My daughter and I are caring for my mom at home. Most days are good, but we have a very agressive lady sometimes. Any advice?

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She is in late stage Alz. according to the stage descriptions. But most days have some joy, much confusion and babbling, and whenever we need to accomplish something she doesn't like She gets pretty violent. Example, bath time, she kicks, head buts, bites, screams and must be restrained (big towel wrapped around her arms, one holding her from behind, one doing the washing). And we do all the calming, comforting things we can to make it more acceptable. music, warmth, calm voices, gentle as we can be under the circumstances. Example #2, changing her disposable underpants, yesterday she picked up the soaked underwear and smashed it in my daughters face! We are committed to caring for her at home because she has so many good days. She loves the animals and the freedom of our country life. We have chickens and ducks and goats, a parrot and cat and dogs. They bring her great peace and we don't want to mess with that. We love mom as she's been such a great parent. Just need a better way to manage this agressive behaviour. We've tried a number of medications but they've all had unfavorable side effects. So far a little Xanex before bath time has helped some, but not sure that's the best alternative.

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It's nice that you and your daughter are working together to take care of your mom. I'm sure your mom is getting excellent care.

Most people with advanced dementia have to take an anti-anxiety medication such as xanax. I'm wondering what your concerns are about your mom taking it. Showering their loved one is a notoriously difficult time for caregivers as you know but it sounds like you and your daughter are successful. Your mom will always hate showers, that won't change. Getting her through it with as little trauma as possible is the goal.

I'm glad your mom has good days. Those are important. Managing the aggressive behavior is challenging. Have you spoken to your mom's doctor about her aggressiveness?

I think you've probably tried all the tricks of the trade. Low lighting, calm voices, offering fluids and/or a snack, etc. And these are all good things to try but the problem is in the brain which you can't get to and which you can't reason with. Bad days are difficult on your mom too although she probably can't verbalize it.

Maybe her doctor can prescribe a light anti-anxiety med for the day time. You don't want her sedated but maybe something you can administer if you're getting warning signals that it's going to be a bad day. And depending upon how your mom reacts to the med you can talk to the doctor about increasing the dosage or decreasing it.

I hope you consider talking to the doctor about a medication. It might make all of your lives a little easier.
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