behaviors of alzheimer's diseaseBehaviors of Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Understanding the different behaviors that may be associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and forms of Dementia, Memory Care will help diagnose and treat those affected.

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The following are some behaviors of Alzheimer’s Disease

Aggression and Anger

Aggressive behaviors may be verbal or physical. They can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or result from a frustrating situation. While aggression can be hard to cope with, understanding that the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia is not acting this way on purpose can help.

Anxiety and Agitation

A person with Alzheimer’s may feel anxious or agitated. He or she may become restless, causing a need to move around or pace, or become upset in certain places or when focused on specific details.

Tips to help reduce agitation:

  • Create a calm environment.Remove stressors. This may involve moving the person to a safer or quieter place, or offering a security object, rest or privacy. Try soothing rituals and limiting caffeine use.
  • Avoid environmental triggers.Noise, glare and background distraction (such as having the television on) can act as triggers.
  • Monitor personal comfort.Check for pain, hunger, thirst, constipation, full bladder, fatigue, infections and skin irritation. Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature. Be sensitive to fears, misperceived threats and frustration with expressing what is wanted.
  • Simplify tasks and routines.
  • Provide an opportunity for exercise.Go for a walk. Garden together. Put on music and dance.

Memory Loss and Confusion

In the later stages of the disease, a person with Alzheimer’s may not remember familiar people, places or things. Situations involving memory loss and confusion are extremely difficult for caregivers and families, and require much patience and understanding.

Depression and Alzheimer’s

Depression is very common among people with Alzheimer’s, especially during the early and middle stages. Treatment is available and can make a significant difference in quality of life.

Hallucinations and Alzheimer’s

When a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia hallucinates, he or she may see, hear, smell, taste or feel something that isn’t there. Some hallucinations may be frightening, while others may involve ordinary visions of people, situations or objects from the past.

*Note* Alzheimer’s and other dementias are not the only cause of hallucinations.
Other causes include:

Hallucinations caused by progressive dementia usually occur during the later stages of the disease.

  • Schizophrenia
  • Physical problems, such as kidney or bladder infections, dehydration, intense pain, or alcohol or drug abuse
  • Eyesight or hearing problems
  • Medications

Sleep Issues and Sundowning

People with Alzheimer’s and dementia may have problems sleeping or increases in behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night (known as sundowning).

Repetition and Alzheimer’s

A person with Alzheimer’s may do or say something over and over — like repeating a word, question or activity — or undo something that has just been finished. In most cases, he or she is probably looking for comfort, security and familiarity.

Wandering and Getting Lost

Six in 10 people with dementia will wander. A person with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented, even in familiar places. Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.

Information provided by Alzheimer’s Association.  Learn more by visiting

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