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Aggressive behaviour - Carers UK Forum

Aggressive behaviour

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hi all,
My dad has VD and has been living on a residential dementia unit in a care home for the last year and a bit.
Recently his behaviours have started to become very worrying. He has trashed his room several times, is frequently verbally abusive and has assaulted me and, more recently, care staff too.
The home has got MHT involved and they are in the process of investigating him fully mentally and physically (usual checks for infections, etc).
I spoke to the care home manager today and she has asked me to distance myself for a while - i.e. not come to visit - until they've had time to complete their tests and Dad has settled down a bit as he always gets very distressed whenever I have to leave at the end of a visit.
I'm just at a bit of a loss at the moment, as I have no idea how we can manage this current stage.
The GP has prescribed a low dose tranquilliser (one of the -pam family) to see if that helps, but they obviously don't want to turn him into a zombie as that's not fair on him.
I don't want him to end up in a secure hospital as the care home is a lovely place, but I equally don't want to put his carers in harm's way - my dad is a large chap and pretty strong and he isn't aware of his own strength when he's lashing out :(
Morning pope _pourri
Sad to read this. My hubby is going to be referred to a psychiatrist, as his behaviour is at times aggressive. He can't trash his room because unable to walk or use his left arm. Strokes as well as vascular dementia. The nursing home know why he becomes agressive. The approach to him his vital, as in telling him what's happening, he hates the hoist. It's when personal care is needed.Other times he is lovely with staff. I feel lost too, because I can't talk to him about his behaviour, he doesn't remember! Have never been asked to stay away. It's a nursing home. It's common, that dementia patients become aggressive.
Has a secure unit actually been mentioned to you? It's not easy to distance yourself but I personally would do that if it's going to help, and your visits become more settled. Just think, if you had a nasty cold etc , you wouldn't be able to visit. Last year, hubby's home had an outbreak of the novovirus, no one could visit. Hubby didn't connect that I hadn't seen him for over 2 weeks. I was very fretful, he wasn't! Not sure my post is helpful to you, and I understand your anxiety. Have chat to the MHT if you can.
Thanks Pet,
Dad has been on diazepam for a few days and one of his carers told me on the phone just now that they'd actually had him eating in the dining room with the other residents on a couple of occasions this week - something which has never happened before.
I've agreed with them that I'm going to go see him on Monday morning as he tends to be a bit more with it in the mornings and if he does get distressed when I leave there will be more of his usual team around to deal, whereas in the evenings and weekends they often have agency staff who don't know him as well. Wish me luck!
I think the 'pams' are 'lovely'.....(I like them for myself on bad bad bad days!!!) and the 'right dose' doesn't zombify (it can make them wobble, but they take that into account - as a 'relaxant' it can relax muscles as well as minds, hence the wobble).

The IMPORTANT thing is for him to be HAPPY....doesn't matter if that requires little white pills to 'lift' him into peaceableness and serenity (ie, not agitated or distressed/angry etc).

Don't dread the secure units too much - my MIL was in for a while (she was a 'wanderer' sigh, and kept heading out of the front door - trying to get 'home' alas, sadly), and they simply had codes on the doors, lifts and staircase gates. It was more 'depressing' as was in a half basement, so gloomier, but that was just my MIL's home. I saw another one, an upper floor this time, that was very bright and cheerful - they just couldn't get out. (Not that they knew that.....)

Hopefully to this aggression is just 'the next stage' of his dementia, and he will 'decline beyond' it, in a few months. My MIL is now VERY peaceable - also, non-walking too, for the last year, so of course that makes things 'easier' in that respect anyway.

Finalyk, when you leave, do so just when a meal is being served - it distracts them. I used to do that with MIL, especially when I took her out for a drive - MUCH easier to settle her in the dining room, with people putting down plates of food, and other residents already seated. I could 'slip away' unnoticed. Sometimes I would say 'I'm just taking your jacket back to your room,' which she 'didn't mind', but then I'd just 'leave'....and she had forgotten me by then anyway....
Hi pope
Nice to hear from you again :)
So sorry to hear that Dads behaviour has been troubling.
Although you said you didn't know how to cope with it, it sounds like the Home does :) it sounds a good one, especially if you are happy with it.
Do let us know how the visit goes on Monday. Keep it short and Jenny's idea of just before lunchtime is brilliant.

Even with my mum who was doing well I now know to call her in the morning as she is much more muddled in the afternoons and evenings

I found visiting before meal times worked well. Mum would tell me to go as her dinner was coming! It sounded like she was starving hungry, but in fact ate very little, at times I resented the fact that I was below dinner in the pecking order, but it meant that mum didn't miss me when I went, which eased my conscience. There is only so much "news" one can think up.
I go to hubby at lunchtime. To see what he has for lunch, and to check it's been cut to bite size pieces of needed. Seems the best time for him and me. I usually have a little cake or similar, and if he isn't asleep I give him the cake,which distracts him, tell him I have to go for whatever reason I have thought up for the day, give him a kiss ( which he never rejects, so far) then just go. If I do look back he is enjoying his cake , watching TV and seems settled. Not as easy as it sounds, because of the feeling of abandoning him. I have been known to go at different times, and my family, just so staff don't get to used to the times we visit.
Eventually, loved ones find a way of leaving to suit the patient and themselves.