Individuals diagnosed with dementia can become upset or frustrated easily, and may oftentimes take out their anger on others. This anger can come in the form of behaviors such as pacing around the room, asking repetitive questions, or screaming. In such situations, it can be difficult for caregivers to understand these aggressive behaviors. However, understanding more about what triggers these behaviors can help caregivers respond in a helpful manner that preserves both patients’ and caregivers’ dignity.
One needs to realize that patients suffering from dementia are not trying to be difficult on purpose, but because they are dealing with internal struggles that are not being met. Reduced verbal skills is a common cognitive-related symptom of dementia, which makes it harder for them to communicate their thoughts clearly to their caregivers.
Common behaviors that are associated with dementia include:
- Agitation and aggression
- Repetitive moments and actions
- Verbal outbursts
- Sleep disturbances
- Delusions, paranoia, or hallucinations
- Wandering around or wanting to head back home
- Abusive behavior
- Mood swings
In general, individuals with dementia become agitated due to several categories of triggers. Read on as we share with you these common triggers of dementia here.
Medical triggers can include fever, pain, or sickness, but it may also include other issues that one may not think of initially, such as:
- Side effects from medication
- Bruises, open wounds, sores, or pressure areas
- Headache, toothache, or earache
- Psychological triggers
It is a key reminder to note that some individuals diagnosed with dementia are not able to give accurate information about their thoughts and feelings or verbally express themselves.
Individuals diagnosed with dementia may also have a difficult time processing the changes in their surroundings. A move may be a little unsettling for anyone, but for an individual with dementia, even rearranging the furniture in a room can cause them to feel agitated.
Other environmental triggers to take note of include:
- Unfamiliar or new caregivers
- Separation from their loved ones
- No stimulation, activity, and isolation
- Lack of routine or agenda
- Overactivity or sensory overload
- Lack of orientation cues
- Lighting that is too bright
- Lighting that is not bright enough or creates shadows
- White noises such as a lawnmower in the yard or other household appliances
- Uncomfortable room temperature that is too hot or cold
- TV or radio that is left on all the time can cause confusion
- Clothing or hair that is pulled too tight for their liking
Let Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso’s Care for Your Loved Ones
If you and your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease are having a difficult time, fret not! Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso’s SHINE® Memory Care program is here for you. We offer a holistic care plan that provides our assistance with day-to-day activities, medical attention, and nursing care. To learn more about this program, contact Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso today!