Handling Difficult Behaviors In Alzheimer’s Patients Is No Mean Feat

  • February 04, 2021 BY  Anthem Seniors
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Confusion and memory loss occurs with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. As the disease progresses, you’ll come across some behavioral challenges. The decline in an individual with dementia is caused by brain cells dying, which is what leads to development of unpredictable and erratic behaviors such as the person getting upset or worried or angry very easily. Your loved one may act depressed or withdraw into a shell. Symptoms include personality and character changes, which can be a challenge for caregivers to handle.

Difficult behaviors in Alzheimer’s patients:

  1. Aggression and Anger (for no apparent reason)
  2. Anxiety and Agitation
  3. Depression
  4. Hallucinations
  5. Memory Loss and Confusion
  6. Suspicions and Delusions
  7. Repetition
  8. Sleep Issues and Sundowning
  9. Wandering (is dangerous among people with dementia)

The three most difficult behavioral changes from Alzheimer’s include anger and aggression, anxiety and agitation, and delusions and suspicions. These challenging behaviors are a result of damaged brain cells, caused by dementia. A brain that is impaired loses its ability to function in proper fashion, which hugely impacts how a person will act. Besides changes in the brain, things like problems associated with health, for example, illness, pain, lack of sleep, etc. may as well affect how people with Alzheimer’s behave. The behavior is also largely affected by physical discomfort due to infections, hunger or thirst, or issues with seeing or hearing. Certain environmental conditions can also lead to disturbing behavior such as a crowded place, a loud television, a place that is noisy, etc. which can further worsen the condition of the person with Alzheimer’s.

The fact that medicines can help treat these behavioral changes is true as are non-drug therapies. However, it can be challenging for caregivers to cope with the behavior and personality changes in Alzheimer’s patients. This article aims to throw light upon ways to handle difficult behaviors in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s:

  1. Build a daily routine for your loved one to follow, which won’t just develop confidence but familiarity as well for those struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Make sure they are eating well and exercising regularly.
  3. Simplify the daily tasks as much as possible. For example, pick out clothes for them to wear, finger foods are good for them, etc.
  4. It is best not to argue or reason with the person, which will go in vain.
  5. Engage them in activities like doing a jigsaw puzzle, folding clothes, setting the table. It won’t just keep them occupied, but they will regain some control in their life and their sense of worth.
  6. Dementia causes paranoia, to deal with it you reassure your loved one that they are safe and that you are always by their side to help.
  7. Give them the space they need.
  8. Lastly, stay calm and composed when handling difficult behaviors, and use humor whenever possible.

It is best to consider memory care- the best form of senior care living in Anthem– if you feel the situation is going out of your hands and your own physical, mental and emotional well-being is getting compromised.