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June 19, 2024

A Caregiver’s Story: Handling Agitation in Dementia

There is a commercial on TV where the daughter talks about how her mom is losing her memory and, worse, has become a different person. Her mom is angry and agitated all the time. The commercial is for medication that may help with agitation associated with dementia. Sadly, caregivers are often faced with finding medication that will help with agitation. The choice is having a loved one angry, maybe even hitting others, or medication which might make them like a zombie.

I had to make this choice with my husband, and I chose medication. My husband was a kind and gentle man, but his Alzheimer’s made him angry and mean. He hit a caregiver who tried to stop him from harming himself. I called his doctor and increased the medication, and we added new ones until the anger and hitting stopped. After this, my husband mostly slept. I wish there had been an option where he wasn’t hitting and wasn’t just sleeping. The caregivers were incredibly patient and did their best to redirect him. His anger would flash anytime they tried to stop the behaviors that were causing him harm; medication was the only option.

Hugs to all the caregivers dealing with agitation and dementia. I know that at times there are NO good options. I just want you to know I am here to talk you through your options and support you in all the decisions you make.

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Geisler Patterson Law


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