When I placed my wife in the unit, I asked them should I stay away for a while. They said no and they encouraged to visit often. My wife wants to know why we have “other people in our home”. The two times in the last week that they have called I have been there an average of about 4 hours each time. The aggressive behavior is very recent but seems to be increasing. She is not aggressive with me. She is getting a very bad reputation with the aides.

I have to say I’m surprised that the facility would continually call you and expect you to calm her down. If you placed her there, that means she needed more help than you could render.

My mom was combative, she would wander and she was stubborn and uncooperative. She would even stick her foot out and try to trip the aides when they walked last. I never got a call to run to the facility to calm her down. They always handled it. I’d call a Care Conference and ask what they think should be done. I would not bring her home.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Phogan001 Sep 18, 2018
Thanks. Had a conversation with head nurse. I think we are making headway
See 1 more reply
I’m sorry your wife is experiencing a similar situation to my Mum when she first moved into full time care. Imagine how it must feel to be in a strange place, suddenly being told what to do by people you don’t know. For example being told to sit down when you don’t particularly want to sit down. Imagine being told that the bag you are trying to pick up is not yours and to put it back on another residents walking frame (when you are convinced it’s yours, because it looks just the same). Imagine being told you must leave a room because another resident doesn’t want you in there, but this person asked you to come in and say hello as you were passing and then changed their mind because they also have Alzheimer’s disease and forgot you are friends.
If I suddenly lost my right to liberty, to make decisions for myself and was being constantly told (not asked) what to do by everyone, I think I would become aggressive and strike out to defend myself.
I think this is what’s happening. Like my Mum was, your wife is just defending herself, defending her right to liberty.
We all need training (professional carers, family carers, friends too) in how to put ourselves into the shoes of a person with Alzheimer’s disease and imagine how we would react if we were being treated or spoken to, in the manner we (or other carers) are now speaking to and treating our loved ones in care. It helps one to understand how we can better approach a person with Alzheimer’s so that we mininmise stress and obtain a more positive response and outcome.
Most of the carers at my Mums care home are wonderful, very experienced and speak to the residents with care, love, empathy and consideration. They ask a resident if they would like to do.....rather than telling a person they must do........The most effective carers don’t order our loved ones around, they gently coax and encourage with great care and empathy.
There are a small number of carers in my Mums care home who lack this empathy and caring-they do not show respect to the residents in their care. These are the ones my mum has slapped-in response to the manner in which they approached her a number of times when she ended up in another residents room (by mistake or after being invited). Telling my Mum she must leave a room gets a negative response-she will become stubborn and refuse to move. Rather ask her if she could please come and help out in the kitchen or with another resident in the living room (this would get her moving immediately because she’s an ex nurse and just wants to help everyone).
I explained why I think my mother slapped the carer to her care manager the day after the first incident occurred. She was unwilling to hear me (understandably because a carer had been struck) and called a doctor in who prescribed a sedative (my Mum now takes 4 times a day). So my Mum is under sedation each day to keep her calm. It breaks my heart as I am unable to care for my Mum at home full time. I have to trust that the care home is doing what they need to do to care for my Mum in a way that is manageable for the whole team. She is not an agressive person, she just has Alzheimer’s Disease and needs to be treated with care & consideration of her condition. She is never aggressive with me, will do mostly anything when I ask. If she doesn’t want to do something (like brush her teeth or finish a cup of tea), I just change the subject, redirect her attention, and few minutes later I ask again and she usually cooperates. It’s an ongoing learning curve for both of us.
I think the aggression your wife is now showing is in response to the manner in which she is being approached. I hope this information about my Mums experience is of help to you and your LO.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Gingerjo99
Ismeraldo Sep 18, 2018
I would love to share your response on my Facebook page. I share the struggle.
Is she being seen by a geriatric psychiatrist?

In my experience, that is the specialist you want to get on "team dementia"
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Phogan001 Sep 16, 2018
Thanks. Good idea
Has she been tested for a urinary tract infection? These are fairly common in Seniors, especially in women. A UTI can cause aggressive and combative behavior, hallucinations and delusions. Facilities don’t automatically test for them. I had to ask that my mom be tested monthly.

Hopefully, the Geri Psych can suggest meds for her if it’s not a UTI.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Ahmijoy
athena1234 Sep 26, 2018
I asked and watched every afternoon with my Dad in aNH..for diaper changes, Dad would scratch himself..
Was told by a summer student NURSE
That the rule of thumb was every hour.
They never hydrated dad,he was blind
And sat in a wheelchair when he wanted to lie down...they do not want to do transfers.also I bought orange juice that I used to make smoothies
W yogurt fresh fruit...why don't NH make smoothies...easist healthy way
To was cold and hard as delivery was slow also one aide feeding dementia patients, eight one morning..geez glad I was able to see opinions they are better off in a backyard with a sarong no diapers,
Listening to birds the Godfather ..its too stressful and can get a very nice apartment for 2000 per month. As opposed to the cheaper rate of 4000
Per mo.
My mother was diagnosed with dementia and alzheimers in 2006. She passed 2017.
I had the same happen to me.
What I found to help was I did not have a routine on what time of day I would visit. I always had to be on alert . If mom was trying to tell me she was uncomfortable in her surrounding? Payed attention which aides where working? Who also was her roommate? Just dropping in different times of the day keep everyone on their toes.
In the meantime , I made a friends with other familys in the facility. We keep each other informed. Called if we noticed anything. In the meantime, I talked to facililty Dr. on giving mom some anxiety medicine. They should supply music therapy to help calm her down . Also I talked to her on phone first before I went. She just wanted to hear my voice.

I hope you find this helpful.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Happyfeet1930
jacobsonbob Sep 18, 2018
"My mother was diagnosed with dementia and alzheimers in 2006. She passed 2017. I had the same happen to me." (Fortunately, this isn't QUITE true because you are still alive and posting!) ;-)
I agree with BarbBrooklyn. If I were to have that terrible disease, I would want to be "doped up" as much as possible. Why would I want to experience the fear and anxiety of knowing what is happening to me? If it meant I would live a few years less with this awful disease, so be it. Sad to say, but there is no cure, and Alzheimer's patients do not get better. It's horrible for their loved ones to watch, but I would think seeing them calm (even if doped up) would be a little easier than seeing them agitated and afraid.

Consider the people who work at these facilities. Would you work at a place where you might be assaulted at any time? Some of these patients could be bigger and stronger than the workers. It's difficult enough to get people to work in nursing homes, etc.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to OkieGranny
CaregiverL Sep 19, 2018
Okie, you are absolutely right 1000 percent
I'd discuss it with her doctor and consult with a geriatric psychiatrist. I'd explore if she would benefit from medication.

I'm not sure how I would react if the MC staff were not able to manage matters on their own. I might also ask for a team meeting to see how things are being addressed by them. They should be able to see trends, triggers, issues, etc. and create ways to deal with it. They should be trained to recognize the problem and make adjustments to help her.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Sunnygirl1

Have you watched any of the Youtube videos by Teepa Snow? I strongly encourage you to do so. There are quite a few, but one in particular shows how she, a stranger, would approach someone who was being very aggressive. These are two that are excellent... Helping a Distressed Person with Dementia" with Teepa Snow - 10 ways to de-escalate a crisis with Teepa Snow. These are short and there is no reason the staff could not find time to watch them as well. I would insist on it! I'm watching everything I can find by this lady. She role plays the situations and makes it very clear how to approach and deal with those with dementia.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Maligirl

Please review her meds. My mom's doctor upped her Aricept and within a week she was throwing things at me, hitting me, punching. We immediately went back down and after about a month the violence stopped.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to anonymous167756

I am sorry this is happening. I know it must be horrible for your wife and upsetting to you.
You might want start showing up at different times. It might help you pinpoint what is going on.

Is the facility calling you at around the same time? It might be some activity or a particular person that is causing your wife to get agitated. Especially if it happens out of the blue.

My dad was never a problem at the home. Then he started to get clearly upset when I would visit.
Found out one CNA was doing things she shouldn't. She shouldnt have been a CNA. She was very young and had no empathy for her residents.

She came in the room right in front of me. I had never seen her before. Went straight over to my dad's bed. Grabbed his hamburger off his plate, and shoved it in his face, yelling EAT! Then turned to me and said he doesn't eat enough, with an annoyed look on her face. Then threw the hamburger back on his plate. He got very mad and upset. I was so shocked, I couldn't even talk! She didn't wash her hands, was very abrupt, and shoved just food in my dad's face! Then she walked out of the room!

My dad was also getting big scrape marks on his face from pushing the razor blade into his skin as he was getting shaved. I got a few ph calls warning me he had big bloody scrape marks on his face. That had never happened before. The CNA was being very rough with him. I think she was abrupt and he was reacting. He had been in the home a couple yrs before he started having problems. He hated her. So the problems were real. He tried to tell me things were happening. I thought it's not that bad. Yes it was!
Another time the CNA pulled his blankets/bedding off the bed and threw them on the floor. The air from that went in my face along with the dirt from the floor. I was sitting in a,chair visiting.

Nothing is allowed on the floor. Not even trash bags with soiled briefs. It goes from bed to special trash can. The nursing home can get cited big $$$ for that. So she was doing things she wasn't allowed to.

So my dad had a legitimate problem. He never complained before that. I went to management over that.

Your wife might be objecting around an activity, like bathing. She might feel bullied to bathe. The staff insist residents get clean. Residents can say no, but at a certain point they need a shower. It also helps check for sores/skin etc. Is it happening around bed time? Changing clothes to get ready for bed. It can be very traumatizing having someone remove your clothes when you don't want to. Cna's can be abrupt to get them into bed. They have 12 residents to look after. They are on a tight schedule.

I would definatly see if there is a legitimate reason she is getting agitated before requesting anxiety drugs. It could be 1 CNA or an activity/s she is objecting to. Or it could be another resident coming into her room, taking things.

That was another problem with my dad. Residents were walking in, taking things out of his closet and drawers. Luckily his room mate was able to yell for the nurses and they would redirect the wandering resident. They were both very upset by that.

So it could be a legitimate problem. Let us know if you find out what it is. Good luck~
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Jasmina
Cmthatcher Sep 18, 2018
Surprisingly moms new assisted living/memory ward said I can bring my nanny cameras.
I have had to increase and add drugs due to moms aggitation but change in aides has helped too. Once settled in new unit they will try decreasing some meds.
See All Answers
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter