How can I handle my father's post-stroke outburts?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 22, 2010
Icsea asked...

Two things: I don't know how to handle my father with he throws a trantrum to get his way with something he can't have. Also, he has no social filter due to the stroke and is groping caretakers. Does he have control over this?

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

This is a very tricky set of problems to deal with. It sounds as if he had damage to his behavior centers as part of his stroke. Both the tantrums and the groping are likely related to a release of his behavioral inhibition -- similar to dealing with an intoxicated person -- and both can be caused by a stroke. He likely does not have control over these actions, and you should avoid blaming him for his disease. Instead, I would recommend enrolling a neurologist or psychiatrist to work with him and help him cope with these difficulties. This may involve counseling sessions, or it may involve medication. If he begins to get completely out of control, you may need to discuss moving him to a more supervised setting, such as a nursing home, where professionals can help deal with these problems on a full-time basis.