Alzheimers and Personality Changes
Handling Behavioral Changes with Dementia: Personality Changes
When an individual is suffering from Alzheimers disease, the changes that they go through can be very tough on their friends, family and loved ones. While there are many difficulties that accompany this illness, many times one of the most troubling side effects of dementia and Alzheimers can be the changes in personality. You may find that your loved one no longer acts in the way that they once did. The damage done to the brain with this condition can change everything about their personality and can be very hard for any person to accept. If you have been noticing signs and symptoms of personality changes such as an outspoken person becoming withdrawn or a mild mannered and friendly person becoming angry and aggressive; there are a few things that you can do to handle this devastating situation.
- Always consult with a doctor first when you are noticing drastic changes in an individuals personality. In some situations a sudden personality change, especially one that brings on irritability or anger can actually be from a treatable and manageable medical condition. Things such as dehydration or a urinary tract infection can elevate certain personality changes. - If you are worried that the personality change with your loved one has to do with depression, then you will want to visit a psychiatrist. They may be able to help you and your loved one learn ways to cope with and overcome depression, as it is a common side effect of Alzheimers disease. - Always stay calm and try to talk in a calm and mild mannered voice to calm and reassure your loved one. Keep in mind that their changes in personality are a side effect of their condition and that it is often their disease doing the talking. Make sure you also inform other friends and family members of these change. - Try to engage your loved one and keep them involved in activities that they once enjoyed, such as walking or playing cards. - Develop a set routine and keep things the same. This will help bring a sense of calm to your loved ones as many times confusion can bring on changes in their personality. Try to make sure they are on a set schedule and that things are always where they are supposed to be. - Try to have patience and remember that this is not only an overwhelming time for you, but for your loved one as well and it is also difficult for them to deal with these personal personality changes.