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bparksmile posted:
Hello everyone. I am new to this so I am sorry if I am not doing this right. My Uncle is suffering from Dementia and we just put him in a nursing home this week. It seems that he has gotten worst since we put him there. He has become very violent is this normal? And is there any medication that he can take to help him be calm? It seemed he was better at home then he is in there. My family and I are torn. Please help.
cjh1203 responded:
I'm really sorry about what's going on with your uncle. I know how distressing it is for your family.

The transition to a new place can be upsetting for a dementia patient, but they usually do well once they're settled in. Have you talked to his doctor about the violence? There are medications that can help. What has the staff's response been?

Is he in a regular skilled nursing home, or a memory-care facility?

It would probably help you and your family a lot to contact your local Alzheimer's Association. They can give you information and advice, and they offer support groups that can be invaluable.

Don't give up on the facility yet. It's likely that he'll settle in nicely, or it might be that it's just not the right facility and a different one would work better.

I know there are a lot of emotions involved in this, including guilt, but dementia patients really do often do better in a good facility than they do at home; sometimes it's just rough in the beginning.

Best wishes.
beethkfull2 responded:
Hi bparksmile,

I can tell you from first hand experience that some times they do get angry . They may not be able to express the fear of the unknown. Moving him is always the hard part. Brace your self because he may even blame you and other family members. He can settle down once the change is accepted as the norm. I remember my husbands first transition from home to nursing home care, we both cried most of our visits, he did not understand why he was placed there . One day he asked me what he had done wrong? had he killed some one to be locked up. My heart broke because he is the kindest person to humans and animals. We are 5 years down the road now, we enjoy our time together, and it is never an issue of why he is there. Hang in there it will get better for you both.
Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi bparksmile

Your uncle is undergoing 'transfer trauma'. He may not need medication at all. Tell the staff personal things about him, his likes and dislikes, how he used to be. The more the staff know about him, the better they will related to him, and the better he will be. Tell your uncle that it's alright to be angry - that you understand his feelings. The main reason that people with this illness get aggressive is because of the frustration of not being able to express themselves. He is so confused and frightened - reassure him that you and the family are looking
out for him. We need to help him express his feelings in words for him. He will settle down in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, when people with Alzheimer's often improve when are in a residence with caregivers who know how to be helpful, I know you feel guilty but I believe you and the family have been very brave and wise to place him in a nursing home. It's a tough but necessary step.

Sending you strength,

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