My dad has Alzheimer's and is very anti social, very angry and aggressive. How can we manage his anger?

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Dad is non compliant with his meds, his license is revoked but he still drives. He refuses to cooperate and becomes extremely angry and agressive when we try to reason with him. He is too big and strong for my sister and I to physically handle him. His anger is out of control. We want to place him in memory care but have no idea how to get him there or to make him stay there. He will leave if not physically restrained. Our mother is at risk. She is often the target for his anger. We need help, not just friendly suggestions...HELP!

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Hi Tammy,
Jeannegibbs is wise and gives wonderful advice. I echo everything she said. I'm not normally in favor of chemically restraining someone, but this is an extreme case and your mother, your sister and you are all at risk. I'd ask Social Services what can be done. Somehow, he needs to be in a care center where his anger and aggressiveness can be controlled. This is his disease acting, but there are limits when others are at risk. If he had another illness that affected his thinking and judgment, he's likely be forced into some kind of treatment. Please check with Social Services and his doctor to see what can be done to get him into a memory unit so he can have his medications and be calmed down a bit. Good luck to you. This is a horrible position to be in.
Carol
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Wow. This is so very, very hard. I have seen cases in my support group where aggressive patients are turned down at care centers for the safety of other residents. I think your first hurdle may be finding a suitable place. And then there are the hurdles of paying for it while ensuring your mother has enough to live on and then keeping him there. My heart goes out to you.

But I know you want practical advice, not just empathy.

First, it does no good to reason with somebody who has dementia. The reasoning ability is gone. So save some frustration there. Arguing, reasoning, and explaining just don't work.

Why does Dad still have access to a car? Can it be removed from the premises? Does Mother need access to it? If there are no licensed drivers in the house, remove the car!

Does Dad have a specialist who is treating his dementia? I would definitely let this doctor know exactly what his behavior is like. In a way I am suggeting chemical restraints -- a drug or drugs to calm him down and ease the anxiety and anger. That is a bad solution -- but it may be the best one available.

But that won't do much good if he won't take the drugs, will it? In a care center they may have better means to see that he gets his medications. Until then, do you think he would comply if a nurse came out daily and gave him his meds?

Will your mother be able to call 911 if things get out of hand? Does she have a medical alert button? Protecting Mom is a priority, of course. Could she go and "visit" you or other family members to be safely out of Dad's way until a solution is found?

I wonder what Adult Protection Services would do about this? You might call them and describe the situation and see what they suggest.

Do you have POA for your dad, or any other legal authorization to act in his behalf?

I know that you know that this is not your father's fault. But other people do need to be protected from him, starting with not allowing him to drive.

I'm sorry not to have more concrete HELP ... you definitely deserve it. Please let us know what you are trying and how things work out.
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Check in with your local hospital that has a psychiatirc ward. Many times you can have someone commited against thier will for observation and diagnosis. They will usually keep them for a number of weeks while they try different medications to control the anger and deal with other issues of medication as well. During this time you can go for a legal guardianship of your father for medical as well as non-medical decisions. When he is released you can then get him into a facility that will be able to handle his outbursts. With dementia a lot of times these things just continue to escalate and i agree you have to protect your Mom and both of you right now for his uncontrolled outbursts and get him some medication help. it is never easy to commit someone against their will but right now that might be your first line of defense for your Mom.
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First contact whomever is treating your Dad's Alz. and repeat the fears and reality verbalized here. Demand a referral to a Geriatric psyc. Usually admission is necessary to regulate his meds which take time to become effective. Do not take no for an answer. Worst case scenario call 911 when he is in an uncontrolled rage. Either the police or medical personnel will transport him to sn ER. He will end up in a Geri psy unit until meds can be balanced.
Your Mom is at risk this cannot be delayed.
His driving is a major risk to himself and others and you could be exposed to financial liabilities, . If Mom still drives have a mechanic install a hidden kill switch which will disable the car. Dont depend on hiding the keys, he is likely to become enraged at your mom .
You cannot delay! Make sure you convey the gravity and danger to your Mom, sister and the public, to your Dad'S MD OR 911 personnel
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Specifically you'll want your dad seen by, a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, or a geriatric psychiatrist which in my opinion would be the best type of physician to have on board. If there are no memory clinics in your area, I would check with the nursing homes with dementia units or any dementia-specific ALF's to find out if they can refer you to their specialists.
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Hi, Just another thought. You can call your local police department and alert them to the fact that he is driving without a license and you are in fear of him hurting himself and someone else. Ask if they would help you get him to the Psychiatric Ward if you got him set up for an involuntary admission. that way you would not be in jeopardy of him hurting you, your sister nor your mother while trying to get him admitted into the program. You will likely be doing you Dad a huge favor by doing this sooner rather than later. Once he is in the hospital they can test him on a medication regime that will deal with some of his anger issues.
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Call law enforcement when he drives off for his license have already been revoke n he don't have to know who called. His physician should be called for your concerns and safetyness of others in the home.
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Talk to an eldercare lawyer ASAP.
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