Alzheimer’s Disease can cause behavioral and personality changes. This is always a major concern for family members, friends, and caregivers. Generally the changes are quite drastic from regular patterns and as such are very apparent and easy to notice. Although the changes are significant enough to be noticed by those close to the patient, the change itself can vary from moderate to severe.
The Alzheimer’s Disease sufferer’s general personality and outlook on life can change and symptoms vary depending on early or late stage of the disease. Although varied, most personality changes are for the worse as the patient rarely feels new elation, happiness, or humor. People with Alzheimer’s Disease change by feeling depressed, unsure, unsettled, scared, sad, stressed, paranoid, confused and anxious.
Behavioral changes with Alzheimer’s can include things like hiding and misplacing things, delusions of seeing things that aren’t really there, depression, wandering off, and not understand what they are seeing or hearing.
Physical changes can manifest like being angry or upset, hitting, smacking or kicking people, unusual sexual behavior and yelling.
There are many techniques and ideas to cope with these changes. If an Alzheimer’s patient is being aggressive, being aggressive back will accomplish very little – it is more effective to use calming words and non-threatening body language. The main idea is to be patient, remain calm and do not become argumentative.
In the home, distractions and alarming sounds or people they may not recognize can trigger an episode of confusion and anger. It is very helpful to provide a serene environment that is free of clutter, too many people, excessive noise and dangerous or poisonous items.