Changes of a Person with Dementia
Dementia has a significant effect on an individual. They lose their memory and cognitive abilities. Their fear of losing their identity also heightens. A person with dementia may feel like they are losing control of their life and no longer understand what is going on. These factors contribute to behavior changes. A person may become aggressive, easily irritated, and lonely. A caregiver needs to recognize these behavior changes and their triggers. It may be a way of communicating how they feel. Let us look at the common behavior changes in a person with dementia and how to cope.
Common Behavior Changes for an Individual with Dementia
Having dementia can be challenging and only worsens in the later stages of most types of dementia. This behavioral change can be distressing for individuals and those caring for them. Getting into a senior companion program in NW Washington, DC is crucial. It ensures the older adult gets support, including companionship. Understanding those changes can allow you to improve your care for your loved one, and they can also learn better ways to cope with it. Some of the common changes include:
- Loss of self-confidence, which often looks like a disinterest in usual activities or apathy
- Sleep disturbance and sometimes night-walking
- Following your partner or spouse everywhere
- Repeating the same activity or question over and over again
- Being restless, like wandering, fidgeting, and pacing up and down
It is critical to note these behavioral changes and understand why they behave like that. In these instances, you can help improve the situation by looking for better ways to communicate and appreciate them to make your work easier. Note that these symptoms are not often a result of dementia. They can be due to frustrations from not being understood or a dislike of their new environment. Luckily, there are different ways to cope with these changes in behavior.
Ways of Coping with Common Changes in Behavior
Changes in behavior can always be frustrating and challenging to cope with. However, managing them by dealing with the triggers can help the loved one affected by dementia to relax. Some of the things to consider include:
- What time of the day do these behavioral changes happen?
- Is the person finding the home too cluttered or too noisy?
- Do these changes only occur when the person is asked to do something they may not want to do?
Ensure you keep a diary for at least two weeks to help track and identify these triggers. If the changes come on suddenly, the person might be experiencing discomfort or pain from infection or other health problems. To be sure about the issue, you can ask a healthcare practitioner to examine them to rule out or treat them for any underlying issues. It is also a good idea to seek help from professionals like Capital City Nurses.
Another way to improve their condition is to exercise regularly, keep an active social life, and continue with activities that the person enjoys, which can help reduce behaviors out of character. Other things that can help include providing them with a calm environment and constant reassurance. Consider activities that give confidence and pleasure, like dancing and listening to music.
Remember that caring for the person and being supportive is not easy, especially when the behavior changes begin. You must be tactful and patient and help the person find the answers they are looking for if they repeat the same question.