Alzheimer’s patients frequently behave in significantly different ways from their “old self,” and these differences can be difficult for family members to live with. Behavior shifts for a variety of causes. Alzheimer’s occurs typically due to the person losing neurons in various areas of the brain. Therefore, the behavioral changes you observe are frequently determined by which brain area loses cells.
Dementia or Alzheimer’s also affects how a person reacts to their surroundings. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may be confused and have difficulty following talks. They may feel upset due to their inability to comprehend what is going on.
This article contains tips to help perform better companion care by understanding and managing changes in a patient’s personality and behavior caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
Expected Changes in Personality and Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s Patients
You may notice the following psychological and behavioral changes. Alzheimer’s patients:
- More quickly become irritated, frightened, and furious.
- Act down or uninterested in things.
- Hide items or believe others are hiding something.
- Imagining something that does not exist.
- Get away from home.
- Do a lot of pacing.
- Demonstrate odd sexual habits.
- Hit themselves or others.
- Misinterpret what they see or hear.
- Lose interest in their appearance, stop showering, and prefer to wear the same clothing every day.
How to Cope with Changes in Behavior and Personality in Alzheimer’s Patients?
Changes in interactions and communications and disturbing behavior and personality changes might develop during the latter stages of Alzheimer’s. These behaviors include aggression, roaming, hallucinations, and eating or sleep issues, which can be painful to observe and complicate your duty as a caretaker.
These behavioral disorders are frequently caused or aggravated by your loved one’s failure to cope with stress, frustrated efforts to interact, or surroundings. You may assist in reducing your loved one’s stress and enhance their well-being and your own caring experience by making a few easy modifications.
Here are more tips:
- Maintain a straightforward approach. One question or statement at a time.
- Establish a daily schedule so that the individual is aware of when certain events will occur.
- Assure the individual that they are secure and that you are available to assist.
- Concentrate on their emotions rather than words. “You look concerned,” for example.
- Don’t debate or try to persuade the individual.
- Try not to express your annoyance or fury. If you become agitated, take ten deep breaths and count to ten. If it’s safe, walk out of the room for a few moments if it’s safe.
- When possible, use humor.
- Provide a safe walking area for persons who pace a lot. Provide durable, comfy shoes. Give them little snacks to consume as they walk to avoid losing too much weight, and ensure they drink enough water.
- Distract the patient by playing music, singing, or dancing.
- Ask for assistance. Say something like, “Let’s prepare the table” or “I need help folding the clothing.”
How to Cope with Changes in Communication in Alzheimer’s Patients?
You will acknowledge changes in how your senior or elder communicates as their Alzheimer’s worsens. For example, they may have difficulty finding words, replacing one term for another, repeatedly saying the same things, or become easily confused. Hand gestures, losing their thread of thought, and even unexpected rants are all typical.
Even if your elder has difficulty holding a conversation or is less interested in initiating one, it is critical to foster social connection. Making children feel comfortable instead of stressed will facilitate dialogue, so try to keep your irritation levels in check.
- Please be patient. Give your seniors some time if they are having problems memorizing a word. Anxiety or impatience will only impede their recollection. Provide the word gently or inform the individual that you will return to it later.
- Be mindful of your body language. Your senior is as sensitive to your facial expressions, way of speaking, and nonverbal indications as they are to the words you pick. Maintain eye contact, be calm, and maintain a peaceful, open posture.
- Speak to them in a slow and clear way. Allow one directive or inquiry at a time, use brief phrases, and give your elder more time to digest what you’re saying. If something was not comprehended the first time, find a simpler method to convey it.
- Don’t ask questions that test short-term memory, including “Do you recall what we did last night?” should be avoided. The response will almost certainly be “no,” which may be embarrassing for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Be respectful. Avoid condescending words, “baby talk,” and sarcasm. It has the potential to create pain or bewilderment.
- If you sense your fuse is about to blow, take a little pause. To stay calm and stay poised, try using rapid stress relief.
- Find the time and reflect. You must lower your expectations regarding what your senior can do at each stage of Alzheimer’s. Embracing each new reality and reflecting on these developments can help you cope with the emotional situation and find more joy in your job as a caregiver.
- Maintain a daily notebook in which you may write and reflect on your experiences. You may grieve losses, celebrate accomplishments, and confront destructive thinking patterns that affect your mood and attitude by writing down your thoughts.
- Count your lucky stars. Keeping a daily thankfulness list may seem irrational in the middle of such difficulties, but it can help drive away from the blues. In addition, it can also help you focus on what your senior is still capable of doing rather than the talents they have lost.
Do’s and Don’ts for Talking to Patients with Alzheimer’s
Do’s . . .
- If there is any uncertainty, tell your senior who you are.
- Pay close attention. Avoid distractions like the TV or your cell phone and instead concentrate on your elder.
- If revealing the complete truth may offend the person, use a diversion or a lie. For instance, to address the topic “Where is my mother?” it may be wiser to say “She’s not here right now” rather than saying, “She passed away 20 years ago.”
- Repetition should be used as often as possible. Be prepared to repeat yourself because the person can’t remember anything for more than a few minutes at a time.
Don’ts. . .
- Say things like: “Do you not remember that I told you?” “Try to remember it!” “Did you forget again?” “How could you not know the answer?!”
- Make a note of the person’s memory problems. Avoid using phrases like “I just told you that.” Instead, simply keep doing it again and over.
- Talk to the individual as if they were not there. When they are physically there, always bring them in any verbal interaction.
- Use a variety of pronouns, including “there, that, him, and it.” Alternatively, use nouns. So, instead of saying “Sit there,” say “Sit in the blue chair.”
Companion Care for Alzheimer’s Patients in Las Vegas
Companion services and socialization are the primary focus of Health & Care Professional Network’s companion services and socialization programs. We strive to reduce loneliness and improve the lives of our customers. Health & Care Professional Network can assist your elderly loved ones with additional information by calling (702) 871-9917. Our advisors are ready to discuss your loved one’s needs during a free consultation.
You can learn more about other Home Assist services.