Aggressive Behaviour

Hi, I'm new to this forum but need some advice about some issues affecting my elderly parents. Not sure where to turn so thought I would give this a go. My Mum who is nearly 80 suffered a stroke approx. 10 weeks ago. She recovered really well with mobility etc. But has since had 3 episodes where she has been incredibly aggressive physically towards my Dad also with the use of abusive language. During these episodes she needs restraining and it is becoming more and more difficult for my Dad to cope with. This behaviour is totally out of character and I've never seen my Mum ever like this in my 42 years. Following one episode that resulted in a visit to hospital they did detect epileptic seizures and she is now on medication, not sure if this is the trigger. I am really concerned for both my parents relationship and the effect this is having for both of them and I am not sure if this is an effect of the stroke or something else. I am also concerned about the effects this is having on my Dad who is nearly 70. We don't know if this will get better or what to do to get support with this. Can anyone give us some advice? Has anyone else experienced this ?

Hi so sorry to read about mum and dad. I've heard of this kind of aggression before and would advise you to get their doctor to do a home visit as soon as you can.  Hope you don't mind me saying your parents are fairly elderly and this is too much for dad to have to cope with, mum probably doesn't realise what she's doing, it must be very distressing for you all.

You could also get in touch with your local stroke association, they may be able to help dad or at least point you in the direction of some help. My mum had Alzheimer's  in her later years and I know it put an awful amount of pressure on my dad.

I'm sure there will be others on the site who will offer you advice hope you get some help soon.


Sorry to hear about Mum and Dad. When I was on my stroke rehab ward, a fellow survivor exhibited aggressive behaviour towards staff. Staff referred to 'sundown syndrome'. This is more commonly associated with Alzheimer's, but can affect other neurological conditions. It might be worth asking her doctor about this.

Dear Cameron

So sad to learn of the stroke that bit Mum and also the troubles your family are going through. From what you summarize, I suspect that this violence is not stroke related. Maybe the stroke has worsened an underlying problem but in all the thousands of postings that I have read, none have given similar tendencies. Maybe violent words, but not severe aggression.

I am Dads age so I have a little insight into the times that Dad has lived through.

Many on this site will have good info about the stroke aftermath, but not the extreme and suddden aggression. Nearly all stroke stuff is variable but doesnt come and go in a short period of time.

Perhpas it would help to recall that part of Mums brain was destroyed. It does not regrow. Her brain will work around the dead bits and it will, over many many months, use different pathways to carry out tasks. I think this does change us. We cant be anything other than a different, new person. However there is so much of the prestroke person left intact that it is a change rather than a transformation.

I assume your mum was not transient (TIA) which would be good news but somewhat different.

Ten weeks is very early days. Thats great that her mobility is pretty good. 

What I am adamant over, is the carer. In this case Dad and possibly (?) you.

Dad must have at least two hours each day away from Mum. And be looking at having a few whole days away from Mum.  Dad could contact the local stroke groups and see if they have carers sessions. He can not maintain his sanity if he is with Mum 24/7. And from another viewpoint, Mum needs him, strong and well.

If I were your Dad I would want to get medical help about the aggression and would approach the situation without majoring on the stroke. 

Wish I knew more

Best wishes





So sorry to hear about this. Changes to people's emotions can range from mild to severe after stroke.  In the early days, we all suffer from anger and bitterness (why me?) and it is very frustrating for the stroke victim as well as their partner. As your Dad is the nearest to her on a daily basis, he will get the brunt of this from your Mum. Abusive language and overuse of swear words that you've probably never heard from your Mum can indeed shock!  In the first 3 months, this can be frequent and lessen as time goes by.  The first 3 months are when the brain is at its busiest trying to re-wire itself so everything is all over the place emotionally.  If you image a pile of papers on a desk all stacked up in date and alphabetical order and someone comes along and throws the whole lot all over the room, that's what a stroke feels like and it takes a while to sort itself out again.

Could you perhaps arrange a family meeting with the Stroke Consultant she saw in hospital? I would suggest, if at all possible, the next time it happens could you video it on your phone (if you have one of those phones) so you can show the consultant the evidence?  I'm not sure that showing the video to your Mum would be a good idea or a bad one... she may not realise she has done this and would be even more upset if she saw herself doing this to the man she loves and heard herself using the swear words.

Either way, both Mum and Dad need help with this and your Dad certainly can't cope with this alone if you and other family members are at work all day. Maybe contact their GP, then a referral for the Stroke Consultant (so you don't have to pay private for it) and take it from there.

Thank you for your reply. It is very difficult, and hopefully with some further advice we can move forward. I appreciate your time.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. This is very interesting and the points mentioned in the link provided do ring true. I appreciate your advice. 

Thank you for your reply, and your point of view is interesting as I really am not sure if this is related to Mums stroke or something else. We are hoping to speak to someone in the coming weeks so hopefully we can move forward. I appreciate the time you have taken to share your advice

Thanks for your advice. We definitely will be speaking to someone soon as I am so concerned about the well being of both my parents. I really appreciate the time you have taken to share your thoughts