What can I do about my mother, who is being verbally abusive due to a stroke?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 19, 2016
Topaz71 asked...
I live with my mother who is a stroke victim, and recently she has become extremely verbally abusive toward myself and my children. What are my rights?

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 tricky issue. It sounds like your mother’s stroke did damage to the behavior centers in the brain. If she is extremely verbally abusive to you and your children, you should make every effort to have her moved to a more supervised setting, such as an assisted living center or nursing home. In all likelihood, the best place to start is with a social worker. You can either call her doctor’s office and ask them who they would recommend, or call your local hospital and ask for the social work office. A social worker will discuss with you your rights as far as what facilities might be able to handle your mother. Part of this depends on her ability to take care of herself if left alone, and part of it depends on insurance/financial issues. 

Other avenues to look into are 1) If she is threatening physical harm to you or your family you can have her committed to a psychiatric institution under the condition that she is potentially dangerous, or 2) Discuss her behavior with her doctor. If her doctor finds her to be acting in a pathological or psychotic manner, he/she may be able to prescribe medicines to help calm her down.