Alzheimer’s disease can lead to a progressive deterioration in the patient’s brain, which can cause cognitive and memory issues for these individuals. What is more heart-wrenching is the fact that such changes to their brain can also cause a wide range of behavioral issues. Those taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease may find loved ones acting in unrecognizable ways, as well as exhibiting violent or disturbing manners. At times, the behavior can be so severe that families end up having to place their loved ones in professional care.
To help you further understand the behavioral issues of Alzheimer’s disease, read on as we address four common Alzheimer’s disease behaviors here.
Hallucinating and Accusing Others of Wrongdoing
As a caregiver, you may feel lost when your loved one exhibits behavior that may not be grounded in reality. Such instances are either hallucinations, which are false perceptions, or delusions, which are false beliefs that can lead to paranoia in your loved ones.
Sometimes, simple distractions can help to bring them back to reality, however, more severe cases of delusions or hallucinations should be brought to a doctor’s attention as soon as possible.
It is not well understood why sleep problems occur in many patients with Alzheimer’s disease, but it is quite common for these individuals to feel restless at night and experience changes to their sleeping schedules. These symptoms, also known as sundowning, can further aggravate behavioral issues and bring misery to both you and your loved ones.
The Family Caregiver Alliance suggests preoccupying them with structured activity throughout the day and consumption of a healthy diet that limits caffeine and sugar intake. It is also recommended to ensure that your loved ones do not over nap during the day, as it can cause overactivity at night. An additional tip is to close the shades or curtains right before dark and switch on as many interior lights as possible.
Physical Aggression and Outbursts
Physical or verbal aggression is an alarming yet common behavior in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Caregivers should note that Alzheimer’s disease is the cause of these behavioral changes and that your loved ones are not acting this way on purpose. In addition, another strategy is to identify whether there is an immediate cause of their alarming behavior, such as overstimulation or physical discomfort.
Pacing, Hand-wringing, and Rocking
Dementia can make it very difficult for these individuals to process new information and stimuli, causing many with Alzheimer’s disease to become anxious. Such anxiety can often manifest itself in the form of restlessness which can be seen from them hand-wringing, rocking, and pacing back and forth.
Choose Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso for Memory Care
Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso’s SHINE® Memory Care program provides support for you and your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Our program is all about providing a holistic care plan that caters to your loved one’s needs while giving them a high quality of life. To learn more about this program, contact Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso today!