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Anon_169050 posted:
My grandmother (78) has been diagnosed with Alzheimers for a couple of years now. We noticed her memory loss for years but over the past couple of years she has thought that she was living an earlier time in her life. My grandfather is 78 and he has not dealt well with her illness. We've noticed my grandmother's hostility growing over the past year toward my grandfather and my mother whom my grandfather leans on a lot. It took a while for my three uncles to come to the realization that my grandmother truly is ill. My grandmother has been really hard on my grandfather and mother with her hostility (although I know it's the disease and not truly her). Two weeks ago my grandfather was admitted to the hospital. Well I have come to believe that he faked his symptoms just to get away from my grandmother. He was released from the hospital a week ago and my Mom has taken a leave from work to help take care of them. My mom spends every day with them and my uncles take turns spending nights. Today her hostility turned violent. She was hitting my grandfather and going to hit him with his walker. She thought that my Mom was some random woman that he was cheating on her with. He calls for help from my mother. She enters the room and my grandmother attacks her, punching her. My mom grabs the phone to call my uncle for help. My Mom later asks my grandfather if she was hitting him the night he was admitted to the hospital. He replied, 'It has been going on so long I can't remember.' My heart is broken for both of my grandparents. My question is, when you hit this point in the road what do you do? We tried to take care of them ourselves at there home. But after today I feel like we are incapable of caring for my grandmother.

Med wise the Aricept made my grandmother worse. And the doc prescribed a nerve medicine but we can't get her to take anything.
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davedsel57 responded:
Hello.

I am so sorry this is happening to your family.

I think I would suggest that your mom and/or her brothers speak with your grandmother's doctor asap and explain how violent she is. Perhaps it is time to admit her into the hospital for a thorough evaluation and to try and treat her so she is no longer violent.

I pray your grandmother can get the treatment she needs soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings, Dave
 
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cjh1203 responded:
Like Dave, I'm terribly sorry that your family is having to deal with this.

My uncle had Alzheimer's and went through quite a long period where he was violent with my aunt, to the point that she would have to call the police. He chased her around with knives several times, and often threatened to kill her or himself. She rarely mentioned it, but her daughter let us know.

Finally, he was put on an anti-psychotic that stopped the violence. As Dave said, your grandmother really needs to be evaluated. If causes other than Alzheimer's are ruled out, there should be medications that can help. Anti-psychotics can have serious side effects, especially in people with dementia, but the benefit may outweigh the risks.

Your grandfather and mother should not have to live with this for one more day. This needs to be treated as an emergency. Ideally, your grandmother's doctor will see her immediately. If he/she can't, call your local Alzheimer's Association or Council on Aging, ask them for help, and let them know it's urgent.

Best of luck to you and your family. Please let us know what happens.

Carol
 
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Anon_169050 replied to davedsel57's response:
I truly thank both prior posts for your quick responses. My grandmother does have an appointment with her doctor tommorow. We are waiting until after the visit is over to discuss any decisions that will be made. It is so heartbreaking what this disease does. My grandmother is a very loving and caring woman and I can't recall ever hearing a curse word come out of her mouth until the last few months. I will keep you posted on how the visit goes. I am glad I found this site.
 
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cjh1203 replied to Anon_169050's response:
It is awful to see the changes in people with Alzheimer's. More than the memory loss or anything else, the heartbreak is seeing someone's personality disappear.

My step-grandmother was always a very proper lady who would never think of even using the mildest curse words. When she had Alzheimer's, though, she would yell the f-word all the time. She would have been so mortified by that.

I hope your grandmother's doctor can offer some quick help.

Carol
 
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Judith L London, PhD responded:
Sorry I haven't responded sooner - I've been away.

What Alzheimer's can do to people is so sad. I hope that your grandmother has been evaluated by now. If she cannot tolerate Aricept, she may be able to tolerate and Exelon patch which bypasses the digestive tract. She also may be depressed - and I hope she has been evaluated for depression. Even small amounts of anti-depressants can mitigate aggressive depression. A geriatric psychiatrist or memory clinic would be able to better figure out the cause of her aggression - does it happen at specific times of day, for example.
Now is the time for your family to get some outside help to relieve your grandfather. If they are financially able, looking into memory residences would be advisable. Call the Alzheimer's Assn. 800-272-3900 - they have wonderful suggestions.

Meanwhile, make sure everyone is safe - especially your grandfather.

Hope this gets resolved soon,
Judy
 
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Anon_169050 replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Thanks for your post. They have now put my grandmother on another medication and it is helping with the severity of her aggression. The sad part is that my grandfather has alzheimers too and he is on the Exelon patch. He convinces himself that he can't swallow, and that he's paralyzed. Right now his new thing is that he can't find his pulse so he constantly has us running in checking his pulse. The next step that my Mom and Uncles have chosen is to hire sitters for the daytime and they will share nights. If this doesn't work they have already talked to a Nursing Home that specializes in Alzheimer's patients. My grandmother is not depressed but my grandfather is severely depressed and he is on medication for that. We're just taking it one day at a time. Thans for the phone number.
 
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Judith L London, PhD replied to Anon_169050's response:
So glad the the medication is helping your grandmother.

Has your grandfather been medically checked out? He may be describing something that physically bothers him but he cannot express it clearly. If he is OK medically, talk to him about his fear that something is wrong. As I point out in my book, everything that someone with Alzheimer's says is significant when we 'connect the dots' of information that manage to be expressed.

Memory residence placement can be a good alternative when the staff has been educated about what to expect and is kind, caring and respectful to the residents.

Keep us posted,
Judy
 
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lbcash replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Sorry for the late reply. My grandmother is still doing a little better. And yes my grandfather has been checked out. He was in the hospital for over a week due to his complaints. After a CT scan, blood work, a swallow test, and staying on a holter moniter 24/7 it was determined that he is just suffering from Alzheimer's. He would tell everyone that he was paralyzed and couldn't move but if you held something out to him he would grab it. He would say he couldn't swallow but the swallow test showed him he could. He is just extremely paranoid too. It's so sad.


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