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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone,

I read this board now and then, so many of you face such hard times with your elderly, I don't know how you do it and stay sane.

I am 2,200 miles from my parents.  My father had a stroke a year ago.  Since then he can't stand up.  He can talk fairly normally.  He eats very little and has lost a lot of weight.  He is 5'10" and weighs about 120 now. He is home with my mother and they have a 24/7 aid.

He is just horrible, nasty to the aides, yells, makes a fist (he does not have the strength to hit anyone or he would), bares his teeth, tries to bite (and sometimes does) the aid, the doctors...

I don't know why I'm writing except that I see some of you also dealing with nasty, violent elderly.  What do you do, is there anyplace that will take them?  My parents still have assets so I don't think medicare will cover anything.  I don't know how long my mother can handle this.


Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Sheila,
I wanted to welcome you.
I know that being far far away from a sick elderly (even a mean nasty one) can be worrying.
I feel for your mother. It must be very very hard on her. How old are your parents??
Yes, a nursing home will take a nasty violent elderly person. But of course, he will probably be put on some 'calming' medications to keep him under control (maybe). It really depends on the nursing home.
Also, the question is - is he really NH material? The nastiness might be something that could be better with medications. Does your father go to a doctor? What does the doctor say? If it is because of the stroke, is there anything that would help?
I think there are provisions - with Medicare - that allows one spouse to go to a NH, and the other spouse does not lose everything - assets, house, money. I am not sure though. It is just something I recall, on this message board.
Can you afford to talk with an Elder Care attorney? Someone who is knowledgeable within your parent's State would help. They could let you know about Medicare and Age related things, like where your parents could live, or what options they have.
It has to be your mother that is willing to take him somewhere though. How does she feel about that? Or is she going to try to "stick it through" and keep him there at home?
I know you are stressed for everyone - you, her and Dad.
Hang in there Sheila,
Lynn from Oz
Reply with quote  #3 
Dear Sheila,
When my mother had her stroke 7years ago she became very angry and irritable-even to the extent of threatening suicide. Her doctor put her on antidepressants and her moods improved a lot.
Has your Mum discusssed this aggression with the doctor. Your Dad could possibly be depressed- I was told that depression is almost inevitable after a stroke.
Good Luck

Mary E.
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Sheila,

I'm sorry for what you're going through, but it brings back memories.  My Dad had a serious stroke many years ago and came home with Vascular Dementia and acted a lot like your father.  He was agitated and angry, shaking his fist at people, swearing and pacing, moving furniture, trying to get out the doors (for which we had locks).  He was a tall and strong man and my mother had a difficult time making him do what he didn't want to do.  I was constantly worried that he'd push her or hit her.

This didn't happen throughout the day, though - mainly in the afternoon and through the evening until he got tired - they called it sundowning.  I believe he was put on Prozac and it helped to a certain degree.  It was a terrible time for all of us.  My mother stood it for 5 years with help from me and from aides, until she suddenly began wanting to leave and have me in charge. (I know now that she was burned out.)  I protested about being left in charge of him, because I couldn't safely have my Dad in my home while my children were still young.  My mother searched for a respite place and found a mental health hospital which was doing studies of meds for people with Dementia.  He faltered immediately, not being happy in unfamiliar surroundings. and he became sick and went to the hospital and then to a NH where he stopped eating and drinking and passed away. 

But apart from our experiences, nursing homes DO take people who are agitated and even dangerous.  My FIL was in an Assisted Living place but his Dementia necessitated his first going into the locked area and even there he was too difficult.  He pushed an aide.  He went to a NH and has been there since.. I can imagine how difficult this is for your mother.  As loving partners, they try to keep their spouses at home for as long as possible but it's too difficult - and their health could be in jeopardy.  Have you or your mother read "The 36 Hour Day"?  It might help with some resolutions..

Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you all so much!

daughter, my dad is 80 and my mom, 77.  My dad was (maybe still is) being seen by doctors at the VA which has been wonderful.  But he is so uncooperative they are giving up on him, saying they cannot help him if he does not want help.  It is such an ordeal to take him, all he does is fight and yell and berate everyone who tries to help.  I think my mom is about ready to give up.

Not sure if my mom is willing to move him out.  I think she would feel tremendous guilt.  But she also is very discouraged.

Is he NH material?  He cannot stand up.  He is entirely bedridden and so entirely dependent.  He can't really eat solid food.  Does that qualify?  If not, then what else does it take?

I will try to contact an Elder Care attorney in their state, that is a good idea.  My mom is very concerned about money although they have good insurance.  It does not pay for the 24/7 aid.

Lynn, I will mention the antidepressants to her.  From what I've heard he is taking less medication than he used to and is more lucid.  But also more difficult to deal with.

Mary E.- how awful for your mother, what a sad story.  I can see my dad failing more quickly in a NH and the thought of it--gee, I don't know, on the one hand I just hate it that my mother has to deal with this, and on the other my father is so pathetic, really...I mean he is helpless, who can blame him for being angry and depressed?  And yet that makes everything worse and some elderly, ill people have good attitudes.  I just don't know.

I have not read that book and doubt my mom has, but I'll get it, thank you.

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