Dementia is a term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. When a loved one starts to have behaviors that you think might be in relation to dementia, it is important to be informed on what common behaviors are, so you can be understanding and helpful. Here are examples of common dementia behaviors:
Delusions (firmly held beliefs in things that are not real) are very common in people with dementia. For instance, if someone with dementia forgot where he put down his glasses, because of poor memory and lack of awareness, he may decide someone stole them.
A person with dementia may not remember familiar people, places or things. Situations involving memory loss and confusion can be difficult for families and require much patience and understanding. Some phrases that are common include:
“This isn’t my house.”
“When are we leaving?”
“Why are we here?”
“How did we get here?”
This usually involves inventing truths to get what they want. A person with dementia may say things like “You told me I could drive to the store,” or use bargaining methods such as “If you let me drive to the store, I will take my medicine.”
People with dementia may sometimes behave in ways that are physically or verbally aggressive. This can include cursing, yelling and making threats or hitting, kicking, scratching, pinching with seemingly no motivation. These aggressive behaviors, caused by changes in the brain, can come from out of nowhere.
Those with dementia are often unable to evaluate the different factors that should be considered when making a decision. For example, you might notice your loved one struggling to balance a checkbook or calculate a tip at a restaurant. This can lead to making decisions that seem silly, irresponsible, or even inappropriate.
Although we can’t prevent these behaviors or changes, it is important to know how to identify and handle them. If you have any questions about care at Sharmar Village, please contact us!