hopefully this was a minor injury. Thank goodness you went with him and his wife, I bet your Aunt was glad you were there.
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RaisedOnElton May 22, 2019
Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm sure you are 100% correct about the situation and context of all that was happening to my uncle that day. However, I'm not for sure he didn't mean it. Apparently, after speaking with his wife today, I learned that he hasn't let it go. Please read my above replies to the other comments for further info.

Regarding his injury, believe it or not, he only suffered a superficial head wound and 4 staples. Thank God it was nothing more serious. However, he was still falling down when trying to stand on the following day, so I'm expecting that this is not the last of this kind of incident for him. I'm afraid for his safety.
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From what I've seen and heard, this is not unusual behavior for AZ patients. I suggest forgiving him and understanding that it's not HIM but the ugly disease speaking.

It was nice that you were there to help him and your aunt. Stress and unfamiliar situations also make people act poorly. You did a good thing which you should feel good about.

Do your best to put it in perspective and put this behind you.
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RaisedOnElton May 22, 2019
Thank you so much for your kind words. Sadly, I am having trouble putting this behind me. I spoke with his wife today, and she revealed to me that he hasn't let it go; that he's been raging and ranting about me ever since. He hasn't forgotten it, at all. I offered to help her, to come over there, bring them dinner, etc. She turned me down, even though I knew how much help she needed. Ultimately, it's because she's afraid that seeing me will set him off.
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Raised by Elton: "(his wife wasn't even speaking up), and he suddenly turned on me!..." His wife wasn't speaking most likely, because she has been trained to stay silent. You didn't mention if she was or was not shocked by his behavior. Alzehimer's reveals a lot, their true colors emerge, whilst others some Alzheimer's get generally fussy like a cranky kitten, when losing their frontal lobe-controlled, ability to hold-back verbiage.
His MRI scans or CT images will provide you insight into which areas are still functioning, and insight into if this his behavior in the ER is his true personality. For future analysis, perhaps remember, If it happens one time it's an oops, more than once equates to a pattern. Talk with his wife, to privately ask if his ER behavior was something that surprised her. No matter how wonderful he was in your past, support her responses. The best abusers are masters at deception. Serial Killers are usually described as being "nice and quiet" Jeffrey Dahmer was described as a peaceful man, who loved eating gourmet caesar salads. Meanwhile he was murdering victims and snacking on their human meat skeletons.
Also if anger is truly part of the disease, then why is it anger that always appears and not raging kindness.
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RaisedOnElton May 22, 2019
Wow, you are very astute about how and why his wife was keeping her mouth shut. She has been getting blasted constantly. I spoke with her today, and she was crying and had locked herself in a spare guest room to get away from him. She cries a lot lately. She told me that she can't do anything right for him; that he blames every frustration he has on her. It does seem to be a pattern now. Until he blasted me, she was almost able to keep this under wraps, but now she knows that the cat's out of the bag.
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RaisedOnElton,

i feel that because of his fall and the hit on his head, along with his confusion and memory loss directly after the hit to his head, that it sounds like he may have a head injury. Now, I’m definitely not a doctor and the ER folks probably did a CT of his head to rule out a head injury but it’s quite possible that is why he acted the way he did. Especially since his behavior was so out of the ordinary. Hopefully he is okay either way. Now, people with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, are prone to fits of anger and lashing out to loved ones or caregivers. My mom has late stage Alzheimer’s and she lives with my husband and I and she has violent behavior at times. The disease makes the person very unpredictable. Good luck.
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RaisedOnElton May 28, 2019
LeBronFan, I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. It must be very painful and difficult for all of you. I hope you are able to find some balance in your life through this difficult time.

Believe it or not, all tests at the ER came back as normal for my uncle that day. But as some other folks have suggested on this thread, he may have been overwhelmed and confused by the whole ordeal. His behavior towards me was disproportionate to whatever I had said or done, and he went from 0-100 out of nowhere! That's the part of all this that seems most like an Alzheimer's outburst. I guess it was a combination of things that set him off. Sadly, I have since learned that he's still raging over me! He hasn't let it go, and I haven't even seen him since. Barb (below) said the word for that is perseverate - to keep going over the same thing, over and over. Apparently, it's common.
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I used to always be "Daddy's little girl". but one day before he went into the nursing home, he got so mad at me he told me he hated me. Before the dementia hit him, he would never have used that word. Both my parents taught me that you can hate things but not people. So of course when he said he hated me, it hurt so bad. I cried so much that my face hurt. I realize now it was not him saying those things. In the nursing home, they give him anti depressants to help calm him. It seems to work. It is hard to watch, but just try to remember, it is not him.
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There could be a few things going on.
1. He was frightened. Almost everyone gets that way in the ER.
2. He possibly is aware that he is having memory problems and was/is embarrassed by this.
About the only thing you can do if he raises his voice to you again is talk calmly to him, use a quiet voice and just reassure him.
Does he have or do they have anyone that sees them often or someone that will be able to help them "navigate" doctor visits and any further ER visits? If so that person should be a constant so they will have a familiar face when they have appointments. And this person can make sure that all the doctors are aware of medications and any other important information for continuity of care.
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My loved one realized he had been harsh, and a month later apologized.
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RaisedOnElton May 22, 2019
Are you saying that it took him a month to make the connection? Was the apology out of the blue, or did it come from a conversation you were having about the incident?
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