An Important Overview of the Most Common Behaviours and Issues Associated with Dementia

People with dementia often exhibit behaviours that many of us find strange or odd. This could range from wandering aimlessly to being easily aggravated or irritated.  But if you are caring for a loved one with dementia, it is in your best interest to learn how to deal with these issues and behaviours so the disease does not make your life – and your loved one’s life – too difficult. So what are the most common behavioural issues you have to know about? Let’s find out.

Aimless wandering

As mentioned, wandering aimlessly is one of the most common behaviours related to dementia. The person may walk or wander aimlessly, seemingly without purpose, for hours. But this type of behaviour is often caused by a variety of reasons, which would include boredom, medical side effects, or even the urge to look for something or even someone. Another reason for aimless walking is the urge to satisfy a ‘physical’ want or need, such as hunger or thirst, a need to go to the bathroom, or even to just be physically active. Take the time to find out what is triggering this need. Also, there are some things you can do to limit the scope of the problem. For instance, you can install new and improved locks to the doors, store items such as coats, glasses, or purses away, or have your loved one wear an identification bracelet. You can also inform your neighbours about this behaviour so they can serve as extra eyes and ears.


The loss of bowel or bladder control

A person’s continence becomes more affected as their condition progresses – and this may result in accidents. If ever an accident occurs, you should exhibit an attitude of patience and understanding so your loved one can hold onto their dignity and be less shamed or embarrassed.  What you can do is set a schedule for ‘bathroom breaks.’ You can do this every two or three hours – remind them of the break and assist them to the toilet. You can also devise a schedule for their intake of fluids. One tip: lessen their intake of fluids at least an hour before they sleep so you can minimise the risk of accidents during the night as well.

Being agitated or irritable

Another common behavioural change is increased irritability or agitation, as live in care specialists like will confirm. As the disease progresses, so will this behaviour, so it is best to be prepared. To lessen this behavioural change, caregivers attest, you can make sure your loved one is always in a soothing, quiet, and relaxed environment. Try to reduce clutter in their home whilst keeping personal memorabilia and household items in familiar places. Regular walks can help as well.