Do people with sundowners ever carry out the violent threats they make to caregivers? - AgingCare.com

Do people with sundowners ever carry out the violent threats they make to caregivers?

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My sister has recently had to provide care for her husband who threatens to kill her. She is in great fear?

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My mother-in-law got Sundowners in a nursing home, this normally sweet person who was unable to get out of bed on her own was in another patient's room smashing things with a cane. The facility sent her immediately to the hospital. She had been on sleeping medications, they took her off those that day and that was the last time she had a problem.
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There was a dementia resident in an Emeritus facility here that did not get along with his roommate. Why they did not separate them is anybody's guess. But this man had threatened his roommate on a number of occasions. A week ago the roommate passed away following a brutal beating. So, yes they sometimes follow through on threats.

If your Mom is frightened and finds your Dad a threat, it is time for a facility to keep your Mom safe. She deserves quiet, nonstressful elder years!
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The answer is yes, sometimes people with dementia will be violent. Even if they were a model boy scout pre-dementia.

A good geriatrician needs to evaluate for some other medical problem like infection, pain, conflicting meds, obvious things that can be concretely addressed.

A neurology consult needs to happen to figure out what's happening inside his head.

My mother became exceedingly combative, abusive, and mean as a snake. She was a fighter, biter, spitter, & hitter. She tried to beat me over the head with her cane. She hurt several people in the care center unit. She ended up in a geriatric psych unit for 5 days while they got her under control and figured out what her anti-psychotic dosages need to be.

I was lucky the better part of this decline happened while she was already in a facility. She tried to cane me in the head while we were going 70mph down the interstate because I needed to stop at a different store than planned.

Your sister needs to grab the bull by the horns by reaching out to a geriatrician and get the ball rolling to move him into a suitable facility. This can take time, and if he threatens her in the meantime, she can call 911, report this as domestic assault and explain to the officers he has dementia and needs to go to the hospital, not the jail. She does not need to live in fear for her safety. This is MORE important than trying to just maintain status quo and pretend it's not happening.

If the local hospital won't admit him because they don't have geri-psych beds, she can refuse to pick him up from discharge, and demand the social worker at the hospital find a placement for him. They can't just leave him on the sidewalk.

Regular psych units usually won't take dementia patients with psychiatric problems. These beds can be very hard to come by depending on where you are.

Wishing all of you the best. Please report back on how this is unfolding. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here who literally have seen it all.
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Okay, he's threatened to kill her. Meaning that he no longer recognizes her as someone who loves him and has his best interests at heart. He sees her as someone threatening. Maybe he won't kill her, just maim her.

The stress of this is KILLING HER. That much we can be certain if. Please help her get him placed.
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Very good possibility he will attack her or the pink elephant he sees next to her. There is no room for error when this behavior appears. You call 911 and you have him admitted to the psych ward for evaluation.
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I'm not sure if her husband is seeing a psychiatric nurse as part of his care but for my elderly mother who has dementia this is part of her care. When I told her my brother was uncomfortable with my mother's behavior she immediately hospitalized her and my mother spent a week in a unit while they started her on an anti-psychotic med. To be honest this should have been done much sooner but I resisted. Please have your sister call her husband's doctor right away and explain the situation. They will know what to do. And it might be best to have someone with her in the meantime. All the best to you.
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If her husband has reached the stage of violence, he needs to be placed in a nursing home immedietely. Yes they will attack, not only property but people also. Find a good memory care unit or nursing home, and place him this week.
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She needs to have his medications re-evaluated. There are lockdown units in hospitals that do that. They stay usually for a couple of weeks while the doctors try out different combinations. It can make a world of difference. She needs to tell his doctor as soon as possible and get that ball rolling.

Can she have a male aide or friend come in every day at about the time he's going through this and help her? Even someone different every day if necessary, just so she's not alone with him. A neighbor, a relative, a church acquaintance, anyone.

Also, you state that she has recently had to provide his care. Has someone else been providing his care? Could there be some help on that front?
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