Alzheimer’s disease causes damage to brain cells that contributes to memory loss and cognitive difficulties. The disease can also bring about a variety of drastic changes in a loved one’s personality and behavior. These changes affect not only the individual with dementia but also their loved ones. It is beneficial for family caregivers to recognize the common personality changes in Alzheimer’s and to develop strategies to help manage them.
The changes happening in the brain can affect how people with Alzheimer’s behave. As the disease progresses, these changes may become more apparent, or new behaviors may be observed. Some common personality changes in Alzheimer’s include the following:
Other circumstances may contribute to changes in behavior as well. External stimuli, emotions, and uncomfortable physical sensations may further lead a person to behave differently. Some of these factors include:
The National Institute on Aging recommends the following suggestions to help family caregivers cope with personality and behavior-related changes due to Alzheimer’s:
It can be beneficial to talk with the senior’s physician about changes in behavior or personality. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there may be medications to help slow the progression of the disease or other recommendations for managing difficult behaviors.
Professional home care services can help family caregivers take much-needed breaks from caring for a loved one. This respite care allows family caregivers to focus on their own needs and wellbeing, so they can feel refreshed before returning to caregiving. In addition, a professional caregiver specially trained in Alzheimer’s and dementia care can help an individual through mind-stimulating activities, engagement and social interaction, and assistance with managing behaviors.
At Visiting Care Giving Services, our mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and to provide support for their families. To learn more about our St. Charles home care and services in the surrounding areas, contact us online or at (636) 493-9058.