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Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Understanding Behavior: Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. As the disease advances, individuals with Alzheimer’s may show a range of behavior changes that can be difficult for families and caregivers to manage. At LifeWorx, we understand the complexities of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and are eager to provide the support and resources necessary to navigate these challenges. As a company, we are committed to the advancement of Alzheimer’s research by working with organizations like Inspired Memory Care and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF).

Common behavioral changes

Changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease can lead to unusual and unpredictable thinking and behavior. Those with Alzheimer’s may experience behavioral changes, including:

  • Agitation: This can manifest as verbal outbursts, physical aggression, or restlessness. These behaviors often stem from frustration, confusion, or environmental factors.
  • Delusions and Paranoia: Misunderstanding reality can lead to false beliefs, such as thinking someone is stealing from them or that a spouse is unfaithful.
  • Wandering: People with Alzheimer’s may tend to wander, which can be unsafe if they are lost or disoriented.
  • Repetitive Actions: This includes repeating questions, phrases, or movements, which can be a coping mechanism for dealing with memory loss and anxiety.
  • Sundowning: Increased confusion and agitation during the late afternoon and evening hours is common and can be distressing for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Causes of behavioral problems

People with Alzheimer’s can act differently than what their loved ones are used to, and these shifts in behavior can be difficult to handle. However, knowing how to recognize, understand, and react to common Alzheimer’s behaviors can make the process easier. Behavior changes for many reasons, including physical discomfort, environmental triggers, medical conditions, and emotional factors.

Support for caregivers

Caregivers cannot stop Alzheimer’s-related changes in personality and behavior, but they can learn to cope with them. It’s important for caregivers to seek support and take care of their well-being. Consider the following options:

  • Join Support Groups: Support groups can offer a safe space to gain insights and learn from others who understand what you are going through. Many communities and online platforms host Alzheimer’s support groups. These gatherings can help reduce feelings of isolation and offer a network of encouragement.
  • Respite Care: Taking regular breaks can help caregivers recharge. Respite care services provide temporary relief, allowing caregivers to rest, attend to personal needs, or simply take a moment for themselves.
  • Educational Resources: Staying informed about Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving strategies can empower caregivers to handle difficult situations more effectively. Books, workshops, and online courses can provide valuable information on managing behavioral challenges and learning new caregiving techniques.

Understanding and managing Alzheimer’s behavior problems can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with the disease and their caregivers. For more information on how LifeWorx can assist you in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, please get in touch with a local Client Relations Manager. We are here to help you every step of the way!