My husband is 74 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s for 4 1/2 years. He is physically very healthy. No memory of anything he does or I say. On Exelon patch and Namenda XR and low dose of Seraquel for anger management the past 2 years. It has worked and he has been happy and agreeable to anything. He thanks me for all I do, etc, however, this last week, the anger has returned (he was not an angry person before). He is not angry at anyone but pounds his fists on the counter and yells loudly, mostly curse words. I don’t know what to do. Neither our doctor or neurologist want to raise the dosage of Seraquel. Please advise.

I like the fact your physicians do not want to up your husband’s dose of the Seroquel. It sounds like you have discussed your husband’s changes with them and they should have reminded you that the Exelon Patch and Namenda XR do not and will not alter the trajectory of the disease. They may be utilized to hold off some symptoms for a while, but they won’t change the course of decline. It also states in the information given to patients that these medications are ineffective after a few years and it sounds like this might be the case with your husband. I would discuss this further with them.

Unfortunately some patients tend to get agitated and develop outbursts which can be scary for all involved. Please keep in mind that these outbursts could be due to changes your husband is feeling within himself and it is scary to not be able to control your mind as you once did. He is probably frustrated, scared and feels as if he is losing himself.

Even knowing all of this, it can be quite difficult for you to watch as he pounds the table and shouts out things you probably never heard in all of your years together. Sometimes distractions can help calm people down. Soft, classical music may help as well as a therapy dog. Try keeping to a schedule each day and track his outbursts to see if there are any triggers you can eliminate from your home.

By learning what could be a cause, you might recognize when he is getting to the point he can’t control his anger and you might be able to direct him in a different path. I highly recommend keeping in communication with his doctors and if you ever feel unsafe, you may need to consider increasing his dosage of Seroquel, or possibly switching to another medication.

6 thoughts on “Any advice on how to minimize aggression and anger behaviors?

  • anon

    It’s time for very serious talk with doctors and medication adjustments. When it’s to this point, it’s usually only a matter of time before they start randomly swinging and become violent. There is usually no way to make them understand or control the behavior easily.
    Our neurologist and primary were clueless. It is NOT their field! Our psych was invaluable.
    You may be forced into nursing home placement.
    Don’t wait. Get second opinions. He should be seeing a psychiatrist who is familiar with dementia and medications.

  • Amie

    Your husband may be suffering from a bladder infection. A negative change of behavior can be due to health issues, and a lot of time bladder infections. Is there a time of day/night when the difficult behaviors arise (possible sun downing)? Playing music your loved one likes, providing enough light in the house during the day, avoiding over-stimulation of your loved one (no loud noises and too many people around), making sure your loved one is drinking enough water, and trying to find ways to mentally stimulate your them can help with undesirable behavior.

  • Nancy Carraway

    My husband was also having angry outbursts
    He is on Depakote which has seemed to help
    Recently it was increased because he was becoming more aggressive
    Depakote is a mood stabilizer
    My husband was diagnosed 4 yrs ago and is otherwise healthy but is memory has greatly declined this year
    He was recently taken off Namenda but remains on
    Aricept

  • Carolyn M Chudy

    My husband gets upset when he doesn’t like what is going on. He doesn’t see a Doctor anymore, did not like what he had to say. he is taking Zoloft to stay calm most of the time. When he becomes to angry I used to argue but since then I walk away and go to another room, that eventually gets him calmer. It does help.

  • margaret Janssen

    My husband who is 85 yrs. and has vascular dementia recently starts pounding on the table and gets very angry, especially if he can’t get his hockey, he really scares me and puts this very ugly face on which makes it really worse. I have tried to calm him down but it makes him worse. Maybe I should just walk out of the rood. He also has taken a dislike to my son-in-law and shows it. It is so hard. We are living for the moment with my daughter as I broke my spine last year and am having physio therepy. I cry so much , it is so painful to see my husband like this.

  • Liz

    For 4 years I was told the violent outburst are normal with Alz. A fractured neck (thrown into a wall ), both my hands crushed, police at the house several times.Then,in January 2016, I was thrown accross the room and it dislocated the miniscus in my knee, (I get cortizone shots and limp) In March I was in the ER room with symptoms of a heart attack.Our Dr. told us my husband has ” Frontal Lobe Dementia: Behavioral”, and started him on Risperidone. He slept through the night, and became kind towards me.We had to up the dose Feb.2017, but it is working for now!

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