Ask Dr. Robert Butler : Dad's Dementia Is Driving the Neighbors Crazy

Q: My father has dementia, and he gets agitated and combative. He recently started pulling the air conditioner plug out of the wall while the appliance is on. This causes a circuit overload and has interrupted the power supply down the line of our co-op apartments more than five times. He gets violent when confronted, and our neighbors have now filed a formal complaint. How can we get the correct medical assistance and perhaps put him in a facility? Our friends are advising that we call 911 and have him taken to an emergency ward for evaluation. Is this our only option?
— Leslie, New York
Dr. Robert Butler - Alzheimer’s Disease A:  The challenges you’re facing are unfortunate but common obstacles of living with someone who is suffering from dementia. If you are unable to care for your father in the way he needs, a nursing facility is certainly an option. However, without some careful control, it will be difficult to secure his admission to such a facility. I encourage you to follow up with a physician who can place your father on a dementia treatment regimen that includes a psychoactive drug such as haloperidol (Haldol) or risperidone (Risperdal), which can help control such dementia symptoms as agitation, hyperactivity, and aggression. Once his dementia symptoms are more stable, you can evaluate what type of environment would be best for him.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Alzheimer's Disease Center.


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