Dementia can have a substantial effect on a person and cause them to fear the worst when diagnosed. These worries can include losing their memory, losing a sense of who they are, not comprehending what is happening in any given situation and not feeling in control of their circumstances. As the onset of dementia develops, these worries can start to become the reality for a person with dementia and can cause an effect on their behaviour.
Typically in the middle to later stages of dementia, the person may start to behave differently to how they used to. This can be distressing for both the person with dementia and for those who care for them. Some common changes during this time include repeating questions or activities over and over again, becoming restless and pacing, wandering and fidgeting, sleep patterns becoming disturbed and a tendency to roam during the night, following a partner or carer around and experiencing a loss of self-confidence which may lead to disinterest in their normal interests or routines.
If you’re caring for somebody who has dementia, it is important to try to understand why they are behaving like this. Although this isn’t always easy, it can be helpful to analyse whether the behaviour has been triggered by something. For example, does this behaviour happen at a certain time of day? Do these changes occur when this person is completing a specific task? Is the environment a contributing factor? Identifying why these behaviours may be occurring can help when planning how to deal with the person with dementia and help to assist them in the most beneficial way.
For more information on changes in behaviour, please click here.