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Violent Behavior. Any treatment?

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Old 07-13-2003, 10:28 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: hicksville, Ny, usa
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fran723 HB User
Question Violent Behavior. Any treatment?

My mother is in the middle stages of Alzheimers and has been very combative and even violent on an almost daily basis. This behavior comes out of nowhere. It is getting unbearable for my father and sister who care for her at home. We can't afford even a day of assisted living. We know that time may come soon. Right now she is still able to care for herself somewhat...dress herself, eat, shower..but the outbursts are getting out of control. Any suggestions? Do you know of any medications she can try? She is currently on xanax but its not helping at all.

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Old 07-13-2003, 02:03 PM   #2
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gizmolove HB Usergizmolove HB User

Dear Fran,

I know how you feel. My mom went thru this stage and it just about distroyed my whole family. See, to treat Alzheimer's successfully, you must first have a diagnosis. Sometimes just getting that diagnosis is so hard, sometimes next to impossiable, and sometimes not even possiable, AT ALL, (Your doctor and your mothers cooperation is key here), especially in this
"combative" stage. They will dissagree with you and fight you on every turn. That is the hell of this awful disease. (And, I'm not even going to get into the doctors...some doctors are just next to useless).

In short, you have your work cut out for you. Try to lood at alzheimer's as a multi-faceted disease. It's not just memory loss, it's not just "them" getting a little "senile". This disease effects the brain, so you have a miriod of behavioral and emotional problems to contend with also. Any doctor who just wants to treat Alzheimer's with drugs for memory,,,,,obviously does not understand the nature of this disease.

Therefore, you should be aware of the standardized drugs not only for Alzheimer's but for depression, anxiety, paranoia, and rage and anger too. Get to know these drugs,,,you may have to throw in something for sleep, restlessness, phycosis and dilusions to. Some doctors do notice the need for tranquilizors, and something for depression, so most times you have to take the inititive to be the communicative bridge between the doctor, the pharmasist and your mom.

You are going to have to learn to be the referee, the organizer, the information source, and the peacemaker rooled all into one. And, you will have to learn to "talk" for her, as her disease makes her mentally and emotionally impaired. (But do not let her know that, it won't do anyone any good, it will just cause an argument and ailinate her ~~ let her think she is still in charge and independent,,,,while you or someone else is still "pulling the strings"). I know it's hard to be the "parent". And, of course in this stage she will resist you all the way. But, she will get more managable with the right medications, and in time. Also the right care "attitude" is paramount. Work to try to understand the confusion, the fear and the cayoss that she is going thru. Let her have her way when possiable, be patient, encourageing and kind and understnading. Agree with her, it's not importent that you or she is right. It is only importent that she is happy and pain free and easier to care for. Gain her trust and respect, be someone she can lean on and count on. Be there to help her, not to "do for her". Let her do what she can, and help her with what she is having trouble with now and in the future, (Alzheimer's always gets worse, never gets better).

And, do not take, "No, I will not take those pills" for an answer. Saying "No" to the appropriate medications is not an option. Try behavioral modification techniques first, (I'm standing here until you take them), then if that doesn't work grind them up and sneek them to her in her food or liquid. Hey, that's what I did. (It's just best to go the road of least resistance ~~ for the both of you).

Start today to keep a medications record book. Note the medication; dosage given; X's per day; RX by who? RX for what? And, most importantly note changes in her before and just after the drug is taken. Does she start to act up an hour before her anxiety drug is given? Does she start to become more communicative 20-30 min after she takes something for depression? Keep carefull notes, and share these results often with her doctor. It will really help her get better and more managable; and, that will help both her and you and your whole family to feel better and have a better quality of life. (Hope this helps).


Old 07-17-2003, 10:00 AM   #3
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Sustasha HB User

My father in law got Alzheimer's soon as he retired; they had wanted to start traveling at that milestone.
He refused to lay down and rarely sat down. My MIL was so tired and wanted to sleep but he just stood there. When she tried to get him in bed he doubled up his fist at her. They had money but at that time no one would take him. So she put him in the State Hospital for 3 months and got caught up with her sleep. When he finally lost strength and weight the nursing home took him. He died there.
I am so sorry your family is going through this nightmare. I wonder if the family of DOCTORS who have access to MEDICATIONS go through it??

Best Wishes to All,
Susan Gene

Old 08-03-2003, 08:45 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Trenton, NJ
Posts: 2
mlawrence HB User


Been through this stage ourselves with my dad. He was very combative and wanted to fight everyone. Tried several drugs (Ativan, etc) but they all just knocked him out. One that has worked in small doses seems to be Zyprexa (sp?). However, I've heard mixed reviews. Sneaking it into their food is your best option.

Good luck.


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