How to Cope with Personality Changes in a Person with Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain, leading to a decline in cognitive function. As the disease progresses, it causes changes in personality and behavior. People with Alzheimer’s may become more forgetful, confused, suspicious, or even aggressive. They may also experience changes in their sleep patterns and have difficulty communicating their needs.

Managing these changes can be difficult for both the person with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. It is important to remember that these changes are part of the disease process and not intentional behavior. It’s also important to remain patient and understanding when dealing with someone who has Alzheimer’s.

Let’s explore common changes in personality in people with Alzheimer’s and tips for coping with them.

Common Changes in Personality

There are a few common personality and behavior changes you may see in people with dementia:

  • Getting upset, worried, and angry more easily
  • Being depressed or uninterested in things
  • Having difficulty controlling emotions
  • Having trouble understanding and following instructions
  • Being more suspicious or paranoid
  • Having difficulty with decision-making

Other Factors that Can Affect Behavior

Alzheimer’s disease can cause changes in the brain that affect behavior, but there are other factors that can also play a role. Feelings such as sadness, fear, stress, confusion, or anxiety can all contribute to changes in behavior for someone with Alzheimer’s. Health-related issues such as illness, pain, new medications, or lack of sleep can also have an impact on how they act. Other physical issues like infections, constipation, hunger or thirst, and problems seeing or hearing may also be contributing factors.

The environment around a person with Alzheimer’s disease can also have an effect on their behavior. Too much noise from things like TV, radio, or many people talking at once can cause frustration and confusion. It is important to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere for someone with Alzheimer’s to help them feel more comfortable and reduce any potential behavioral issues. Additionally, providing activities that are meaningful and engaging can help keep them stimulated and engaged while reducing agitation and restlessness.

Tips for Coping With Personality Changes

It can be difficult to cope with the changes in personality and behavior that come with dementia. Here are some tips for coping:

  • Be patient and understanding. It’s important to remember that these changes are a result of the disease and not the person’s fault.
  • Create a safe and comfortable environment. Make sure the person is in an environment that is familiar and free of distractions.
  • Focus on positive interactions. Try to focus on positive interactions with the person, such as talking about happy memories or engaging in activities they enjoy.
  • Encourage physical activity. Exercise can help reduce stress and improve mood, so encourage the person to get regular physical activity.
  • Seek professional help. If the changes become too difficult to manage, seek professional help from a doctor or therapist.

Overall, it can be difficult to cope with the personality and behavior changes that come with dementia & Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to be patient and understanding, create a safe and comfortable environment, focus on positive interactions, encourage physical activity, and seek professional help if needed.

Discover a Continuum of Care at Oasis Dementia Care

At Oasis Dementia Care, our mission is to provide the highest level of care for our neighbors and to also assist Tristate families that are dealing with dementia. We strive to get to know you and we care about providing the best care possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the community at Oasis Dementia Care, please contact us.


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