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Dealing with Alzheimer's
An_241693 posted:
My Mother-in-law is 85 years young. She has short term memory loss. she can't remember anything she said 5 minutes ago, but the big problem is that she continues to argue taht she can do everything, she doesn't need help. She becomes mean to the point of hitting someone. How do you handle this situtation. She has verbally attack my father-in-law to the point he gives in to her. He is 88 years old and can't take care of a home anymore and wants to lives with us, but she tears him apart to the point he gives in.
How do you deal with her meanness.
cjh1203 responded:
The situation with your mother-in-law sounds really frustrating; unfortunately, I don't think it's that uncommon. Have you talked to her doctor about what's going on? He/she should be able to prescribe something that will make her less aggressive and violent.

Also, it would probably be a big help for you or someone in your family to contact your local Alzheimer's Association and talk to someone there about this. It's something they will undoubtedly be familiar with, and they can give you good advice and resources. Joining one of their support groups could also be very helpful.

Another option is to hire a case manager who specializes in Alzheimer's care. A case manager can evaluate your mother-in-law to see how much and what type of care she needs, as well as your father-in-law's ability to take care of her and himself. He/she can also oversee your mother-in-law's care, staying on top of her medications, coordinating with her doctor, etc.

My aunt brought in a case manager who dealt almost exclusively with Alzheimer's patients, late in my uncle's disease. It was an absolute Godsend, and she very much regretted not doing it sooner. You should be able to get recommendations from the Alzheimer's Association or your local Senior Resources Association (or whatever it is called in your area).

Best of luck. I hope you and your family can find the help you need.

Judith L London, PhD responded:
Dear An_241693,
What a troublesome situation. This is the time when they both need help. Has she always been mean to him or is this a new behavior? Her verbal aggression may be a sign of frustration about what is happening to her. Impaired communication has been identified as a major cause of aggression.I think that she needs to be told that she sounds really angry, and that the way she expresses it hurts to the core.At least she would receive immediate feedback about the impact of her behavior. You may have to tell help your father say those words back to her.

One way she might accept help is to lay the responsibility on you, not either parent. For example, tell them that you can't relax because you are so worried about them, and you know that an outside caregiver would help you feel better.

Definitely contact the Alzheimer's Assn. at or call them at 800-272-3900.There is a wealth of information about this issue

Please keep in touch,

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