Alzheimers and Irritability
Handling Behavioral Changes with Dementia: Irritability
Of the many different behavior changes and challenges that come with dementia and Alzheimers disease, one of the most common is undoubtedly irritability. Most people with dementia often become irritable when their basic needs or their desires are not met. Many times individuals with dementia will get extremely upset when they want something but do not get it, when there are changes in their daily routines or their environment starts to change.
Different individuals will start to show an increase in irritability, depending on the progression of their illness. Many times this irritability is the only way that the individual with dementia is able to express their needs or to let their caregiver know something is not right. Typically irritability often comes from the individuals frustration over their inability to remember things or communicate effectively. If you are a caregiver of an individual with dementia who is dealing with irritability issues then here are some tips to consider in handling this situation:
- If your loved one has been exhibiting sudden symptoms of irritability then you want to consult a physician right away. Many times this sudden irritability can be caused by another medical condition such as urinary tract infections which are common with individuals with Alzheimers disease. Since a person with dementia is often unable to communicate effectively, this may be the only sign that another medical issue is going on. - Many times, irritability comes from a persons needs not being met. Monitor their daily activities to make sure they are getting enough food and water and that their environment is comfortable. - Develop a set routine and make sure that this routine is being followed daily. Breaking from routine can cause confusion, frustration and fear that your loved one may be exhibiting as irritability. - When an individual is starting to act irritability or resistant; stay calm. Do not raise your voice or try to argue with this individual. This will only make the situation worse and cause an increase in your irritability. - Always speak to your loved one in a clear, slow, and calm town so that your loved one feels more comfortable. It is also important that you always reassure them and make them feel safe and secure. Many times their irritability comes from their confusion or feeling as though they are being threatened so you will want to always put calming them down as a priority.