Alzheimer’s Basics: Difficult Behavior

Alzheimer’s disease can cause a person to act in different and unpredictable ways, which can lead to misunderstanding, frustration and tension – particularly between the person with dementia and the caregiver.

It is important to identify the cause of the behavior and consider possible solutions. Ask yourself:

  • What happened before the behavior occurred?
  • Did something trigger the behavior?
  • Is there something the person needs or wants?

Following are common causes of behavior changes:

  • Physical discomfort caused by an illness or medications
  • Overstimulation from a loud or overactive environment
  • Inability to recognize familiar places, faces or things
  • Difficulty completing simple tasks or activities
  • Inability to communicate effectively

For tips on specific behaviors such as aggression, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, repetition, sleeplessness and
sundowning, suspicion and wandering – as well as many more behaviors, call the Alzheimer’s Association any time,
day or night at 1.800.272.3900 to speak to a trained Alzheimer’s care specialist or visit www.alz.org to download a 12-page information booklet.