Unfortunately, there is a long list of common behavioral changes caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease deteriorates brain cells, the person suffering with dementia can exhibit paranoia, depression, outbursts, agitation, aggression and an overall lack of judgement. It is very difficult to watch a loved one’s personality and behavior change, but knowing that the changes are the result of the disease can help you to cope with them and calm your loved one. Here are the common behavior changes caused by dementia.
Even though the disease is at the root of these symptoms, they may be exacerbated by pain, environmental factors or physical discomfort. Trying to figure out what is upsetting a person suffering from dementia is much like trying to figure out what is upsetting a baby who cannot speak. Neither can express themselves but both have feelings and emotions that need to be respected and attended to. When you observe any of the symptoms listed above, ask yourself a series of questions. You may find that there is something behind the behavior that can be modified to increase the comfort of your loved one.
Has there been a recent change in your loved one’s environment? Did he or she move to a new facility or a new room? Has there been a change in nurses or other healthcare providers?
Dementia patients suffer from a wide range of behavioral changes as the disease changes the brain cells. However, it is important to remember that physical, mental and emotional comfort can prevent some of these behaviors from occurring. In other cases, compassion, reassurance and a change of environment can comfort your loved one and reduce the agitation and aggression.