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Alzheimer`s Disease/Brother's Outburst & Foul Language


My brother has dementia, hasn't been diagnosed yet with Alzheimer but showing signs. Recently, when he's talking if we interrupt him (not on purpose) he's violent, yelling, and with outburst evening using foul language. My brother a Veteran of Vietnam and diagnosed with PTSD also abused Alcohol for years.

I'm overwhelmed with him, yet he's young only 67. He still lives alone in a large building and it seems when we try to talk to him everyone is wrong and he's RIGHT.

Are violent outburst and using foul language a part of Dementia, Alcohol Dementia or Alzheimer?

I love my brother very much, we have a caretaker that takes him out on outings, but the other day he had an outburst at a restaurant and used and very bad word out loud and yelled at her to shut up.  WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Hello Mary:  I'm very sorry to hear of your brother's decline.  I know you and your family are very worried about him and he's lucky to have family who care about him.  
Because he has a history of alcohol abuse, that will usually complicate the dementia.  They tend to be more aggressive in their dementia, and that's probably what you are seeing now.  The PTSD also adds a negative component to the entire picture, so he has a lot of strikes against him.  I believe he should be evaluated and given a diagnosis so you know where you are headed with him as far as what type of services he will need.  
With any type of dementia, it's always a good idea to let the person be right--unless it's a huge safety issue.  Don't argue with him, and be sure you're not treating him like a child.  If his short-term memory is affected and he will not remember what you tell him, you could elect to tell him "therapeutic fibs" such as "Yes, I promise I will take you to the store after I finish my housework," when you have no intention of taking him.  Tell him what he wants to hear--as long as he doesn't remember what you've said.  It will make life much, much easier for all of you if you can all just keep him calm and happy.  If you see that he is becoming agitated, then stopping whatever you're doing or talking about and changing the subject may help prevent the outbursts.  
That being said, sometimes a medication is needed to take the edge off the agitation or hostility and that's another excellent reason to get the correct diagnosis.  Medications alone will not be the answer though, and all of you must learn to interact with him in a way that doesn't trigger his agitation.  I recommend you read my book "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" because there are many, many tips in there for how to help him as well as yourselves.  As I mentioned, I also recommend he be evaluated as soon as possible in order to get the correct diagnosis.  If he balks at going, you can tell him something like "Your disability or insurance payments depend on having this physical exam."  
I wish you much luck Mary as you struggle to learn how to best care for your beloved brother.  Cindy

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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