How can I help my father with Alzheimer's disease be less aggressive with my husband?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
Yaw asked...

My AD dad is very agressive/agitated. He always pick on by husband without any reason. Dad will blame everything on him. Saying he is an imposter, steal his things even control my hubby from talk to me. Dad will chase my hubby out of the house. Dad don't allow my hubby to go upstairs, cannot read newspaper and all sorts of things. My hubby is a little piss off with my dad. He tend not to stay in the hse nowadays. What should I do?

Expert Answers

Monica is an occupational therapist and designer of adapted dementia products through her company MindStart. Activities for Persons With Memory Loss. In addition, she works with the Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association and the University of Minnesota on dementia issues. MindStart provides age-appropriate and stage-appropriate dementia activities, such as games, puzzles, and books. The items are simplified to meet the needs of various stages of dementia while remaining dignified and familiar in appearance

It sounds like you and your husband are in a difficult situation. However, Alzheimer's aggression with a loved one can be analyzed to look for triggers and there are strategies that can be tried.

To look for triggers, make a chart that tracks the behavior, time of day it occured, and circumstances before it occured. Track behaviors for at least one week. Then look for patterns. Things that you might look for include time of day, the environment at the time (ex. the noise level, the room it happened it), the circustances, and basic needs (i.e. hunger level, fatigue level). If you see a pattern, then try to alter or eliminate that trigger.

Strategies to try to diffue the anger include Validation Therapy, an approach by Naomi Feil (which is a book available by this same name). This approach involves looking at the situation from your father's point of view and not arguing or confronting your father but agreeing with him, while gently trying to redirect the conversation. Perhaps your husband reminds your father of someone from the past that he did not get along with. So if your dad tries to take the newspaper, your husband can remain uninvolved, but you could talk to your father. Affirm your father - "it seems like you are mad about him taking the paper"... "That bothers me when someone takes what I was going to read." ... "What do you like to read in the paper?"...."Let's find the sports section".

Also, a home health companion coming in a few times a week or an adult day program, may also help to give you and your husband a break from the caregiving duties.

You would not want a strain to continue with your relationship with your husband. If approaches such as these do not help, the physician may consider other alternatives, such as medications, for your father's aggressive behavior.

Community Answers

Yaw answered...

Nowadays my husband did not talk to my dad or rather he don't bother to talk to my dad. Did not even call him nor help me to assist my dad for any needs. Well, this seems to be better. My dad did not bother nor say anything to my husband. He stop scolding my husband.