8 Common Behaviors Caused by Alzheimer's

8 Challenging Behaviors Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

By Chuck Terlesky, 9:00 am on
Behaviors of Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease Calgary, AB

Alzheimer’s disease can cause a variety of unusual behaviors among seniors. It is important for caregivers to learn about these behavioral changes so they can provide better care for their aging loved ones. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors. 

1. Sundowning

As the sun goes down, older adults with Alzheimer’s may become restless, agitated, and confused. Some seniors follow their caregivers around because they are nervous about shadows and dark rooms, and this behavior can cause several issues for their caregivers. Reducing sugar and caffeine intake is one of the most effective ways to limit sundowning syndrome.

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2. Repeating Stories

Short-term memory loss is another common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, and seniors often repeat the same stories and sentences several times. Managing this behavior can be overwhelming at times, but it is vital for caregivers to stay calm and relaxed. Try using memory aids such as photos and notes to help your loved one manage repetition.

3. Wandering

As soon as your loved one begins wandering, think about new ways to keep him or her safe. Locking the doors could further agitate your loved one, and you may need to hire a professional live-in caregiver to keep him or her safe.

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4. Hallucinations

Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease may begin seeing or hearing things that aren’t real. While prescription medications can reduce hallucinations to some extent, these drugs are not suited for everyone. Distracting your loved one and bringing him or her back to the present can stave off short-term hallucinations. 

5. Accusing Others of Wrongdoings

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s fabricate past events involving friends, loved ones, and caregivers. Your loved one might claim you are stealing money or abusing him or her. Distracting seniors with music or a TV show could put an end to their paranoia for a short period. 

6. Pacing and Rocking

Very few people realize Alzheimer’s can produce a variety of physical symptoms as well. When seniors with Alzheimer’s can’t process external stimuli, they often wring their hands, rock in a chair, or pace the room. Playing your loved one’s favorite music or singing an old song may reduce his or her anxiety. 

7. Physical Aggression

This behavior is one of the most dangerous aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, and it should not be taken lightly. Caregivers and family members who notice aggressive behaviors should speak with a doctor about their options. You might need to identify what is triggering your loved one’s aggressive behavior so you can remove those triggers from his or her environment. 

8. Depression and Social Isolation

Diagnosing clinical depression in a senior with Alzheimer’s is difficult, and you may have to meet with psychologists and therapists to diagnose and treat this health condition. Many seniors benefit from using medications that stabilize natural hormones and chemicals such as dopamine.

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