I can no longer care for my husband who has Alzheimer's at home. But he lashes out at others so the only place that I have found that will take him is a very depressing restrictive placement in a nursing home. Are there facilites that can handle his physically demanding behavior? (I have never seen him be aggressive; I have seen him believe he needs to physically defend himself when the caregivers invade his space or push him to do something he does not want to.) How can I find a better place?

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Why won’t other communities take him? / how did they find out that he’s combative? Was he 302-ed to a psych unit before? When communities find out that someone got sent to psych, they often don’t want to take him. I would talk to a physician (a geriatric doctor) to see if there is medication that can help take the edge off of his anger. What’s going to happen, if he lashes out because people aren’t approaching him correctly/he’s not on the right medication, he will keep getting sent out to psych and then sent back.

I would recommend looking at communities that are memory care-only. Is there a community somewhere nearby you that specializes in dementia? It would need to be a locked unit. Sometimes people who are “combative” get sent to SNF dementia units, but that isn’t always the best plan.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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