Memory loss and confusion are just some of the most challenging behavioral symptoms brought on by Alzheimer’s. As the disease becomes more severe, other unpredictable and erratic behaviors also surface.
People with Alzheimer’s can experience character and personality changes that are subtle, and some that are more pronounced and alarming. You may hear the once gentle tone of a loved one start to become more angry or frustrated. Regular facial expressions can vary too, from smiling one time, to one of aggravation, the next.
You may sometimes feel powerless to alter the outcome of Alzheimer’s, but understanding more about the disease helps you better cope with the changes that come with it.
According to Kingdom Hope Senior Services, a provider of non-medical home care in Fremont, California, there are three incredibly difficult changes in behavior that occur in individuals with Alzheimer’s that we, as family members, need to prepare ourselves for.
- Alzheimer’s patients can get angry and aggressive.
Once a very meek person, an individual with Alzheimer’s could easily get mad and violent. It may seem, to you, irrational and unwarranted behavior, but to the person, it is very much real. In their state of anger, a person may even bite anyone who comes near or attempts to touch them.
- Alzheimer’s patients can get anxious and agitated.
A person with Alzheimer’s who once had a calm and stress-free life can now get worried and upset. It may even get to a point where they become terrified of their situation. Once in this predicament, they break down psychologically and emotionally.
- Alzheimer’s patients can get suspicious and deluded.
The latter stages of Alzheimer’s can turn patients into very distrustful individuals. This has several manifestations, including a refusal to believe anything you tell them and suspecting you of trying to hurt or trick them. An Alzheimer’s patient’s paranoia can get to a point where they would start hiding their things, thinking you’re after their belongings. As the disease increases in severity, you start to see patients become delusional. Their reality gets distorted that they start seeing things that aren’t there.
These severe behavioral changes are what healthcare specialists call NPS or non-cognitive neuropsychiatric symptoms, which result from brain cells being damaged by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Because the brain is damaged, it’s no longer able to function properly. Not surprisingly, this can result in an individual’s exhibiting behaviors that are drastic and nowhere close to how they would behave normally.
While prescription drugs can help treat these changes, they have to be combined with non-drug therapies as well, according to a provider of home care services in Alameda County, California. Kingdom Hope Senior Services believes that coping with Alzheimer’s-related changes in behavior requires establishing daily routines, making tasks simple and easier, showing patience, being compassionate, and so much more.
Tell us about the most difficult changes Alzheimer’s has brought into your life. You’re welcome to write them in the comment section.