My father has Dementia / Alzheimer's and is at a stage where he flips out, hits, extremely combative. Any suggestions on placement?


At the moment he is in a psychiatric ward in the hospital because the Memory Care facility he was in kicked him out. The social worker is trying to find a place to put him but they won't take him. He is a VET, the VA Nursing homes won't take him for that same reason, we are running out of money for private pay and Medicare doesn't cover it. I'm not able to care for him and my Mom isn't either. HELP!!

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One would THINK that a test for UTI would be standard for a dementia patient who is hospitalized for psychiatric eval, but you would be wrong in some cases. Sometimes staff act like it is the first time they ever considered such a possibility when a family member asks about it.

Also, make it VERY CLEAR he has nowhere to go and NOBODY to care for him! Don't let them send him home for your mom to deal with and TELL THEM under no uncertain terms you are not available to care for him. Sometimes a discharge planner will try to shove that task (of finding a facility) off onto the family. Don't let it happen. A combative, fighting and hell-raising dementia patient is a nightmare!
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Reply to XenaJada

Daddy1941, has your father been tested for an Urinary Tract Infection. Such an infection would create out of control issues with an elder. It's worth being checked.
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Reply to freqflyer

If he is in a psychiatric ward I assume they are attempting to find a good combination of medications to help him be calmer. Perhaps finding the right placement should wait on the results of his psych ward treatment. At that point their discharge person should be able to help you.

This is heartbreaking. Good luck!
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Reply to jeannegibbs

I went through this with my husband. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through. I would suggest seeing an elder attorney to begin the Medicaid planning/application process. I would also see what the hospital can do in terms of behavior management. Along with that, work with the hospital to find suitable placement. I would not let them force you into bringing him home. They can’t do that because if you can’t take care of him, he needs appropriate placement, and they are obligated to find that. Be prepared for something less desirable than what you’d hope for. Placement for combative people is particularly difficult. However, do not accept someplace that does not give good care. Check out for the nursing home compare star ratings. There’s a wealth of information in there to help with decision making. Good luck.
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Reply to Tboosrn

When Seniors act out like this, it’s usually because they are scared and feel like they have to protect themselves. That’s why my mom used to become combative. Have they tried any medications with him? You can’t really blame the Memory Care. They have to protect their staff and other residents. Also, have you filed for Medicaid for him?

I am very surprised that the VA has no solution for you. You would think they would have special places for Vets with your dad’ issues.

Have you considered a Group Foster Home for Dad? I understand there are some who are trained to handle combative dementia patients. Maybe a smaller place would be more peaceful for Dad. Also, have you tried contacting your local area Agency on Aging?

I wish you good luck finding a place. Having had a parent who acted out, I know how you feel.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

I'd make an appt with dad's primary physician and discuss what's being done/options, and to keep you in the loop. The medical team needs to see the whole picture in order to help and make recommendations. I would think they would adjust meds to make him more comfortable. It's not just to make things easy for staff. It must be scary to be in a strange environment, have moments of clarity, and also know your mind is slipping and to feel a lack of control over basic things, and to not understand whats going on. I'm not saying that to give you more anquish, (my dad had dementia) but to see things from his point of view. That may be the reasons for outbursts. You can always stop in, or call nursing staff for weekly updates. The more your presence is known the better for your dad's care.
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Reply to Jasmina

This was my question when I came on here a year ago screaming! My Mom went to the psych. Wing of the hospital. They got her on medication for dementia. They cleared up a U.T.I. They cleared up M.E.R.S.A. This 2 took weeks in there. She had a fall and broke her pelvis and back. She had hospital and N.H. rehab psypsychosis. They will get them on the right meds and get them off the old ones and make it better. The social worker there found a nice place for my Mom to go to for the reminder of her rehab. She has been at home again and we are just now going to see a neurologist next week. It seems awful while you are going through it, but it was the very best outcome for my Mom. Hang in there! Also, you can visit in there and you should. Just every 3 days or so. They had certain visiting hours only but it lets them know YOU are on the team too and keeps them on their toes!
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Reply to BootShopGirl

Have you tried medication? Like Ahmijoy said, your dad isn't comfortable in some area which is why he's acting out and he may not be able to convey to you what's wrong. Maybe his doctor can help.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

This is heartbreaking
Try to stay in touch with the hospital staff both as they work through the meds - even after a discharge it may be different ones will be needed - mom was started on seroquel and rather than keep increasing it, was switched to risperdal - and to work on a discharge plan
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Reply to MsMadge

I don’t have this experience (yet), and my heart goes out to you! In addition to the good input above, I just want to pose for the group: does care for folks in this state ever make sure to provide exercise and some time outdoors? With my mom indoors so often now, she’s expressed a desire to ‘hit someone’ often lately, and I’d swear it’s pent-up energy. It wouldn’t be feasible for some, but sheer boredom and lack of movement could make you a little crazy, no?
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Reply to Zdarov

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