There are currently an estimated 50 million people living with dementia in the world. According to the World Health Organization, this number is expected to triple by the year 2050. Understanding, caring for, and treating dementia is beginning to become necessary knowledge for us all.
Dementia is difficult to deal with for both the individual suffering and for their loved ones. Both witness a drastic change in the suffering person’s personality. Before you can be truly helpful, you must understand the behaviors of those who are suffering with dementia.
You can seek guidance and assistance on how to cope with someone who is suffering from dementia here, during this physically and emotionally draining time.
Typical Dementia Behavior
When someone mentions dementia, you usually imagine an elderly person who has trouble remembering things. You may even imagine someone who becomes aggressive out of frustration. Memory problems are very common in those suffering from dementia. Aggression is also a common behavioral trait of dementia in some more pronounced cases, along with a variety of other common symptoms.
Bouts of Confusion
The most prominent and known symptom of dementia is having bouts of confusion. Sufferers can forget to either do things that they usually do, forget words or names of things, and/or misplace their items.
This can be incredibly frustrating both to the sufferer, and for the caregiver, as they will likely spend a lot of time repetitively answering questions. You will need to be extremely patient in these times and keep explanations to a minimum. Using long-winded explanations will only confuse and possibly irritate your loved one.
Anger or Agitated Behavior
Speaking of being irritated, one of the most noticeable personality changes in those suffering from dementia, is a short fuse. You must understand that those with dementia are fighting an internal battle with themselves and their deteriorating brain.
The fact that they are prone to lash out in anger and aggression should not be surprising.
It’s important to be empathetic during this time and not take this type of behavior personally. Understand that this anger has nothing to do with you. It is recommended to talk with them to see if there is a deeper reason for their frustration, such as a trigger or pain.
Though not exactly a dementia behavior, sundowning is the time in the late afternoon/ early evening where dementia symptoms will become more prominent. You may notice that during the morning and most of the day, your loved one is quite lucid. Once the sun begins to set, dementia symptoms can rear their ugly head.
It’s important to notice when dementia symptoms come so you can prepare a routine for your loved one and know what to expect.
Is Your Loved One Exhibiting Dementia Behavior?
Caring for dementia requires a tremendous amount of patience, empathy, and time, as your loved one transitions through various personality changes right before your eyes.
We understand that caring for a loved one with dementia isn’t easy. Feel free to contact us for options such as caregiving, and home selection to help you through this difficult transition.